Published on 9th October 2023

Terrace of affordable homes in honey coloured brick and cream coloured render

The proposed changes follow a successful 20 year partnership with Cheltenham Borough Homes (CBH) 

After 20 successful years, it is being recommended that the management of housing services moves back to the responsibility of Cheltenham Borough Council.  

Due to increasing financial pressures and a changing regulatory framework, councillors will be asked to support a decision to close the council’s wholly-owned, arms length management company , Cheltenham Borough Homes (CBH) at the cabinet meeting on 17 October 2023.

The council would like to assure all current CBH tenants, leaseholders and customers that they will not be adversely affected by the changes and, as part of a full consultation process, will be given the opportunity to state their priorities in shaping future housing services.

CBH has established itself within local communities as a well-respected organisation which achieves high levels of satisfaction for its customers. It was originally set up 20 years ago to manage homes on behalf of the council. A key reason at the time, was so that the council could access central government funding to help bring its homes up to the ‘Decent Homes’ standard.

In 2016, government funding for bringing social homes up to this standard came to an end, meaning that any investment in its homes since then is met from council budgets.   

The new Social Housing (Regulation) Act means that the council, along with all other local housing authorities and social housing providers, will be subject to increased scrutiny and regulation. If things go wrong, accountability rests with the council, rather than with CBH as the organisation managing homes on the council’s behalf.   

The move to revert housing management back in-house, means that the council can be closer to tenants and leaseholders, hear their views directly and work together with them to shape future housing services. 

Letters, containing a full bank of questions and answers, are going out to all tenants and leaseholders  by post over the coming days. These can also be found online.

Councillor Rowena Hay, leader at Cheltenham Borough Council said:  ‘’Cheltenham Borough Homes has been at the heart of Cheltenham communities for 20 years. I would like to thank them for all that they have done in that time. With new regulations and challenging financial times, we have to change and evolve as organisations. By bringing services together into the council, we have the opportunity to work directly with tenants and leaseholders to further develop best practise, shape future housing needs and grow communities so they continue to thrive. It’s so important to us that customers continue to influence housing priorities now and into the future. We will consult with them on what the future of our housing services will look like beyond the transitionary period. Ultimately, we are answerable to our customers, so their voice is critical in how we shape the future delivery of our housing services.   

Cllr Hay continued: ‘’The cost of living crisis has also placed significant financial pressures on the provision of services. This crisis has come at a time when we have set out ambitious plans to deliver more affordable homes, and to be carbon net zero by 2030. In order to help meet these aims, and to ensure that we continue to provide even more quality homes and invest in our communities long into the future, we have to change the way we do things.’’ 

During the transitionary period, customers can continue to report issues including repairs, neighbourhood concerns and complaints in exactly the same way as before; that is directly to CBH. 

Over time, customers will benefit from: 

  • A direct link into the council  
  • A more streamlined customer journey – for instance housing, waste, recycling, council tax, benefits, will all be managed through one organisation 
  • A potential for the council to combine teams so that they work more efficiently within neighbourhoods, so that knowledge is shared, duplication is avoided and services are efficient and more resilient. 

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