East Kent Housing explained...
East Kent Housing is a company controlled by Canterbury City Council, Dover District Council, Shepway District Council and Thanet District Council within the meaning of part V of the Housing Act 1989. We are an 'arms length management organisation' (ALMO) that manage the four council's housing services. Registered Company Number: 07489230
East Kent Housing is managed by a Board of Directors, which includes four residents, four local authority nominees representing each council area and four independent members.
The Governance Framework describes the way the Board works and the standards Board Members are expected to keep.
East Kent Housing only looks after the council housing services as the councils will keep responsibility for all strategic housing functions such as, housing strategy and enabling, homelessness, and housing advice, the management of the housing register including Choice Based Lettings, private sector housing and the management of the Housing Revenue Account.
Read our Management Agreement
To explain a bit more about what East Kent Housing is and is not – we’ve put together a few facts for you:
What East Kent Housing is:
- An organisation set up and owned by the four local councils to run its council housing services.
- Run by an independent management board, which includes tenants, independent members and councillors, but remains accountable through a contract with the four councils.
- According to the government’s watchdog the Audit Commission, this is the best approach to managing housing services.
What East Kent Housing isn't:
- A private company, as it is still owned by the four councils. This is not a way of privatising council housing. Your homes are safe and still owned by your council.
- Your landlord. The council remains your landlord and you remain a tenant of the council with all the same legal rights.
- A profit making organisation, neither does it have shareholders. All savings must, by law, be used to improve services.
- A housing association, and it does not mean that your home has been sold to a housing association.
East Kent Housing is responsible for:
- Managing improvements to tenants’ homes.
- Collecting rent and helping tenants who are having difficulty in paying.
- Making sure that tenants stick to their tenancy agreements.
- Involving and communicating with tenants including producing newsletters, leaflets and supporting community groups and activities.
- Working with the police, the council and other agencies to reduce anti-social behaviour
- Reletting empty properties, approving mutual exchanges and changes to tenancies.
- Running sheltered housing schemes and organising adaptations to the homes of tenants with disabilities
The council is still responsible for:
- Each of the four councils will still own their own council housing and all important decisions about the overall cost and levels of service and where money is spent will still be made by your elected councillors.
- Each council will decide, after consulting with their own tenants, where money will be spent to improve tenants’ homes and estates.
- If you need to, you will still be able to complain to your council and your local councillor if you are not happy with the service you get from East Kent Housing.
- Deciding and setting what rents and service charges you pay (based on government guidelines).
- Managing the housing waiting list and deciding who gets a council home.
- Helping people who are homeless.
- Deciding what improvements and major repairs will be carried out.
- Dealing with housing benefit applications.
- Deciding the housing budget.
The history of East Kent Housing
In 2005, the four councils from Dover, Canterbury, Shepway and Thanet each carried out an appraisal of the long term viability of its council housing.
While all four authorities could achieve and sustain the Decent Homes standard and had viable business plans, concerns remained that the relatively small stock holding of each authority would limit any ambitions to improve services and to improve opportunities for our council tenants and leaseholders.
In 2008, opportunities for joint working between the four housing services were explored and in 2010 a detailed business case for a shared housing management service was approved by the local councils.
At the same time it was agreed that the ALMO model provided the most appropriate vehicle and governance structure to base a shared housing service and, following extensive consultation with our tenants and leaseholders in the summer of 2010, support for this proposal was submitted for government approval and an application was made in early 2011.
The ALMO, which has been named “East Kent Housing”, is responsible for the management and maintenance of over 17,000 homes owned by the four councils. You can read the Management Agreement here.