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New Vision for Housing in Gateshead

Warwick Court

There is a new vision for housing in Gateshead as consultation begins to bring housing stock back under council control.

Gateshead Council's cabinet have agreed today to consult on proposals to bring housing services across The Gateshead Housing Company and the council back together. The decision follows an independent review of the delivery model for the council's housing stock, currently provided by The Gateshead Housing Company, who have been managing homes for more than 18,000 social tenants on behalf of the council since 2004.    

The review explored four options:  

  • Option 1 - retain the current arrangements with The Gateshead Housing Company  
  • Option 2 - Re-integrating the management and maintenance of the housing stock into the council  
  • Option 3 - Enter into a partnership or alternative shared arrangement with another organisation  
  • Option 4 - Disposal of the council's housing stock to another organisation  

The options were reviewed looking at both financial and non-financial considerations and the council is now beginning a formal consultation on the preferred option, to reintegrate the management and maintenance of the housing stock into the council. 

The review concluded that there are a range of benefits of bringing the housing management into the council, primarily giving the council the opportunity to deliver a renewed purpose for the housing service that are fully aligned to the council's vision to make Gateshead a place where everyone thrives.    

It will also achieve the long-term sustainability of the council's housing stock and the Housing Revenue Account so that residents can access good quality housing both now and in the future.  

Councillor John Adams, Cabinet Member for Housing said: "The Gateshead Housing Company was set up in 2004 to help unlock funding through the Government's Decent Homes Programme which has now ended.  While that was the best option at the time, we now need to look at new, more cost-effective and efficient ways to deliver the best service we can for tenants.  

"Over the last eight months, we have reviewed all options available to us and we feel that bringing the council's housing stock under our control will achieve the best outcomes for local people that are fully aligned with our priorities. This will mean that we can focus on what matters most, providing good quality housing with a mix of tenures and affordable options that meet the needs of local people including families and older people enabling them to live healthy lives and to make healthy choices, preventing ill health.  

"We also believe that this will be the most effective way of driving through the improvements in our housing stock that our residents want to see and will give us the opportunity to use our collective resources to provide good quality, affordable social housing for our existing and future tenants. Housing that meets the needs of all local people including families and older people enabling them to thrive."  

Chair of The Gateshead Housing Company Jim Coulter welcomed the outcome of independent review saying "We look forward to working with the council to create the new service, building on the work to develop excellent services over the last 16 years."

A detailed business plan will now be developed to support the implementation of the preferred option and a comprehensive consultation with employees, trade unions, tenants and stakeholders will now begin.   

  

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