NFA core values and services

NFA core values

Members of the NFA aspire to provide excellent, value for money and customer-led housing services for residents in partnership with their local councils.
 
Members will seek to develop innovation and continuous improvement in providing, managing and maintaining affordable homes in sustainable neighbourhoods.
 
Members will be open and accountable organisations that actively promote equality and social cohesion.
 
Members will remain rooted in their local community and will work in partnership with others to help deliver locally determined priorities.
 
Members will share good practice and help support other members of the NFA.

NFA services

As the National Federation of ALMOs (NFA), we aim:

  • To promote the ALMO option
  • To assist existing and prospective ALMOs to operate effectively
  • To similarly support ALMOs choosing to diversify or adapt in response to changing local or council needs
  • To secure a long-term financial future for ALMOs
  • To persuade central government to take account of the interests of ALMOs and to establish a vibrant independent ALMO sector that will provide decent homes, raise standards across the public rented housing sector, achieve excellence in service provision, promote tenant empowerment and help to deliver broader national and local policy priorities
  • To promote best practice in the sector.

The National Federation of ALMOs is the trade body representing 47 arms length management organisations (ALMOs). The NFA represents the interests of ALMOs at national level. In addition to lobbying and negotiating with central government on behalf of ALMOs, the NFA runs a website, organises events, regional meetings and an annual conference for its members as well as providing advice, training and briefings. Membership is also available to other organisations that share the core values of the NFA and have an ethos of delivering customer-led housing services.

In recent years it has been a time of significant change for the NFA's members, with new ALMOs being created, and existing members diversifying to to provide communities with more focused or additional frontline services or forming new types of organisations in order to deliver better services to residents and their home local authorities. A small number of ALMOs have also been taken back in-house by their parent councils or have become stock transfer or mutual organisations.

Although most ALMOs were set up initially to access decent homes funding, the new generation ALMOs; Welwyn Hatfield Community Housing Trust, East Kent Housing and Shropshire Towns and Rural Housing, were established outside the ALMO funding regime, thus demonstrating the flexibility of the ALMO model in delivering tenant empowerment and locally focused services.

The NFA was established in 2003 when there were less than 20 ALMOs. After a widespread organisational and structural review, the NFA AGM in 2008 agreed a new constitutional framework and, in December 2008, the NFA became a limited company. The work of the NFA is overseen by a Board of ALMOs elected by members across the four regions (Northern, Midlands, South west, London and Southern). Elections take place every two years.

The NFA does not employ staff directly but instead, appoints a managing agent.  In December 2012, after a detailed consultation with its members, the NFA appointed CIH Consultancy and partners HouseMark as the new managing agent from May 2013 for a period of three years, with an option for a further extension of two years.  CIH Consultancy will draw on its wide-ranging experience in the social housing industry to maintain the NFA’s current services as well as growing the organisation in new directions.  HouseMark will provide member organisation services and run the NFA’s website.  CIH Consultancy and HouseMark are supported by The Public Affairs Company (PAC) and Acceleris Marketing Communications Ltd, who are sub-contracted to deliver the parliamentary and communications elements of the service.

As the representative body for the ALMO movement, the NFA has achieved a lot, among its notable successes the organisation has:

  • Established itself as a recognised trade body, campaigning effectively on behalf of ALMOs and their tenants to central government ensuring an influential voice for the sector in the ongoing debate about social housing provision in England
  • Won additional funding rounds and a further £1.6 billion in the spending period to 2015
  • Negotiated the reinstatement of a portion of decent homes funding for Round Six ALMOs, whose funding had been threatened in 2009 and 2010
  • Secured ALMOs’ long-term future, post decent homes as set out in the DCLG Review of Arms Length Housing Management Organisations in 2006 and updated guidance for councils considering the future of their ALMO housing management services in December 2011.
  • Developed alternatives to the Housing Revenue Account (HRA), implemented by government through the introduction of HRA self-financed business plans.
  • Obtained ALMOs the right to apply directly for anti-social behaviour orders
  • Achieved ALMO exemptions from certain Corporation Tax liabilities
  • Won ALMOs access to Social Housing Grant and the Extra Care Housing Fund
  • Developed joint working/partnership arrangements with other key housing agencies, including local authorities and Tenant Management Organisations.
  • Developed a high profile campaign “ Let’s get building” with partners across the local authority and social housing sector to persuade government to lift the limits on council house borrowing and allow ALMOs and councils to invest to build more new affordable homes for their communities.