Like all other councils in England, Gloucester City Council must make sure the 4500 homes we manage (excluding leaseholders) reach the government's Decent Homes standard. An independent survey showed that the Council's homes needed around £54 million spending on them to bring them up to the Decent Homes standard.
The Council only had £15 million to spend on repairs and improvements, £39 million less than the sum needed. We consulted our Gloucester tenants and they told us they wanted more for their homes than just the Decent Homes standard, which does not include environmental improvement works.
With tenants we looked at a number of ways to raise the money needed to address the £39 million shortfall and agreed that establishing an arm's length management organisation (ALMO) was the best option for us. The ALMO is called Gloucester City Homes.
When we achieved a two-star (good) rating for our services in March 2007, we were able to access £39 million. This has enabled us to complete improvements to our homes to meet the Decent Homes standard and spend a further £1.8 million on environmental improvements in our neighbourhoods.
We were awarded a 3 star 'excellent' rating with 'excellent prospects for improvement' by the Audit Commission in December 2010.