A new proposed partnership agreement between Nottingham City Council and Nottingham City Homes (NCH) will be discussed at the council’s Executive Board on 19 March, which intends to continue to put tenants fully at the heart of services.
The city’s housing stock has been managed on behalf of the council by NCH since 2005. NCH is what is known as an ‘arm’s length management organisation’, or ‘ALMO’ for short. NCH is a not for profit company wholly owned by the City Council.
The current Partnership Agreement, which was signed in 2011, is due to expire in 2021. However, the current agreement is now outdated and does not reflect how the relationship between the council and NCH has grown and changed over the past eight years; it also doesn’t take into account the increased range of activities which NCH now carries out on behalf of the council such as building new council houses.
Nottingham City Homes, which was named Landlord of the Year at the UK Housing Awards in 2018 not only manages and maintains the City Council’s housing stock but also helps to deliver the council’s housing objectives by providing high quality homes and services which meet the needs of Nottingham people.
If approved, the new agreement will last for up to 30 years, with reviews every three years. Many local authorities are entering into agreements of this length with their ALMOs as it fits with the term of the 30-year business plans which they have in place setting out how the stock will be managed, maintained and invested in over that time.
If approved, the new terms will:
- Recognise the wider activities carried out by NCH such as house building, housing management and property services for other organisations.
- Ensure that the safety and wellbeing of residents and visitors to homes and estates managed by NCH remain a top priority.
- Ensure a seamless, accountable service is provided to tenants and council estates, irrespective of whether they are delivered by NCH or the council.
- Provide a process for monitoring performance to ensure tenants are receiving high quality services, which represent good value for the rent they pay.
- Ensure NCH continue to act as a voice on behalf of tenants through effective consultations and engagement.
Overall, the new agreement is designed to put tenants at the heart of services, and this is very much in tune with the Government’s Social Housing Green Paper, published in August last year.
Nick Murphy, Chief Executive at Nottingham City Homes, said: “The proposed Partnership Agreement with Nottingham City Council is important because it helps us to deliver our vision of providing homes and places where people want to live.”
“Throughout the term of our current agreement with the Council, we have managed to deliver the decent homes programme – transforming the quality of homes for our tenants, we have delivered more than 500 new council houses within Nottingham – the first new build programme of council houses in a generation and at the same time we have increased our tenant satisfaction from 61% to 91% – a record high.
“With the council’s support we are determined to build more affordable housing for people on our waiting list and we will continue to put tenants at the heart of what we do”
Cllr Linda Woodings, Portfolio Holder for Planning and Housing at the City Council, said: “This agreement shows the commitment both the City Council and NCH have to working in partnership to provide great housing and repairs services for City Council tenants, and providing good quality homes and successful communities where people want to live.
“The council will continue to support Nottingham City Homes in being the leader in housing management in the city, by providing high quality housing services for its tenants”.
Sarita-Marie Rehman-Wall, NCH tenant and Vice Chair of the Nottingham City Homes Board, said: “As tenants and Board members we fully support the proposed extension to the Partnership Agreement, and we wish for NCH to continue doing what they do best, which is managing our homes and estates on behalf of the Council. We support NCH building new Council houses to help people on the waiting list. We wholeheartedly welcome the certainty of a longer-term agreement. NCH not only gives tenants a platform and a voice, it also genuinely listens to what we have to say.
“NCH puts its tenants at the heart of everything it does, and initiatives such as the Tenant Academy, the Responsible Tenant Reward Scheme and the Tenant Fun Day evidently reflect that. We look forward to continuing our excellent partnership and to having NCH managing our homes for many more years to come.”