A London council has brought the management of more than 4,000 social homes back in-house after a 16-year Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contract ended.
Islington Council struck a reported £420milllion deal with private sector consortium Partners for Improvement in Islington (Partners) in 2006 through the controversial and much-criticised PFI policy, which allowed private firms to provide public services.
But in 2018 the council indicated it wanted to bring the services back in-house following complaints from tenants and leaseholders, who accused Partners of not carrying out repairs and a lack of accountability. During a consultation in 2020, 91 per cent said they would prefer their homes to be managed by the council.
From just £3 per week
Islington’s deputy leader and housing chief Cllr Diarmaid Ward said he was “absolutely delighted” the homes were back in the council’s hands and promised a “much closer” relationship with tenants and leaseholders.
He told The Big Issue: “I know a lot of residents have been very, very disappointed with Partners over the years in terms of complaints, repairs and customer care. I share an awful lot of those concerns.”
He added: “I would encourage all councils that outsourced during the PFI years to have a look at where they are now and see if they can make bringing them back in house work.”