Responsive Repairs and Void Maintenance Strategy

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1 Responsive Repairs and Void Maintenance Strategy Renewal: Nov. 2012

2 Contents: Page: 1. THE VISION 3 2. INTRODUCTION 3 3. DEFINITIONS 4 4. DELIVERY OF THE STRATEGY 5 5. TARGETS AND OBJECTIVES 6 6. MONITORING 6 7. SUMMARY 7 8. REFERENCE AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION 7 9. EQUALITY IMPACT ASSESSMENT Appendices 2

3 RESPONSIVE REPAIRS AND VOID MAINTENANCE STRATEGY 1.0 THE VISION To provide quality homes and services involving people in building communities where they choose to live within Shropshire and Herefordshire. The vision will be delivered through the Associations 6 pillars of activity. The most relevant pillars to an excellent service are responsive repairs and void maintenance. To provide excellent service to our customers To continually improve our performance 2.0 INTRODUCTION The effective and efficient maintenance of Shropshire Housing Group s bricks and mortar asset is fundamental to providing an excellent service to our customers. This strategy outlines our approach to our customers most valued service. A quality responsive and void maintenance service contributes to the overall vision for the housing stock namely: Be in good repair Be achieving decent home plus as explained within the Asset Management Strategy Be achieving decent estates Be energy efficient and cost effective in terms of utility bills for our customers Be viable both financially and as a product of choice in the longer term Be a product our customers aspire to live in Shropshire Housing Group owns and manages over 4,400 properties predominantly located within Shropshire, but outlying stock exists in Herefordshire and the bordering county of Worcestershire. Our new homes ambitions are likely to increase this stock to 4,900 by 2012 (reference to the New Homes Strategy). High quality service to our existing customers is paramount, we have no ambition to expand our stock outside this geographical area and over the life of this strategy no intention to rationalise stock numbers or locations. The age of the stock consists of some of the oldest properties in Shropshire with historic timber frame 18 th century construction, however the majority of the stock consists of post war and newly constructed properties. Most of our homes are much sought after, given the social and economic difficulties faced by rural communities. However some remain difficult to let and we will carry out options appraisals on these properties with disposals not being ruled out Across the Group, we re- let around 400 homes and undertake 17,000 repairs annually. 3

4 Shropshire Housing Group complies with all relevant statutory requirements relating to repairs and maintenance including the most recent Landlord and Tenant Act, Housing Act and Defective Premises Act. Shropshire Housing Group is responsible for keeping the structure and exterior of its dwellings, sheltered schemes, communal facilities and leasehold properties in good repair and for maintaining heating, sanitation and service installations. Appropriate annual financial provision is made within the business plan. 3.0 DEFINITIONS Responsive Repair A responsive repair is by its nature a response to a customer request for a repair. Shropshire Housing Group details within the tenancy handbooks issued at the commencement of tenancies the type of work which will be undertaken as a responsive repair and which items are the responsibility of the tenants to maintain and/or repair. We break down responsive repairs into categories, these are: Emergency (out of working hours) Emergency (within working hours) Urgent Non Urgent Batch/Planned Void Maintenance Shropshire Housing Group has published Lettable Standards which details the quality of a property that has become void and will be relet. We will review these standards with tenants at regular intervals. A void property is an empty property from the time the tenancy ends to when a new tenancy begins. Challenging targets have been set to ensure void turn around times are kept to an absolute minimum. Shropshire Housing Group will ensure maintenance to their void period is appropriate to minimise rent loss, but to maximise the advantage to undertake planned maintenance without disrupting the customer. We will advertise our vacancies through Shropshire Homepoint to ensure customers are informed of forthcoming vacancies. 4

5 4.0 DELIVERY OF THE STRATEGY The Managing Director of South Shropshire Housing Association is accountable for delivering the strategy, and for regular reporting to Shropshire Housing Group s Boards of Management. The Head of Property/Asset Management of the registered provider subsidiaries will be responsible for developing and implementing policies and procedures so that we fulfil the objectives of this strategy and regular reports to the subsidiaries Board s of Management. Shropshire Housing Group is committed to the provision of a locally delivered responsive repair and maintenance service, supporting local employment for tradesmen. The Group have a Limited Company known as Total Response, whose primary function is the delivering of maintenance across the Group. Both South Shropshire Housing Association and Meres and Mosses Housing Association have developed service level agreements with Total Response Limited to deliver this service. The agreements will be monitored on a quarterly basis to ensure the service agreement is being delivered Detailed below are 9 statements which explain what the service will feel like: An excellent repair and void maintenance service, which will contribute to the Group s overall aspiration to achieve a 2 star with excellent prospects rating as assessed by the Audit Commission. A service shaped around tenants needs and convenience, including repairs that are done right first time and by appointment. Manage the process of letting empty properties in an effective and efficient manner, minimising rental loss, whilst returning a quality property to meet the Group s lettable standards. Performance at least in accordance with agreed performance standards. Excellent and well managed communication between both Housing Associations and Total Response Limited and any external repair contractors we use to provide the service. Rewarding staff experiences in service delivery Well maintained stock of good quality materials for use in responsive repairs which contributes to an efficient service and is informed by useage. A service which uses Information Technology effectively to enhance performance, efficiency and service to customers. A service that rewards customers for well maintained properties and take sanctions on those who misuse the service. Value for Money Shropshire Housing Group recognises that it needs to provide an excellent, efficient customer focussed, cost effective repairs service. We will do this by: i) Delivering the service via our in-house works team 5

