Report on the performance of STAR Housing to be discussed at Cabinet
Shropshire Council will be reporting on the performance of Shropshire Towns and Rural Housing (STAR Housing), the company responsible for managing around 4,000 homes on behalf of the council, at next week’s Cabinet meeting (Wednesday 22 November 2023).
Created in 2013 as an arms-length management organisation, its key purpose at the time was to realise the council’s desire to drive improvement and deliver better services for Shropshire residents, as well as to access funding from the Government.
Since then STAR Housing has been overseen by the council and, following a strategic external review of services provided under the council’s Housing Revenue Account in 2022, this arrangement was renewed for another 10 years.
Due to changes in legislation, regulation, emerging housing need, and the needs and expectations of council residents, a review of the oversight and governance arrangements and structures which monitor the work of STAR Housing is currently taking place. The outcome will be a refreshed governance framework which will give the council enhanced oversight of its retained housing stock.
The renewal of the management arrangement means that STAR Housing continues to be responsible for the delivery of operational housing management services. However, the council remains responsible overall for the homes and services to its council housing residents, while also retaining responsibility for its strategic housing function, including where and what homes are available according to need.
As part of this agreement, Shropshire Council regularly monitors the company’s activities, operations and performance to ensure that it delivers excellent services, and it is this that Cabinet is receiving an update on for discussion.
As detailed within the report and accompanying Appendix, there are some areas of performance, notably voids, repairs and complaints management, that are currently outside of target. The Asset Assurance Board, along with the strategic housing team, will continue to closely monitor progress in these areas as STAR Housing works through its current plans to make improvements.
Dean Carroll, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for housing and assets, said:-
“I very much welcome this report, and I am pleased to see that STAR Housing is continuing to deliver good services on our behalf.
“However, where some areas are not performing as well as they should be, it’s important that STAR Housing is held to account, and that their planned improvements are followed through successfully.
“We’re keen to continue work together to ensure that we have the quality homes that our residents want and need.”