In response to the question 'Do you support the council's proposal to set up an Arms Length Management Organisation to manage, repair and improve the council's homes?':
- 73% of leaseholders said YES
Turnout for the ballot exceeded expectations, with 45% of tenants and 25% of leaseholders submitting their votes.
The ballot followed extensive consultation including setting up a housing commission made up of tenants to look at the options available; newsletters and factsheets; a series of public meetings; and interactive information on the council website.
With such a high level of support for an ALMO from tenants and leaseholders, the council is now free to put together a £90m bid, which must be submitted to the government by the end of December.
Tenants and leaseholders will be kept informed of progress as the council works towards setting up the ALMO, which will start operating on 2 April 2004.
This includes establishing an ALMO shadow board made up of tenants and leaseholders; councillors; and independent experts who will be responsible for the day to day management of the council's homes.
Deputy for housing, Stephen Cowan said he is delighted but not surprised that tenants and leaseholders have shown such a high level of support for an ALMO.
'With the prospect of tens of millions of pounds to spend on repairs and improvements and having a greater say in the way their homes are run, I'm not surprised our tenants and leaseholders have supported the proposal.'
'We believe an ALMO is the best option for the future of our housing, and now the people who will be most affected have told us that they think so too.'
Henry Talman, chair of HAFFTRA said: 'We are very pleased that tenants and leaseholder s have clearly expressed their views about the need to set up an ALMO'.
'We now need everyone - politicians and council staff as well as
tenants and leaseholders - to put in the necessary hard work and commitment to make the ALMO a success.'
- The ALMO ballot was conducted by an independent agency - The Electoral Reform Services.
- The ballot paper was accompanied by a preamble outlining the ALMO proposal and featured the question 'Do you support the council's proposal to set up an ALMO to manage, repair and improve the council's homes?' with boxes to tick either 'yes' or 'no'.
- The Housing Commission, made up of 19 tenants and leaseholders from across the borough and chaired by Steve Hilditch produced their report into the future of the housing stock in Hammersmith & Fulham in April 2003 after six months of consultation and evidence-gathering. Titled 'Our Community Our Homes Our Choice', the report concluded that the first and strongly held preference of the commission was for the stock to remain under the democratic management of the council. Despite a campaign by the commission, the government has refused to provide any extra investment to local authorities who keep things the way they are, and in these circumstances the commission supports the establishment of an Arms Length Management Organisation (ALMO) to manage the housing stock.