How we performed last year

Find out how well we've delivered our services and how you've helped to shape them, as well as our priorities are for the year ahead. We hope you find this information useful.

Having a safe and secure place to call home, is vital to everyone’s wellbeing. Building and providing homes and ensuring they’re safe and maintained to a good standard is only part of what we do. We’re here for you when life brings its challenges and we can offer advice and support.

I’m proud of the service that we’ve provided over the past year, from securing benefits for 2,605 customers, completing 74,865 repairs and investing £52.7m into our homes to maintain them to a good standard so you can enjoy your home environment. More recently we have also been supporting customers with access to foodbanks, money advice and welfare calls during the coronavirus pandemic, where life has been challenging for many.

Whilst we’re pleased about what has been achieved so far, we know there’s more that we can do. Over the past year, we’ve spent more time listening you. We have welcomed over 1,000 new involved customers who have helped to shape the design and delivery of our work in some way, helping to evolve how we deliver our services to reflect what’s really important to you moving forward. Find out how you can get involved here.

Below, we share how we’ve performed over the past year in more detail. You’ll be able to find out how well we delivered our services to you, how you have helped to shape our services and what our priorities are for the year ahead. We hope you find this information useful.

Jonathan Cowie, Chief Operating Officer

I’m proud of the service that we’ve provided over the past year, from securing benefits for 2,605 customers, completing 74,865 repairs and investing £52.7m into our homes, but we know there’s more that we can do. Over the past year, we’ve spent more time listening you.

How we performed last year

 

You can find more detail about how we performed here:

Your safety and security are our top priorities and we work hard to make your home as safe as possible. We also want you to enjoy living in your home, so we do our best to make sure it’s well maintained to a good standard.

 

  • Fire safety remains a top priority

We’ve been following government advice and guidance since the Grenfell Tower fire and have taken action to ensure our homes are at the highest level of safety in the event of a fire, completing 1,200 fire risk assessments last year, and over 30 fully intrusive surveys to our taller buildings. We’re also replacing the cladding on 6 of our blocks to ensure the continued safety of our customers.

 

  • 74,865 repairs completed

We know our customers expect a reliable and quick repair service and we’ve been busy completing 74,865 repairs throughout the year. We regularly look at ways we can prevent the need to carry out some of our repairs or reduce the inconvenience of the repair for you, and this includes reviewing our materials and methods to ensure they’re durable and effective. In addition, this year we’ve started to test smart technology that will enable us to remotely monitor key components in our homes and communal areas so we can predict future breakdowns and fix them before they cause inconvenience or risk to you.

 

  • 8.3/10 repairs satisfaction

We’ve introduced a new instant text message feedback service so we can monitor your satisfaction to check we’re meeting expectations and make improvements where needed. We’re pleased our repairs satisfaction is 8.3/10 but we know there’s more we can do and we’re looking at how we can complete more jobs at the first appointment.

 

  • Invested £52.7million into planned and major works on existing homes

We’ve continued to improve, repair and maintain our existing homes, and have invested the equivalent of £1,675 for every home in the last year. This includes the replacement of 601 kitchens, 281 bathrooms, 1,519 heating systems, 1,485 doors and 4,185 windows and 80 roofs.

 

  • 100% properties with gas certificates

Gas safety remains really important to us to ensure your safety and we’ve completed a gas service in 100% of the homes that require one. Thank you for letting us gain access to your home to complete this essential check.

 

  • On average, we’ve completed repairs within our targets

All of the repairs reported to us are given a priority – either emergency, urgent or routine. Each one is assessed based on how serious it is, the potential damage it could cause and your needs.  We’ve reviewed these targets and this year we’re moving to customer-led timings based on your feedback.

- 7.8 hours average time to complete emergency repairs [target 24 hours]

- 7 days average time to compete an urgent repair [target 7 days]

- 27.7 days average time to complete a routine repair [completed at a time convenient to us both]

We strive to give you the best experience of living in your home. This means making it effortless to contact and transact with us.

