Homes will remain owned by council

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In response to Mary Steele’s letter of November 23, I’d like to reassure tenants that we intend to retain all our housing stock.

With the current ALMO model, the ownership of the housing stock remains with the city council. It is only the housing management function that is currently contracted out.

Tenants voted to bring back the management of council housing into the council to improve the service and generate savings in the running of services.

This decision has no impact on the ownership of the stock and the council has no intention of changing the ownership of Sheffield’s council housing by transferring this to a housing association.

Ms Steele also referred to the article of November 16, which suggested that tenants have been misled.

I would like to reassure tenants that transferring housing management to the council will result in a more efficient service that has greater democratic accountability. All savings will be reinvested into front line services.

The risks that were highlighted by Sheffield Homes in the recently released document were very early indications of potential scenarios and as the programme has developed, it has been identified we won’t need to make the cuts to services that these risks referred to. I am confident that any risks are being managed effectively.

Our priority is not only maintaining the excellent housing service that Sheffield Homes has provided over the last eight years, but building on this to provide a service that works even more effectively, in line with what our tenants and staff have told us they want.

Coun Harry Harpham,

Cabinet Member for Homes and Neighbourhoods