Looking after your home isn’t just about what’s on the inside – we also look after the neighbourhood so that it is pleasant and safe to live in. Last year, our Estates and Neighbourhoods teams focused on combating anti-social behaviour, supporting vulnerable customers with safeguarding referrals, and improving our grounds maintenance works. 

Keeping you safe

Our residents’ safety always comes first and the coronavirus pandemic meant that this was as important as it has ever been. In 2020/21 we visited more properties to check in with elderly and potentially vulnerable customers. By doing this, we were able to identify people who would benefit from some extra support.

We identified 169 safeguarding cases across the year and referred 138 of these to outside agencies to ensure that customers got the help they needed. Most of these related to people’s mental health or involved self-neglect. We were able to support these customers by referring them to organisations such as Hertfordshire Mind and providing some customers, including those in our temporary living accommodation, with food parcels and care packages supplied by GoKula. 

We also identified an increase in cases of hoarding. To ensure we could meet the needs of our customers more effectively, we introduced a new role within our team – a Community Support Officer – who is helping to tackle hoarding by working closely with those affected.

94% customer satisfaction for the Welcome & Settle' process for new tenants 

69% satisfaction with cleaning services

65% satisfaction with grounds maintenance services

Maintaining your estate

2020/21 was the second year of our contract with Accuro, who do the cleaning and grounds maintenance in and around our blocks. During the year, your feedback helped us to identify concerns with our service and we worked together to make a number of improvements:

  • Accuro strengthened its management team to include two supervisors and a new account manager.
  • Our Estates team now conduct more frequent estate walks with the contractor to identify and resolve issues.
  • We now hold monthly meetings to review all feedback together and ensure that residents’ concerns are dealt with effectively.

Over the winter, our Estates team worked with Accuro to do a large amount of grounds maintenance work to make sure our communal areas were ready for spring. This included using industrial machinery for trees and shrub reduction, as well as hard pruning, landscaping and moss removal. 

We also worked with Three Rivers District Council to encourage more biodiversity in our green spaces by planting wildflower seeds in our raised beds and changing the way we mow around trees to create wildlife corridors. 

Our Mobile Estates Officers have been providing a wonderful service to our communities for a number of years, but our customers haven’t always been aware of them. The team now have their own distinctive eco-friendly vans, so they are a more visible presence in the community and it is much easier for them to clear away items and do even more for your neighbourhood.