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Council's housing 'lacks innovation'

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Local government’s housing sector lacks innovation and is lagging behind improvements seen in other councils services, a new report has claimed.

The report, by housing manager Pinnacle, said that by opening up the market to the private sector, local authorities could save£771m on housing management costs.

Pinnacle chief executive, John Swinney, said: “The historic delivery of uniform public services by public bodies to a grateful and passive public is no longer acceptable.

"Other public sector providers are already actively embracing these new ideas, however housing is lagging behind.”

The report blamed “the very real separation between housing and other departments that most councils still have in place and which has been exacerbated by the ALMO [Arms Length Management Organisations] programme.

“Separation means different agendas, speeds of improvement and duplication, particularly in the community-facing front-line areas.”

The report, Empowering tenants, improving quality and reducing costs: the case for contestability in English social housing, also said that performance improvement and empowering tenants were important benefits of effective commissioning.

Registered Social Landlords also came under fire. The report claimed savings of up to£780m could be made.

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