New contract for managing council homes will cost up to £235 million

The Civic Centre, Hemel Hempstead.
The Civic Centre, Hemel Hempstead.

Dacorum Borough Council has announced its newly-tendered contract to maintain its 10,500 properties will cost up to £235 million.

The housing management contract has been awarded to Osborne Property Services after a two-year search for the best firm to carry out all repairs, maintenance and improvement works to council homes in the borough.

The council explains the sum, which covers the maximum of 10 years if the firm meets performance indicators during the first five years, will be drawn from tenants’ rent rather than Council Tax, and that it will retain management of the homes.

The company, which all adopt the contract from July 1, promises to use patterns of repairs information to target investment at the areas most in need.

The council’s housing maintenance and environment committee – made up of a panel of tenants – were involved in the procurement process.

Committee member Andrea Maloney said: “The new contract is structured so that the decisions about repairs or improvements are carried out to provide good long-term solutions, rather than a ‘quick fix’.

“We look forward to working with the new contractor, knowing that we can influence their plans and question their actions. The process has been very good and we have high hopes for a new and improved service.”

Cabinet member for housing at the council Margaret Griffiths said: “We’re looking forward to developing a close working relationship with Osborne.

“We’ll be creating even more opportunities for tenants to get involved and welcome their input to help us improve our housing repairs service further.”

Osborne’s contract will run for an initial five years, though it can be extended up to a decade on an annual rolling basis.

The contractor’s managing director Nick Sterling said: “We are delighted to have been selected from a very strong field.

“Osborne will become truly embedded with Dacorum in helping shape and deliver the exciting plans they have for the benefit of the whole borough.

“We look forward to working closely with them and ensuring the communities of Dacorum see real benefit.”

Previously, repairs were delivered by one contractor and improvements and cyclical maintenance by another contractor. It is hoped by joining these works into one contract there will be savings which can be reinvested into the houses and surrounding estates.