One of our main priorities for the next five years is to deliver a first-class repairs service which, alongside our programme of planned improvement works, will continue to ensure your home is comfortable, safe and well-maintained. During 2020/21, we continued to deliver vital repairs and improve homes, ensuring that we kept up our 100% record for building safety management.
Maintaining your repairs services
Inevitably, the events of the past year led to some disruption for our repairs services, and we worked throughout the year to minimise the impact for our customers. When the first lockdown was announced, we had to limit our service to urgent and emergency repairs only. Government guidelines and social distancing also meant that we had to limit jobs that required more than one operative.
We followed the guidance closely throughout the year and reintroduced additional services when we were able to. We also extended our hours of work into evenings and weekends for our operatives to deal with the backlog of repairs following the first national lockdown, to provide a quicker response for residents.
Over the course of the year, we carried out 14,189 repairs and achieved a customer satisfaction level of 85% for our repairs service.
There is always room for improvement and this year we responded to feedback received through our customer satisfaction surveys to make a number of changes to our repairs service. Following complaints that follow-on works had not been booked, we introduced a new system where our operatives call in to book follow-on works whilst still on site. We have prioritised jobs where follow-on works are required, as these are usually the customers who have been waiting the longest – especially during the pandemic.
85% satisfaction with
our repairs service
14,189 repairs completed in 2020/21
73% of repairs fixed first time
£1.98 million spent on responsive repairs
In April 2016 we began a five-year planned improvement programme to carry out works on residents’ homes. With this programme coming to an end in 2021, we have renewed the deal with our contractor, Engie, for a further five years, and we will continue to upgrade homes with new kitchens, bathrooms, roofing, doors, windows and heating systems.
In 2020/21, we achieved 100% customer satisfaction with our improvement programme works. Because of the pandemic, we focused on external works for most of the year – such as fitting new roofs and external wall insulation – rather than works that meant we would need to come into people’s homes for an extended period of time.
100% satisfaction with our improvement programme
Improving our Independent Living properties
We are committed to providing great Independent Living homes for older people, especially when it comes to safety. This year, as well as rolling out free Wi-Fi and digital information boards across our schemes, we installed improved CCTV to ensure increased security for our residents and to allow us to tackle any anti-social behaviour more easily.
During 2020/21, our Independent Living services were assessed by Erosh, a national network for older people’s housing, and awarded a three-star ‘Outstanding Provider’ rating – which is the highest rating available. Erosh recognised our team’s hard work, professionalism and commitment to providing high-quality services for older people.
26 new bathrooms
68 roofs upgraded
26 new kitchens
92 homes fitted with new boilers and/or radiators
52 homes received mobility aids and adaptations
Recognition for our commitment to fire safety
Following the tragedy at Grenfell Tower, the government outlined a number of fire safety recommendations for buildings that are multiple occupancy and over 18 metres high. Following these recommendations, Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue chose our Abbey View and Munden View blocks to be the subject of its first government-mandated fire safety audit.
We have invested over £1.5 million into our high-rise blocks in recent years, going above and beyond the minimum regulations to make sure that our buildings are as resistant as possible to the spread of fire, by installing a brand new sprinkler system and multi-sensor fire alarms. As a result of these works, both Abbey View and Munden View passed the audit and were deemed “not a high risk”.
Making communal spaces go further
We responded to Croxley View residents after they raised concerns about nearby garage sites that were being used as a dumping ground for fly-tippers and attracting anti-social behaviour. We listened to the local community and agreed to demolish the garages in order to provide much-needed parking spaces, replacing a poorly utilised space with a useful shared facility.
We also negotiated a new deal on our energy contracts last year, so that our landlord electrical supplies are now provided by green electricity from renewable sources. We managed to do this without increasing the cost of the energy that is used, helping to lower our carbon emissions without any negative impact on customers.
Our Independent Living services were awarded a three-star ‘Outstanding Provider’ rating
98% customer satisfaction with our Independent Living homes