Councillor James Murray, executive member for housing, Islington Council, said:
“The decision about housing management in Islington has been finely-balanced. We have decided that bringing HFI in-house will allow us to invest as much as possible in new council housing, whilst protecting our tenants and existing stock from changes the government might make.
“It is vital that we continue to give our tenants and leaseholders the best possible service from our committed staff who currently work for HFI.
“We will also use this opportunity to expand tenant and leaseholder involvement in housing management and we will be consulting next month on how this should be done.”
The decision follows a three-month consultation with tenants and leaseholders this summer – with thousands of residents responding to a questionnaire survey and taking part in discussion groups run by an Independent Tenants Advisor.
The council’s consultation heard a wide variety of residents’ views on what they want for the future of their housing services. Common themes emerging were the need for new housing, more council accountability and a bigger say in the issues that affect all residents – including tackling poverty, anti-social behaviour and saving money.
If confirmed, the decision means the council will negotiate an early termination (April 2012) of the housing management agreement with Homes for Islington which currently runs until 2014.
The arrangements are expected to save the council £1.7m a year.
Between November 2011 and March 2012 the council will carefully prepare for the changeover to minimise disruption to services and maintain the high quality of services residents have come to expect from HFI.