 

  • Customer satisfaction 77.9%

​We want to provide a great experience for you living in one of our homes. That’s why we’ve continued to embed our internal campaign to keep you and your needs front of mind in everything we do. We’re pleased our customer satisfaction score has increased to 77.9%, bucking the trend nationally. But there’s still more that we can do and areas that we’re focusing on to improve our service to you.

 

  • We’ve resolved 88.4% of your enquires first time

Over the year we’ve received 365,604 enquiries through our Customer Experience team and resolved 88.4% of them first time. Our ambition is for you not to need to contact us in the first place, and we’re looking at frequent queries to see where we can improve our service and communication.

 

  • Introduced new customer contact avenues

We’ve listened to you and have developed new channels for you to get in touch with us - making it easy for you to get what you need, when you need it. In addition to speaking to us via phone, email, and through personal visits, our new website Chatbot provides a quick and easy way to get answers to questions anytime, day or night. 7.4/10 of you say you’re happy with the contact avenues available to you and the ease of getting in touch with us.

 

  • Free digital inclusion scheme

Lots of you are making the most of your online account and managing things like paying your rent or raising a repair yourself, without having to contact us. But we know it can be a struggle for some using online platforms, so we’ve expanded our free digital inclusion scheme to help you get online and feel confident in using and accessing technology and last year supported 182 people.

 

  • 943 customer compliments received

Your feedback is essential to knowing what’s working well and what needs improvement. Our new customer engagement platform allows us to monitor feedback live enabling us to hear of the great work our staff are doing. In 2019/20 we’re delighted to have received 943 staff compliments about staff and the service provided.

 

  • 95.9% of complaints were resolved at stage one

This tool also helps us to address any issues and complaints quickly and effectively and if any issues are raised as part of our satisfaction surveys, we’ll call you straight away to ensure they’re resolved. Last year, we received 0.05 complaints per home we manage, and we closed 96% of these at the first stage, meaning we were able to resolve customer issues straight away. Many of these were where you’ve expressed dissatisfaction with our services and our aim is that you’ll not need to complain in the first place, so we’re looking at where you’re experiencing a dissatisfaction and working on ways to improve this service. Read our complaints performance PDF (198 kb).

 

  • We’ve investigated 1,441 serious cases of anti-social behaviour

We know that dealing with anti-social behaviour (ASB) is important to you and that poor behaviour can have a big impact on your life. Dealing with serious ASB cases is complex and often takes a lot of time for both our team and you. This year, we’ve investigated 1,441 serious ASB cases.

 

  • We investigated 26 claims of tenancy fraud

Every time one of our properties is misused, a family in genuine need is left without a home. So, we’re take a strong stance against it and last year we investigated 26 claims of tenancy fraud.

 

  • We welcomed 2,888 new customers into their homes and helped 310 customers swap homes too

We let 2,203 properties last year and also helped 685 shared owners and leaseholders move into their new homes. Our average satisfaction score for our lettings service was over 80% and, we’re starting to survey all new customers to find out how we can make improvements to our service. We also supported 310 customers move home through our home swapping service.

We believe in helping you to build brighter futures and a large part of this is providing support if things become difficult.

 

  • We provided 2,209 customers with wellbeing, employment and money and benefit support

  • 265 customers back into work

Supporting you in employment and training means we can help you to build good foundations. We’ve helped 265 customers get back into work and 159 customers enrol in training courses to further their skills.

 

  • Secured £5.9m of unclaimed benefits/income for customers

We’re pleased to have secured £5.9million of unclaimed benefits for our customers and have assisted them in writing off £434,000 worth of debt. Much of our work has also focused on supporting customers with Universal Credit claims.

As a large local provider of homes and services, we want to support and improve the communities where our customers live.

 

  • 79% of our customers feel proud of their neighbourhood

We want you to feel proud of where you live, and we’re pleased that 79% of you are proud of your neighbourhoods.

 

  • We’ve carried out 6,618 estate inspections

Our Neighbourhood officers complete these to improve the safety and appearance of where you live.

