CityWest Homes – the arms-length housing organisation for Westminster City Council – is set to return under Council control it has been confirmed today (20 September 2018).
Following concerns about CityWest Homes’ performance highlighted by residents and ward councillors, Westminster City Council commissioned an independent review into the issues. Whilst this review was under way, the Council introduced immediate improvement action to address failings. This included changes to improve the customer contact centre and action to address issues with the repairs service such as a new team focused on fixing leaks.
A Task Group of the Housing, Finance and Customer Services Policy and Scrutiny Committee also looked into the matter. Its report, published today, further confirms the issues at CityWest Homes raised by residents and ward councillors, including the need for a culture change and reform of the management board so that residents are at the heart of the service.
Cllr Andrew Smith, Westminster City Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing and Customer Service said:
“We’re clear that our residents in council-owned housing deserve the best service. Concerns from residents and ward councillors, which have been confirmed by an independent review and now the latest findings from the Task Group, demonstrates CityWest Homes is failing to provide this, despite action we’ve taken to date.
“Along with the Council’s Leader and Cabinet, I believe there is no option now other than to bring the management of council housing under the Council’s direct control. We believe that this will be the most effective way of driving through the improvements that our residents need to see.
“Working closely with resident groups and associations, we will now take the necessary steps to restore confidence. Whether renting or leasing a council property, we’re determined to make sure our residents get the service they expect so that they have a safe and secure place they call their home.”
Westminster City Council will be working closely with residents over the coming months to make sure they get the services they expect and deserve.