About Ascham Homes
Ascham Homes is an 'arms length management organisation' (ALMO). This is a not-for-profit company set up by the London Borough of Waltham Forest Council to manage and improve the housing that it owns on a 10 year management agreement from 2003. Ascham Homes manages 12400 homes (including 1800 leasehold properties) on behalf of the Council.
Ascham Homes is currently responsible for the full range of landlord services.
We aim to complete the Decent Homes programme by the end of the year.
The Council have decided to negotiate a new agreement with Ascham Homes and to transfer a range of other services to the ALMO. These include Homelessness, Housing Advice, Choice Based Lettings and allocations, sheltered housing and hostels. These will form the ‘Modern ALMO’ which will be launched in April 2012, and be characterised by a closer working relationship between the two bodies, and some shared, back office services.
Ascham Homes is managed by the Executive Management Team. Known as EMT to our staff, each leads on one of four areas. They are responsible for the day-to-day running of Ascham Homes and provide professional advice to the Board.
The Executive Management Team provides focused leadership to drive the company forward in its vision, objectives and targets, ensuring the proper co-ordination and implementation of its service and improvement plans.
The EMT is made up of:
• Chief Executive
• Deputy Chief Executive
• Director of Finance
• Head of Business Transformation
From April this structure will be amended to include:
• Head of People (shared post with Homes for Haringey)
• Head of Housing Options (vacant)
There will be approximately 300 employees within the organisation from April 2012.
Transforming Ascham Homes
Ascham Homes is on an improvement journey and has made many changes to the way that services are delivered. In the last 18 months we have recruited a new management team, led a change programme affecting 120 staff and implemented a neighbourhood management approach to service delivery. Our residents are already feeling the difference and the confidence of our stakeholders is growing.
The Future of Ascham Homes
On 11 October 2011 the LBWF’s Cabinet agreed to progress a new ALMO agreement with Ascham Homes. Rather than looking to extend the contract that runs out in 18 months time, the Council has opted for a new contract to commence in April 2012.
This is good news for Ascham Homes’ residents who can expect an even better service from the ALMO going forward. The Council has increasing confidence in Ascham Homes and the organisations have established a very productive working relationship. Ascham Homes offer the stability to achieve the Council’s strategic vision and over the past year has demonstrated its ability to successfully deliver on a number of the Council’s key priorities.
As a result Ascham Homes will have a management fee (including repairs and Maintenance) of nearly £27m and a further range of delegated expenditure budgets of £18m and delegated income budgets of £19m.
The modernised ALMO will also allow the two organisations to work together far more collaboratively, sharing back office services such as ICT, Finance, Legal Services and Procurement. Significant savings will also be made by Ascham Homes taking over the Council’s Housing Options service and management of Sheltered Housing and Hostels.
It is anticipated that around 100 staff at the Council will be directly affected by the proposed changes. Subject to approval by the Secretary of State, the new contract will commence on 1 April 2012.
From April 2012 onwards, Ascham Homes will be a larger organisation, delivering more services to more customers and regenerating the way that our service areas work. This will be a challenging time for all staff, especially those new to the organisation and we will need to put in place robust strategies to ensure that a culture of excellence is developed across the organisation.