 

  • 211 walkabouts by our neighbourhood volunteers

We’ve continued to recruit more Neighbourhood Volunteers who work closely with our Neighbourhood Officers to improve their neighbourhood and build relationships between residents. 52 customers have signed up as volunteers and between them have completed 211 neighbourhood walkabouts to identify opportunities for us to address to support in the area where you live. A huge thank-you to these volunteers who help to maintain the standards in your local community. And if you'd like more information on how to volunteer, you can take a look at our 'get involved' page.

 

  • We launched our community roadshows

We’ve carried out 14 roadshows in a number of our neighbourhoods to enhance our connection with our residents and identify ways to improve the area. From the feedback shared, we’ve made lots of improvements, including installing new bins and picnic benches, arranging deep cleans of communal carpets, starting discussions to change parking restrictions and planting new trees.

Towards the end of the financial year, we were starting to see the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on our customers and in our communities. We took strong and positive steps to ensure that we kept you and our staff safe by following the latest government guidance, delivering essential services and putting additional support into communities.

  • We promised that no customers would lose their home due to financial hardship caused by coronavirus.
  • We carried out welfare calls to vulnerable customers.
  • Provided £125k to local foodbanks.
  • Created a £125k fund for local community groups who are supporting the most vulnerable in our communities – you can find out more on the 'our support during the Coronavirus outbreak' page.
  • Supported local homeless people into emergency accommodation.
  • Donated 400 tablets to socially isolated vulnerable customers and also to support customers home-schooling their children.
  • Provided money and benefit and employment advice to customers who were worried about their job or were financially affected by coronavirus.

We’ve created opportunities for you to get involved and help shape the design and delivery of our work. This resulted in over 1,000 new customers offering to support us, which we value greatly, and we’ve used this help in the following ways:

  • We’ve recruited new members to our customer community group, VIVID Impact. This group has been crucial in helping shape our service and communication to customers. Over 2019/20 they’ve completed 2 scrutiny reviews providing 30 recommendations leading to the creation of our new customer engagement strategy.
  • Setup a new Customer Service Committee bringing customers, staff and board members together to oversee the effectiveness of our housing and customer services. In their first year, it’s already helped to shape our services and played a key part in reviewing our customer engagement and customer service strategy to ensure we’re prioritising the service that matter most to you.
  • Involved customers in our kitchen refurbishment process to ensure our homes are well equipped and designed for the future in the way our residents want.
  • We now have over 52 Neighbourhood Volunteers who in 2020 will help to ensure we maintain standards in our communities locally.
  • During the coronavirus pandemic we had to postpone a number of our involvement opportunities due to the restrictions put in place, but we still provided opportunities for you to get involved and work with us to share your views and shape our approach through a newly formed Customer Coronavirus Guidance Group. Some of the themes this group of customers reviewed via a webinar include communications, repairs and approach to coming out of lockdown.

Our priorities for the year ahead

  • Returning our services to normal after coronavirus. Following the UK-wide lock-down, we’ve moved quickly to restore services as fast and safely as we can. This includes addressing any outstanding repairs and we are aiming to have caught up by the end of the year.
  • Proactive communication. In your feedback, you’ve said that you’d like us to communicate better. During the pandemic we’ve been contacting customers more through email, text, online and via the phone. We want to continue this to ensure you stay informed of progress and of services available to support you.
  • Ease of access to services. We’ll be making some improvements to make it easier to contact us using the ways you’ve told us you prefer, including a new telephone system and through new methods such as messenger and online.
  • Improving our repairs service. We know when you have a repair it can affect how you enjoy your home. We’re planning to move to a more customer led approach to repairs, which will prioritise what is important and convenient for you.
  • Complaints. Whilst 96% of all complaints are dealt with quickly, we want to improve our ability to resolve any issues on the first call.

 

If you'd like to get involved in helping to shape our services, you can find more information on our 'get involved' page. Or you can let us know how we're doing by sharing your feedback.

Read our 2019/20 Annual Review and Financial Statement

You can find out more about our performance last year by reading our 2019/20 Annual Review and Financial Statement

Read our review