At a meeting on 29 November the cabinet confirmed that they will go ahead with plans that will see the biggest changes to council housing in the city for almost two decades.
The changes will see all services currently delivered by YHN on behalf of the council and the people who deliver them become part of the council. This means the council will take over responsibility for all housing services for the first time since 2004.
Work on the housing transfer, which will include a TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment Regulations) transfer of all YHN staff who deliver services on behalf of the council, will begin immediately and is expected to complete in July 2024.
As part of the decision-making process the cabinet considered the views of tenants, leaseholders and local residents who responded to a consultation on the proposals. You can find the full cabinet report including the consultation report at http://tiny.cc/housing-report-NCC
What do the changes mean?
YHN was set up as an arms-length management organisation (ALMO) in 2004 to access government funding to improve homes. They currently manage council homes and deliver housing and some other services on behalf of the council.
Changing regulations, financial challenges in the social housing sector and increasing demand for council houses means we need to change the way we deliver housing services to meet residents needs now and in the future.
The cabinet decision means that all services delivered on behalf of the council by YHN and the people who deliver them will be transferred to the council. Council homes and services will be managed and delivered directly by the council.
The council has always owned all council homes in the city and this won’t change because of the housing transfer.
Four main benefits of the housing transfer
Meeting the needs of residents more effectively. Bringing all our housing services together will help up put people at the heart of what we do. This will help us to deliver a more people focussed approach, make it easier for all council services to work together and improve our housing services.
More money to spend on improving homes and services. Having a separate organisation to manage our homes and deliver services costs more money. We expect to save around £1 million a year that could be used to improve homes and services.
Better communication between tenants, leaseholders and the council. It will be easier for us to understand and react to the needs or our tenants and leaseholders if we have a direct relationship with them.
Increased accountability. Bringing all our housing services together will make it easier for us to do things to improve tenants satisfaction as everyone who delivers our housing services will report to senior council managers and councillors.
Frequently asked questions
Will there be any changes to my tenancy agreement?
No, the changes won’t affect your tenancy agreement. The council always owned all council homes in the city and we were always your landlord. You will be able to talk to us directly now instead of going through YHN and the council will deliver your services.
Will my lease stay the same?
There won’t be any changes to your lease due to these changes. You will still own the lease to your home and the council will still own the freehold.
Will my rent go up?
Council rents are reviewed every year and aren’t part of this process. Your rent won’t change because of these changes.
When will the changes happen?
We will start work on the changes immediately. We expect them to be complete by the end of July 2024. We will let you know about the changes as they happen.
I live in supported accommodation. Will my services change?
If you live in a council housing plus scheme, assisted living development or other type of supported housing you will still receive the services you need but they will be delivered by the council instead of YHN.
Why are the council making these changes?
Housing is a key priority for the council. We want to make sure the homes and housing services we provide will meet the needs of our residents now and in the future. We believe that bringing all our housing services together will save money and help us build on what we have achieved so far to provide even better services.
Do I still use the same telephone number or email address if I have an issue?
Yes, you can still contact us in the same way as you do now. There may be some changes in the future but we will let you know about these if they happen.
Will the council stop delivering some housing services?
There are no plans to stop delivering any housing services because of the housing transfer. Some services are provided by YHN and NCC. Where this happens, we will combine the services to reduce duplication.
Will the way I request a repair change?
No, you’ll still be able to contact us in the same ways that you do now to request a repair. If for any reason, anything needs to change, we’ll let you know about the changes and what it means for you.
Will I have to wait longer for a repair?
YHN has service standards that need to be met for how long it takes to complete repairs. These standards will still be in place when the service moves to the council.
What will happen to any outstanding repairs I have?
If you have reported a repair which hasn’t been your repair will transfer to the council automatically. You won’t need to contact us to report it again.
How will you tell tenants and leaseholders if anything changes?
We will update this webpage regularly during the housing transfer. We will also share information about any changes on our social media channels.
If there are changes that will affect individual tenants or leaseholders we will contact them directly to let you know.
Who is going to provide services to Leazes Homes tenants?
Leazes Homes currently purchase housing services from YHN. The Leazes Homes Board has been looking at how these services will be delivered in the future. They have considered a range of Registered Housing Providers and are currently going through a selection process to appoint a new service delivery partner. Once the partner is identified we will work with the Leazes Homes Board to make the move to the new service provider as smooth as possible.
The changes won’t take place immediately and until a decision is made we will work with Leazes Homes to make sure no one is left without the services they rely on. If you have any question or need any more information please contact Leazes Homes directly.
How will savings be monitored?
Savings will be monitored as part of the Council’s budget monitoring processes and procedures. This includes monthly and quarterly reporting to management teams and budget implementation monitoring meetings.
What happens if the expected savings aren’t achieved?
We have been cautious in our initial estimate of savings and are confident they are achievable.
How much will it cost to bring YHN into the council?
Final costs of transferring YHN to the Council are still being finalised, though are expected to be around £0.8m. Given the anticipated savings this is expected to be repaid within a year.
What will the money saved be spent on?
The savings will benefit the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) and will be retained and re-invested for the benefit of tenants.
If you need this information in an alternative format please contact us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone on 0191 2787878.
We will update this page as the housing transfer progresses.
Did you know?
We will update this page regularly as the housing transfer progresses.