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Brentwood Borough Council

FOI 11332

Local Authority Housing Company: Bridging the Housing or Finance Gap?

Request

I am studying for a Masters in Strategic Business Management with the above being the basis of my dissertation.  I am undertaking research to look at the business cases and reasons behind the setting up of Local Authority Housing Companies and, where Councils have not taken this route, what may be the barriers.

 All information provided will be treated in the strictest of confidence in line with Manchester Metropolitan University’s Ethical Framework. This is an academic research paper rather than consultancy based and will not be publically available.  However, should you wish to see the results, I will be happy to share my findings with participants.

Thank you for your participation.

1. Has your Authority set up a wholly owned Housing Company:
Yes

In the process of setting up

Considering the possibility

No

If No, please go to Question 10

2. What is the company name and registration number?

Company Name

Registration Number

3. When was this company registered?

Date registered

4. Please provide a copy of or link to the committee papers for the meeting where this was approved by Council/Cabinet/Executive Board?

5. Which of the following activities does/would the Housing Company undertake (please tick all that are relevant)?


Provision of land

Refurbishment of own assets

Conversion of own assets

Purchase of land


Purchase of assets

Developments

Other (please specify)

6. In relation to the statements below, please rank the top 3 in order of importance (3 being most important 1 being the least) in the decision making process in setting up a Housing Company.

There is a short supply of market rent housing in the area


As an Authority we have a good supply of assets available to convert to market rental properties


The Authority has an ambitious growth plan which is not being met by the private sector

The Council is looking at the Housing Company to be a catalyst for growth rather than a longer term provider

The Council has good supply of its own land which can be developed by the Housing Company

We already have wholly owned companies and in house expertise to run another

The Council is looking to the private rental sector as a source of revenue income to protect front line services

The creation of a wholly owned company protects the Council from Right to Buy issues

Sales proceeds from housing company will be used to cross subsidise affordable housing

Other (please specify)

7. How many directors does the company have?


No. of Directors

8. What is/will be the governance structure?

9. Who provides/will provide the following services?

In house/seconded staff

Housing Company

Out sourced


Tenant management


Debt collection

Repairs and Maintenance services

To be answered by Authorities WITHOUT/NOT CONSIDERING a Housing Company

10. What does your Authority consider to be the barriers to setting up a Housing Company (please rank your top 3, 3 being the greatest barrier and 1 being the least)?

Lack of interest from officers

Lack of interest from members

Cost of set up – both financial and time

Lack of internal skills and resources

High financial risk for Local Authorities

Potential conflict of interest between public and private sector

Lack of available land – only beneficial to those with land to input

Lack of knowledge of what a wholly owned housing company can deliver

Political sensitivity of creating a wholly owned company

Risk of changes to legislation making Housing Companies less attractive

Other (please specify)

 

Response

 


With reference to your recent Freedom of Information request, Brentwood Borough Council have not set up a wholly owned Housing Company and runs it's stock under Brentwood Borough Council.