LAT are very happy to set the record straight on a story we covered before Christmas.
Back then we reported that London’s Hackney council was thought to be the first local authority to set up what was, in effect, its own letting agency, thanks to its ingenious interpretation of the Localism Act.
However, it now appears Hackney was second off the blocks, not first. The pioneer was in fact Westminster Council in London, which way back in 2002 set up CityWest Homes to manage the authority’s 21,700 homes.
Its website (www.cwh.org.uk) shows how the service attempts to combine private sector letting agency service with public sector needs.
For example, the CityWest Homes board consists of 13 members - four residents (residents can nominate themselves to sit on the board when a vacancy occurs), four Westminster councillors, four independent members and the chief executive of CityWest Homes.
Since launching as an Arms-Length Management Organisation 12 years ago its services have expanded to include a private estate agency and the management of an energy facility providing heating to over 3,250 homes and businesses.
CityWest has won Investors in People and Sunday Times business awards too.