6 ii) Using local tradesmen our customers know and trust iii) Developing a service where cost and quality that can be easily benchmarked with other organisations. iv) From time to time market testing certain repair works v) Carrying out regular and targeted satisfaction surveys and by using this feedback to improve service. vi) Post inspecting a percentage of higher cost works In order to reassure Boards of Management and tenants that our response repairs service is delivering value for money we will engage in internal audits of the service, we will act on the recommendations within the audit reports and will report progress to the appropriate Management Boards and performance committee. We will carry out critical appraisals of the service in consultation with the service user. We will report our benchmarking exercised to our internal value for money group to enable open and transparent scrutiny of the costs of the service. We will report regularly to Boards of management and performance committee on our KPIs Customer Service/Access/Involvement As the most important service our customers receive it is essential that customers drive our continuous improvement in this area. In order to accomplish this we will establish responsive repair champions within our customer base and hold forums to discuss the service. We will review the lettable standards annually at budget setting time, report performance and customer satisfaction to tenants groups within the annual report and at six monthly intervals. Set targets with repair champions and involve residents in quality checks of responsive repairs and void maintenance. Our customers inform us that they contact us mainly via the telephone for responsive repairs (Status Survey 2008). We will continue to monitor and obtain information from our tenants on how we can continuingly improve this area of the service. We will provide frontline staff trained in repairs diagnosis and able to use supportive information technology to receive, process and complete responsive repairs and voids maintenance. We will take account of all the diverse needs of our tenants and amend the service to suite these needs. 5.0 TARGETS AND OBJECTIVES We will agree annually, performance targets with our tenants and Performance Committee for this service. Ensuring the service is achieving the ambitions outlined in section 4.0. We will utilise repairs data to inform our stock condition database and to aid the investment decisions to our stock. Overall, in terms of financial investment, we will balance the cash spent on planned maintenance to 70% of the overall responsive, planned and void maintenance budgets. 6

7 Appointments Over time and in consultation with our customers our aim is to develop a Groupwide, consistent approach to an appointment system that suits our customers varying needs. This system will include appointments early evening and Saturday mornings, appointment slots and could provide compensation for missed appointments. 6.0 MONITORING A suite of performance measures will be developed. The key objectives and target performance measures are detailed above. The Boards of Management will monitor the progress towards these targets and objectives annually. The operational performance indicators will be reported to Shropshire Housing Group s Performance Management Group on a monthly basis and to tenants groups at appropriate stages. Continuous improvement, efficiency and value for money We will strive for continuous improvement by: Investing in information technology. Listening to our customers and responding by changes to delivery as appropriate. Undertake bench marking and market testing work Engaging in performance management for all involved within the maintenance process 7.0 SUMMARY This strategy enables the Group have a clear vision on how the responsive repair and void maintenance will be delivered in the forthcoming years. 8.0 REFERENCE AND SUPPORTING DOCUMENTATION Shropshire Housing Group manages the responsive and void maintenance through the Universal Housing Management Software. Total Response Limited manages the responsive and void maintenance through Limesoft Software. 7

8 QUALITY IMPACT ASSESSMENT FORM Strategy / policy / procedure / service / function being assessed Responsive repairs and void maintenance strategy Stage 1 Staff conducting assessment Date of assessment Date for next review Reason for assessment Lead officer of policy, process or service Asset Management Team 13 th July 2009 July 2011 New strategy document Managing Director of South Shropshire Housing Association Date for new policy, process or service approval Stage 2 Aims of the service / function / policy under assessment Main stakeholders / beneficiaries The effective and efficient maintenance of Shropshire Housing Group s bricks and mortar asset is fundamental to providing an excellent service to our customers. This strategy outlines our approach to our customers most valued service. MMHA and SSHA Asset management and housing management teams and all our tenants, leaseholders and shared owners 8

9 Stage 3 Collect and evaluate the evidence Key questions positive or negative impact on any racial groups? Describe how and which. positive or negative impact on particular minority ethnic communities? Describe how and which. positive or negative impact on women or men? This includes Transgender people / Trans people. Describe how and which positive or negative impact on women or men in particular communities? This includes Transgender people / Trans people. Describe how and which Positive impact Negative impact No specific impact on any one group Evidence 9

10 positive or negative impact on all people with disabilities? Describe how and which positive or negative impact on people with particular disabilities? Describe how and which Key questions positive or negative impact on people of a particular age? (eg children, young people, older people). Describe how and which positive or negative impact on people with particular sexuality / sexual orientation? Describe how and which positive or negative impact on people with a particular religion or belief? Positive impact Negative impact No specific impact on any one group Evidence 10

11 Describe how and which Outsourced services If delivery of your strategy, policy or service is partly or wholly provided by external organisations / agencies, please list any arrangements you plan, to ensure that they promote equality and diversity. As a strategic document the delivery is included within the policy and procedure documents which will receive a separate Equality Impact Assessment. External contractors deliver the service as well as Total Response Ltd. Relations between different equality groups Does your assessment show that a policy or service may amount to potential adverse impact between different equality groups? If yes, please explain how this issue is going to be tackled No 11

12 Stage 4 Summary of replies from individuals and stakeholders consulted, including any previous complaints on equality and diversity issues about the policy or service No consultation, the strategy is a combination of MMHA promises to tenants and current performance standards at SSHA. Stage 5 Options resulting from this equality impact assessment, including measures necessary to minimise or remove any adverse impact and better promotion of equality and diversity. Consider any alternative solutions Review strategy as part of TASS/TARCA consultation work plan. Stage 6 Adopt policy/service? Change policy/service? Initial submission Stage 7 Arrangements for regular monitoring of the impact of the policy or service Localised monitoring at RSL Management Teams, quarterly monitoring at PMG, regular reports to Board of Management. Stage 8 Any actions & outcomes, including how these are to be communicated both internally & externally as required New strategy to be discussed at Core Brief/team meetings and TASS/TARCA events. 12

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