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Six Town Housing Board 20 July 2011

by timpickstone on 21 July, 2011

Last night was my first Board Meeting for Six Town Housing – Bury’s ‘Arm’s Lenght Housing Management Organisation (ALMO). The Council appoints four councillors to the Board, who join a mixture of independent and tenant members of the Board.

It was a long agenda (apparently one of the longest meetings for some time!), but some really interesting issues discussed. The agenda and full papers for the public part of the meeting are here.

One issue that was immediately apparent is that there is a lot of change in the pipeline for local social housing providers like Six Town Housing. The Government is making some very significant changes to the way benefits are paid to individuals, linked to its plan to encourage more jobs to be created over time, and we will need to work out how these changes will affect the work of housing providers. The Government is also returning some centralised money to local control. What this means for Bury is that the money which is collected in Bury from housing rents can be kept in Bury (at the moment it is shared out in a national formula). We agreed to have some more in depth discussions, perhaps at special Board Away Days to look into these issues in more detail.

For me the most thought provoking agenda item was a presentation on the ‘Bury East Pilot Project’. This has been where statutory sector agencies (Council, police, housing etc) have been working together to make make sure that we have the most effective ‘joined up’ support for families who, for whatever reason, need a lot of help and support from different agencies. The theory is, and in East Bury it seems to be working, is that not only can the lives of people be improved by being more coordinated, but also significant amounts of money can be saved, or spent in a better way, by avoiding duplication. We agreed to receive reports from this at future meetings.

Any questions please ask! Tim

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