Council Housing Transition

The management of South Tyneside Council's housing stock is to be brought back 'in-house', in the biggest change to social housing in the Borough for almost two decades.

The management of South Tyneside Council's housing stock is to be brought back 'in-house', in the biggest change to social housing in the Borough for almost two decades.

The decision by Cabinet follows consultation with tenants and leaseholders. 94.2 per cent of people who answered the question supported the proposal to return housing to direct council control.

All tenants and leaseholders were given the opportunity to vote in an independent ballot about the future of council housing, and 10.6 per cent responded.

The move follows an independent review undertaken in Autumn 2023, in anticipation of revised regulatory and legislative requirements, and ensure the best outcomes for residents.


Background

South Tyneside Homes was originally established in 2006 to access the government's Decent Homes Fund that councils couldn't access directly.

It has brought thousands of properties up to Decent Homes standard and beyond, improving conditions and enhancing residents' quality of life.

Now that funding no longer exists, and with changes to regulations and the sector facing increasing financial challenges the council agreed it was time to look at whether it was still right to use a separate organisation to deliver housing services.

The outcome of the ballot means that the council will take full control and ownership of its housing stock.


Benefits of bringing South Tyneside Homes back in-house

  • Meeting the needs of residents more effectively. Bringing housing services together will help put people at the heart of what we do. This will help us to deliver a more people focussed approach, make it easier for all council services to work together and improve our housing services.
  • Better communication between tenants, leaseholders, and the council. It will be easier for us to understand and react to the needs of our tenants and leaseholders if we have a direct relationship with them. 
  • Increased accountability. Bringing all our housing services together will make it easier for us to do things to improve tenants' satisfaction as everyone who delivers our housing services will report to senior council managers and councillors. 
  • Better use and delivery of resources for tenants. Bringing all housing services together means we can make better use of resources and provide even better services to make sure that our homes remain decent and safe for people to live in.

Frequently asked questions

Why is the council making these changes?

Housing is a key priority for the council.

We want to make sure that homes and housing services we provide meet the needs of our residents now and in the future.

Bringing all our housing services together provides an opportunity to build on what has been achieved so far to provide even better services.

Housing is about far more than bricks and mortar, it's a gateway to many other services and it's crucial that a holistic approach is adopted to provide more effective prevention, intervention, and support for residents.

Will the council stop delivering some housing services?

There are no plans to stop delivering any housing services.

Bringing all housing services together means we can make better use of resources.

Will there be any changes to my tenancy agreement?

No, the changes won't affect your tenancy agreement.

The council has always owned all council homes in South Tyneside and have always been your landlord.

You will be able to talk to the council directly now instead of going through South Tyneside Homes and the council will deliver your services. 

Would my lease stay the same?

There won't be any changes to your lease due to these changes.

You will still own the lease to your home and the council will still own the freehold. 

Would my rent stay the same?

Council rents are reviewed every year and aren't part of this process. Your rent won't change because of these changes. 

I live in supported accommodation. Will my services change?

If you live in a council housing plus scheme, assisted living development or other type of supported housing you will still receive the services you need but they would be delivered by the council instead of South Tyneside Homes.

Do I still use the same telephone number or email address if I have an issue?

Yes, you can still contact us in the same way as you do now.

At this stage in the process, it is very much 'business as usual'.

There may be some changes in the future, but we will let you know about these if they happen.

Will the way I request a repair change?

No, you'll still be able to contact South Tyneside Homes in the same ways that you do now to request a repair.

If for any reason, anything needs to change, we'll let you know about the changes and what it means for you. 

Will I have to wait longer for a repair?

We have service standards that need to be met for how long it takes to complete repairs. These standards continue to be in place.

How will you tell tenants and leaseholder if anything changes?

We will continue to update this webpage regularly. We will also share information about any changes on our social media channels. 

If there are changes that will affect individual tenants or leaseholders, we will contact people directly to let them know. 

How much will it cost to bring South Tyneside Homes into the council?

Final costs are yet to being finalised. Any cost will be offset by anticipated savings.

What will any money saved be spent on?

Any savings will benefit the Housing Revenue Account (HRA) and will be retained and re-invested for the benefit of tenants.