BREAKING: Lambeth council to retake control of housing in the borough and end Lambeth Living

lambeth livingLambeth council will retake direct control for all its social homes in the borough, it was announced today.

Lambeth Living, the arms length management organisation (ALMO) set up to manage housing stock and leaseholders in 2008, will be dissolved at the end of its current agreement.

It oversees 24,000 tenants and 9,000 leaseholders.

Cllr Matthew Bennett, Lambeth cabinet member for housing, said the council was now in a “good position” to reconsider how it best manages its housing stock for tenants.

In a press release he added: “We are investing a record £490m in housing to bring thousands of homes up to the Lambeth Housing Standard, have drastically reduced the number of empty properties and cut the average time to re-let empty council homes to just 12 days. Now is the time to build on these improvements and re-integrate housing with other council services.”

The Lambeth Green Oarty welcomed the move, but called on a cast iron guarantee that there would be no job losses, as well as a review of the benefits of ending the contracting out of privatised services such as repairs.

Last week Green Party leader Natalie Bennett visited Cressingham Gardens in Tulse Hill to highlight the issues of poor management there, and the Council’s proposals to demolish the housing rather than repair it properly.

Jonathan Bartley, Green Party parliamentary candidate for Streatham said: “The ALMO model was established by New Labour, and in the case of Lambeth Living has failed to improve the quality of housing services for residents – whilst contractors and consultants have profited.

“There is no guarantee that the consistently poor treatment of tenants will end. But the Council should guarantee no job losses when taking housing management staff back in house, and should now review the benefits of bringing privatised services such as repairs back in house.”

Chairman of Lambeth Living Board Keith Hill called the decision a “wise move”.

The council said it has written to Lambeth Living tenants, leaseholders and staff. A report will go to a meeting the council’s cabinet next month.

More to follow as we bring you reaction to this breaking news. What do you make of the move? Leave your comments below or email


  1. Predictably tenants were conned and bullied into an Almo on a dodgy vote and now the council announces that it is ‘in a position’ to take back housing under direct control ie the usual spin from this New Labour Administration. When in reality it should be the Almo has been an unmitigated disaster for tenants and we are sorry for inflicting it on you for so many year . Still my initial reaction to the news was, it’s about time.

    However as a tenant of both the council and then the Almo I realise that it will be business as usual and that in reality Lambeth Labour are just trying to do a reset and yes in all likelihood it will again mean paperwork gets lost in the process.

    As for repairs the DHS and LHS again I expect nothing to change. Lambeth will still go for the high visibility repairs, that shout Hey LOOK we are ploughing money into this Estate aren’t we Fabulous, even though the work is overpriced and poor quality whilst the many Street properties get quietly ignored. I have letters and emails from 2005, 2007, 2009 and 2011 assuring me that work on my Street Property will start in the following year. I didn’t give up asking when my home would be brought up to the DHS and now also the LHS it’s just that Lambeth Living no longer replies to my requests and funnily enough nor do my Councillors.

    I don’t expect the ‘customer experience’ to improve and still expect complaints to be routinely ignored, to either go missing or to be told they never existed at all. I still expect to know more about policy than most of the staff and definitely more about their obligations under any such policies. I still expect staff members will lie to me, try to belittle me and then eventually ignore me.

    The only thing I expect to be different is that a layer of bureaucracy will be removed and I will no longer have to be subjected to arguments about when a complaint is considered a complaint or that I will be able to access the Ombudsmen quicker. What I hope though is that those in charge of housing will be brought to account which doesn’t happen at present. But the regret is that the staff will just be transferred over when what is LL except it’s staff so my second thoughts were that nothing will change any time soon.

  2. Well……they need to start with insulating the properties, that’s top of the list. The sleepless nights and poor neighbour to neighbour behaviour is out of control because of this. A property should be for the tenant alone and not tenant and their neighbour. Lambeth council needs to deal with that first.

  3. I saw an overall improvement of housing standards since the Lambeth Living started managing homes in our council. I’m not sure I should be excited about this move, when the council was managing homes the rent was half of what it is now but the living standards, housing conditions and services were just terrible then..

  4. First reaction – great news!
    Second reaction – Cynically, this is now an opportunity for the council to conveniently lose paperwork. How often have I heard the explanation that something was “pre” a certain date and hence no paperwork or audit trail or any possible follow up. Also, if the same people are going to be involved and the only difference will be the email addresses, what improvements can we actually expect?

  5. Speaking as a leaseholder who has been struggling for over a year to resolve a number of issues with Lambeth Living I am delighted to hear this news.
    My experience of dealing with Lambeth Living has left me of the opinion that they are badly structured, badly managed, have poor processes, poor communications and have been allowed to run with no accountability for their lack of service to leaseholders.
    I look forward to and am hopeful for an improvement to service and responsiveness when Lambeth take over direct control of services to its leaseholders.
    Bring on the change!

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