The Centre for Public Services and Defend Council Housing are carrying out a national survey on behalf of the House of Commons Council Housing Group to assess the views of tenants associations and federations, elected members, trade unions and housing organisations on their perspective for the future of a Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO). ALMOs were initially promoted as a short-term solution to access additional investment to meet the Decency Standard by 2010 in local authority areas where tenants and, perhaps, elected Members, were known to be opposed to stock transfer.
There are now, as predicted, vested interests keen to expand the role of ALMOs and move them even further away from local authorities. Many ALMOs have already/are considering outsourcing repairs and maintenance and other services. Yet in many authorities tenants were given the clear promise that once Decent Homes had been achieved the homes would revert back to council management. In other authorities tenants were assured that the ALMO would only involve a cosmetic change and they wouldn’t notice any difference.