To receive a report from the Director of Resources and Housing updating members on progress following the recommendations of the Board’s Working Group in September 2018.
The Director of Resources and Housing submitted a report that provided an update on progress following the recommendations of the Board’s Working Group in September 2018.
The following were in attendance:
- Jill Wildman, Chief Officer for Housing
- Adam Crampton, Head of Property Management
- Robert Goor, Responsive Repairs Service Manager
The following documents were appended to the report:
- Chartered Institute of Housing – Working Together to Rethink Repairs and Maintenance (Summary)
- Scrutiny Working Group – Environment, Housing and Communities Housing Repairs meeting notes 26 September 2018
The Head of Property Management and the Responsive Repairs Service Manager provided a PowerPoint presentation, including the following:
· Progress against Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Housing Responsive Repairs and Voids (RR&V), along with context to performance below target;
· Update regarding the RR&V Delivery Strategy approved by Executive Board in October 2019, incorporating the focus on developing local plans to address local needs, and a complete review of the whole voids and lettings process;
· Contribution to the carbon neutral target – rethinking repairs and driving environmentally friendly tenant behaviour, to also reduce fuel poverty.
Members discussed a number of matters, including:
· Introduction of more online self-service. As part of the ‘Rethinking Repairs’ project officers outlined an ambition to provide service users with an improved online self-service facility to book repairs at their convenience.
· Reuse and recycling of unwanted items. Members requested an update on initiatives to reduce waste by reusing and recycling items left in homes at the end of tenancies, and were advised that the team were working closely with the third sector;
· Appointments kept and customer journey. Members sought clarity regarding a target for improvement against the RR3 Appointments Kept KPI. The Board was informed that although measures were taken to ensure that such targets are met, the primary focus of the new strategy is to improve the whole customer journey, which will include redesign of the internal process in advance of appointments, to ensure that appointments are not only kept, but are also productive;
· Flexibility around reporting repairs and appointment slots. It was suggested that support for reporting repairs be made available at community hubs across the city, particularly to assist residents with English as a second language. Members also noted that broad appointment slots up to a six hour period can have a negative impact on the most deprived communities in the city who are unable to work during this time;
· 30 day target for re-letting void properties. Members commented on the restricted efficiency of a 30 day target for re-letting void properties, and suggested that a shorter target would save Council funds and reduce waiting lists. However, they also noted the opportunity this time provides to deliver energy efficient measures such as improved insulation and low energy light bulbs.
· Tenant contents insurance. In response to a query, Members were advised that the Council offers a contents insurance scheme for tenants, which is recommended at the outset of each tenancy.
· Audit processes. Members were advised that 10% of repairs are made available for audit, and requested that the most recent audit report for RR&V be circulated following the meeting.
RESOLVED – The Scrutiny Board (Environment, Housing and Communities):
a) Noted the contents of the report and appendices, along with Members comments;
b) Requested that details be circulated in relation to audit report for Responsive Repairs and Voids.