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Arms Length Management Organisations

Volume 503: debated on Wednesday 6 January 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what oversight functions the (a) Local Government Ombudsman, (b) Tenant Services Authority, (c) Homes and Communities Agency and (d) district auditor has in relation to arms' length management organisations. (308311)

The jurisdiction of the Local Government Ombudsman is to investigate complaints by members of the public against local authorities and their ALMOs. It will only consider complaints after individuals have gone through these organisations' own complaints procedures.

The Tenants Services Authority was set up on 1 December 2008 and assumed the regulatory role for registered social landlords previously held by the Housing Corporation. The Tenant Services Authority will—subject to parliamentary approval—take on the role of regulating local authority social housing, including ALMOs, from April 2010.

The Homes and Communities Agency was set up on 1 December 2008 and has day-to-day responsibility for delivery of the Decent Homes programme, and provides support and guidance to ALMOs on the delivery of their investment programmes.

In order to access its Decent Homes funding an ALMO must first be inspected by the Housing Inspectorate which is part of the Audit Commission. The ALMO must achieve at least a two star rating at inspection. The Audit Commission provides advisory services to local authorities and ALMOs seeking to achieve two stars at inspection. The Commission can also, on request, provide tailored consultancy services to ALMOs seeking re-inspection.