Following on from the announcement in February this year, Bury Council has been carrying out an options appraisal, to consider the future management and maintenance of council housing in Bury. This is to ensure the services for customers are excellent, and that Bury has quality homes in successful communities.
Whilst Six Town Housing has delivered housing services to tenants on behalf of the Council for many years, there are now significant changes in legislation and a renewed focus on the condition of the housing stock which has prompted this review.
The four options considered were:
· retain Six Town Housing as an Arm's Length Management Organisation (ALMO), with a new management agreement.
· develop a hybrid option with shared services.
· return the service to Bury Council or
· stock transfer (move the Council housing to another housing organisation)
An independent housing consultancy called Campbell Tickell, has been undertaking this review, with a short survey issued to a random sample of tenants asking for their views and opinions about the services delivered by Six Town Housing. The findings were presented to the Council on 30 June 2022, with a recommendation that the service is returned to Bury Council. This recommendation was agreed by the Council.
The report showed that Six Town Housing and Bury Council can work together to make the best use of resources, to ensure customer satisfaction with services and to provide quality homes in safe and successful communities.
We understand that you may have questions about what is happening, and we want to reassure you that this change will happen over quite a long period of time (potentially up to two years) and that during that time, delivering services to customers remains our priority.
We have added some frequently asked questions below, and you can also ask any questions by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Six Town Housing and Bury Council – Customer Frequently Asked Questions
Why is this happening now?
The regulation for social housing is changing to require a stronger role for the Council with significant changes in legislation and regulation and a renewed focus on the condition of Council Housing Stock. It also means that Six Town Housing and Bury Council can work together to be efficient, share resources and maximise the investment into homes and communities.
What will happen to my rent?
The rent for your home is currently set by Bury Council, so this will stay the same. The annual percentage increase is agreed by the Council and will be shared with you as it currently is. There will be no changes to how you currently pay your rent, and you don’t need to change anything at all.
What will happen to my service charge?
Service charges are established by Bury Council, and you will be notified of annual increases or changes to your service charge. There will be no changes to how you currently pay any service charges, and you don’t need to change anything at all.
Who will do my repairs?
We understand that this is an extremely valuable service for tenants, and the service you receive from the Six Town Housing Repairs Team and will be reviewed to take your feedback into consideration and make improvements in performance and in efficiencies.
Will I still have opportunities to be involved?
Bury Council are committed to ensuring that tenants have a say in the services they receive, and whilst the way in which customer involvement is encouraged and delivered will be reviewed, your feedback, thoughts and involvement is essential in ensuring high quality services are delivered. With new regulations in Housing, this is more important and essential than ever before.
Will we still have Neighbourhood Housing Staff?
The service you receive from the Neighbourhoods Team will still be an essential part of the service you receive.
What will happen with managing neighbourhoods and anti-social behaviour?
Six Town Housing and Bury Council are committed to ensuring safe homes and communities, this is a priority area and will be reviewed with feedback from customers and residents soon.
When will this change take place?
A report is going to the Council for an in-principal decision on 7 June 2023, to bring the service back into direct management of Bury Council. Further work including a test of tenant opinion will be done throughout the year and a final decision will be made by the Council around Nov/Dec 23.
However, these changes will happen over quite a long period of time (potentially up to two years). During that time, delivering services to customers remains our priority. We will keep you, our customers, up to date as we make these changes.
Will the contact numbers stay the same?
For now, please continue to use the same contact numbers, we will advise you if, and when these numbers change.
Call: 0161 686 8000
Emergency Repairs: 0808 144 5368