Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Future of ALMOs - Council Housing?

ALMO's were created to enable Council's to access money to meet the Decent Homes target 2010.

UNISON along with all the other major public sector trade unions & the council tenant led organisation (Defend Council Housing) argued that this was merely one step away from privatisation.
We predicted the early promises of money for Decent Homes would not be so forthcoming.
We predicted Housing services would be moved out of their communities, as the ALMO’s sought to reduce costs.
In their attempts to persuade tenants to support the ALMO. The ALMO's promised, new kitchens, new bathrooms and new windows, however tenants quickly found that these promises were broken. The new offer became new windows, OR new bathroom OR new kitchen.

Well, for those who say there is no point campaigning…take a look at Defend Council Housing, every member of staff working in Housing should have this website as one of their favourites.

Against the odds with limited resources they have been taking this fight to government for over 10 years. They have taken on Councils & their Consultants (all bought & paid for with council tenants money mind you!) and won ballots (against ALMOS & Stock transfer) up and down the country.

It isn’t rocket science to see that the Housing crisis we are in is a result of the policies of both Conservative & sadly Labour governments! Private sector are just not interested in Council Housing, Housing Associations were not set up for this scale of Housing provision.

Sadly, this Private Good, Public Bad mentality is not confined to Housing we see it in Social Services, NHS, Schools. This policy has FAILED!

However……we have a new Prime Minster, we have a Housing crisis and for the first time since the 70’s we could start to see Councils building homes………..

Please take some time, it takes less than 60 seconds to sign the E Government Petition

So what about the future of ALMO’s?

They were set up for a limited period. There are a number of possibilities

1. Return to the Council
2. Merge with another ALMO
3. Taken over by a Housing Association
4. Taken over by Lord Voldermort???

Members working in ALMO’s need to consider their future.
· Have their T& C’s improved since moving to the ALMO?
· Are you working more for less?
· Have services already been outsourced?

Feedback from our activists working in Housing Associations do not paint a positive picture of employment practices.

In terms of Barnet Homes & Barnet Council we will be seeking discussions as to it's future. We will be consulting with our members and looking to commission a report into the options for ALMO’s.

Whatever your views it is important to take part in our consultations over the next 12 months.
Finally check to see if your MP has signed the Early Day motion in support of the Fourth option

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