Magazine article Public Finance

Almos 'Need More Financial Freedom'

Magazine article Public Finance

Almos 'Need More Financial Freedom'

Article excerpt

Council-owned housing companies should be removed from the subsidy system and given the freedom to borrow money from private lenders, ministers were told last week.

An interim report on the future of arms-length management organisations argues that they must become financially self-sufficient and encouraged to pay debts not already written off by the government.

The study, carried out by the National Federation of Almos, the Chartered Institute of Housing and the benchmarking firm Housemark, was launched eight months ago and coincided with the Office of the Deputy Prime Ministers own review of Almos.

A final report, which should provide more detailed options for councils, will be published later this year alongside a government consultation paper.

John Perry, a policy adviser at the CIH, said it was vital to ensure the long-term financial viability of Almos and give them the opportunity to expand into other areas, such as community regeneration, once they meet the decent homes target. …

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