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Colchester Borough Council announces five more years managing homes and homeless services for Colchester Borough Homes

Dirk Patterson and Portfolio Holder for Housing Councillor Adam Fox

Photo of Chair of the Board, Dirk Paterson and Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Housing Councillor Adam Fox, taken in September 2019

Colchester Borough Council (CBC) has agreed to extend its management agreement with Colchester Borough Homes (CBH) for the provision of council housing and homelessness services from 2023 until August 2028.

Under this agreement, CBH will continue managing and maintaining the Council’s homes and working with the tenants who live in those homes for a further five years. This means that at the end of the arrangements CBH would have been managing the services for 25 years.

CBH will also support the council with the delivery of its legal homelessness responsibilities and provide maintenance and construction services for the council’s corporate buildings and building projects.

On 23 November, the council’s Cabinet backed the move after hearing the results of a four-month review of the authority’s current housing management arrangements.

As part of the review, council tenants and councillors provided feedback on how they felt CBH performed. Results from a tenant engagement experts, TPAS, highlighted that customers described the organisation’s performance as prompt, helpful, responsive, supportive and adaptable. The positive feedback confirmed that CBH is performing well, providing services which are value for money and working well with the Council to support its strategic objectives.

The report recognised that CBH is a top performing organisation when compared to similar housing organisations in the region. Independently verified data which formed part of the review showed that CBH is delivering a good performance in the services it delivers to council tenants whilst at the same time keeping costs very low. This has resulted in 83% customer satisfaction with the service provided and savings of over £15 million since 2013.

Colchester Borough Council Portfolio Holder for Housing Councillor Adam Fox said: “Since 2003, Colchester Borough Homes has provided an excellent service to the residents of Colchester.

“From managing housing stock to providing support to individuals and communities across the borough, Colchester Borough Homes has achieved excellent value for money and outstanding services over that past few years, which have helped make Colchester an even better place to live.

“I look forward to seeing the partnership between the two organisations develop further to ensure it’s the trusted choice for local housing, property and community services.”

Dirk Paterson, Chair of the Board, said: “Firstly, I’d like to thank our tenants who provided excellent feedback on our services. It’s vital to hear the views of our customers and to know we’re providing great value services that make a difference.

“I’d also like to thank the Council for agreeing to extend our management agreement until 2028 and for the trust they have placed in the CBH team. We’ve demonstrated that as an arms-length management organisation of the Council, we’re fully aligned with their strategic priorities. I’m also delighted to say that we’ve demonstrated good governance to ensure the organisation is well run and excellent value for money for our customers.

“We are now well placed to tackle the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead for our customers and our organisation.”

The current management agreement runs until 2023 and provides the opportunity for the Council to review its housing arrangements this year and extend the agreement for a further five years. CBH is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the council, set up in 2003 to manage council housing.