Newcastle City Council announces biggest housing shake up in almost two decades

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Newcastle City Council has revealed the biggest change to council housing in the city for almost two decades.

Newcastle City Council's cabinet confirmed on Wednesday, November 29, that they will go ahead with proposals to close Your Homes Newcastle (YHN) - marking the biggest change to council housing in the city for almost 20 years.

The changes will see all services that are currently delivered by YHN on behalf of the local authority and the people who deliver them become part of the council.

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It means that Newcastle City Council will take over responsibility for all housing services for the first time since 2004.

YHN was originally set up to access the government's Decent Homes Fund that councils couldn't access directly.

However that funding no longer exists and with changes to regulations, Newcastle City Council agreed that it was time to look at whether it was still right to use a separate organisation to deliver housing services.

Newcastle Civic Centre. Photo: NCJ Media. Free to reuse for all LDR partners.Newcastle Civic Centre. Photo: NCJ Media. Free to reuse for all LDR partners.
Newcastle Civic Centre. Photo: NCJ Media. Free to reuse for all LDR partners.

Councillor Irim Ali, Cabinet Member for a Dynamic City, highlights that it gives the Council new opportunities in the housing sector.

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She said “People are at the heart of everything we do and as a council we want our tenants and leaseholders to receive the best possible services.

"In recent years, we have faced major financial and regulatory changes in the housing sector that mean we need to get more from every pound we spend, so it was vital to consider whether there was a more effective and efficient way to deliver for our residents.

“Bringing all our housing services together, in the council, is an exciting opportunity to reflect on our achievements, identify areas for improvement and create a new housing service that will help us deliver now and in the future.”

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YHN’s commercial subsidiary, Abri, is also expected to transfer into the council’s ownership.

Services provided by Abri, which will continue to operate, include Newcastle Furniture Service, Palatine Beds and the Ostara 24-hour response and support service for residents who need additional support to live at home.

The move follows a consultation with tenants, leaseholders and other local residents found over 80% of respondents supported the proposals to bring YHN into the Council.

Work to transfer all of the YHN staff will begin immediately and is expected to be complete by July 2024.

You can find more information on the housing transfer at www.newcastle.gov.uk/housing-transfer.

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