Be cautious on HfI future
PUBLISHED: 15:21 20 October 2010
There is a sudden clamour from politicians from both sides of the council chamber to return control of the borough’s housing stock to the council.
While I make no apologies for the shortcomings of Homes for Islington, I would urge caution before any major decisions are made.
Prior to the formation of HfI the housing department it replaced was notoriously inefficient and unresponsive to its tenants and leaseholders needs and aspirations.
Had it not been replaced it would have needed major reform and re-structuring at all levels. One must also remember that the majority of staff were transferred from the housing department to HfI, and would, under current legislation, simply be transferred back again. Therefore, without major reform little or nothing would change.
Furthermore, the last government pumped £700million into the Decent Homes Programme on the strict condition that Islington set up an ALMO. Hence the creation of HfI. How much of this money would have to be repaid if the council breaks or cuts short this agreement, which is effectively a contract? – Dave Barnes, Islington Taxpayers’ Alliance, Highbury Quadrant, N5.
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