Leicester

Charnwood Borough Council to take control of housing

A Leicestershire council is to dissolve the organisation which manages its 5,700 houses.

Charnwood Borough Council set up Charnwood Neighbourhood Housing (CNH) in 2007 after its own service had been rated as "poor" by inspectors.

Now it will resume direct control, with officials saying this will make it easier to invest in improvements.

A spokesman said a consultation had shown 75% of tenants were in favour of the change.

Savings claim

In May 2006, the Audit Commission gave the council's housing department a zero star rating.

CNH was set up, at an estimated cost of £250,000, to access funds only available to what are known as Arms Length Management Organisations (ALMOs).

Officials said rules had now changed and cash was available to directly-controlled housing.

Jane Hunt, cabinet member for housing, said: "Residents are at the heart of our services and we believe this move will mean we can invest in our properties to improve the quality of life for them.

"We already have a plan to invest £60 million in our housing stock over the next five years. By bringing it back under our direct control we can maximise every penny of that investment."

Estimated savings of about £638,000 each year will be made by re-integrating services and changing the governance structure, the authority added.

The re-organisation is expected to take up to six months with CNH staff being transferred back to the council.

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