Tenant and Resident Engagement - Annual report to tenants 2020/21

Annual Report 2020/21

Welcome to our Annual Report to Tenants for 2020/21.

Contents

Introduction

This report will tell you what we have achieved and how we have performed in the five key areas that have been set out by Homes England – the Regulator of Social Housing – called Consumer Standards.

These five Consumer Standards are:

  • Tenant Involvement and Empowerment – How we should communicate with and involve tenants.
  • Tenancy Standard – How we allocate our properties and support our tenants.
  • Home Standard – How we maintain your home.
  • Neighbourhood and community – How we should work with other agencies to manage estates and tackle anti-social behaviour.
  • Value for Money – How we spend your rent money.

The report deals with the 12 months between the beginning of April 2020 and the end of March 2021. During this time we faced unprecedented circumstances due to the Coronavirus Pandemic and, like you, we had to find new ways of working and new ways of supporting our tenants.

Despite this challenging set of circumstances, we continued to ensure that tenants’ homes were safe and comfortable places to live by prioritising urgent and emergency repairs, compliance servicing, and providing additional support for vulnerable households.

Our dedicated workforce also helped to deliver food parcels, medication, testing kits in addition to their normal duties.

As the pandemic and Government restrictions have eased, we have also been able to begin work some of our key projects and we hope you enjoy reading more about these over the following pages.

We also hope you find this report informative and that it gives you a greater insight into the work that we do for the benefit of all our tenants.

Cllr Steve Scotthorne,
Cabinet Member for Housing

Alison Craig,
Head of Housing

 

Tenant Involvement and Empowerment Standard

We communicate and engage with tenants in many ways, not just through the day-to-day running of a Housing Service, but involving tenants in shaping our services, helping to set our priorities and ensuring that we are providing the level of service that you expect.

We communicate with and involve our tenants in the following ways:

  • Directly engage with around 1,400 tenants through our Tenant Forum, Tenants’ and Residents’ Associations, Tenant Voices and BATRA
  • We have 1,023 Facebook Followers
  • 2,131 Digital Tenant Newsletter subscriptions
  • A biannual Tenant Newsletter to all tenants

This year we have:

  • Carried out a review of Tenant Engagement to improve the ways we communicate with and involve tenants.
  • Worked with TRAs and tenant groups to support them through the Coronavirus Pandemic.
  • Provided tenants with access to TPAS – the tenant engagement experts – to empower them to further develop tenant scrutiny and tenant engagement in their own communities.
  • In consultation with tenants, reviewed our Complaints Policy and process to ensure that it met with the Housing Ombudsman Complaint Handling Code.

Over the next 12 months we will:

  • Work with tenants to co-create a new Tenant Engagement Strategy that will continue to improve our services to tenants and address all of the actions contained within the Government’s Social Housing White Paper.
  • Begin a review of services through our Service Review Groups and Housing Liaison Group to identify areas for improvement.
  • Further develop and promote how we engage with tenants digitally.

Tenancy Standard

This standard looks at how we allocate our properties and support our tenants. As well as week-to-week turn-around of properties, it includes our Supported Housing Service and our work to help some of our more vulnerable tenants to sustain their tenancies.

Demand for Housing

  • There are more than 3,200 active applicants currently on our waiting list; and this year we let 113 properties.
  • By working with partners, we have prevented 46 households from being made homeless and have housed 32 people who were homeless.

Supported Housing

  • Our Lifeline Service received more than 91,000 calls during 2020/21. This is an increase of around 1,000 more calls than in 2019/20.
  • We answered 99.74% of all calls in 60 seconds or less.

Tenancy Sustainment

  • Our tenancy sustainment team has provided intensive support to 122 households.

Support for Tenants

  • Throughout the Coronavirus Pandemic our Wardens and Housing Officers have carried out daily ‘Safe and Well’ calls and visits to vulnerable tenants, Lifeline customers and those in need.
  • Working with partners, we delivered more than 1,500 food parcels to tenants and families who were most in need or could not leave their home during lockdown periods.

Over the next 12 months we will:

  • Review our Allocations Policy and Choice Based Lettings system to ensure we are helping those households who have the greatest need.
  • Review historic applications of residents who are on our waiting list to better understand the demand for housing within Bassetlaw.
  • Upgrade the Lifeline Service equipment in customers’ homes to ensure it is fit for purpose and is digitally compliant before the analogue telephone system is disconnected in 2025.

Home Standard

Our Homes Standard includes all the elements of how we maintain your home, from everyday repairs to major improvements and ensuring that your homes are safe and working efficiently.

Maintaining Your Home

  • We own and manage 6,676 properties.
  • Last year we carried out 11,189 Responsive Repairs.
  • 97% of all repairs were completed within our timescales. This reduction in performance was a result of being unable to enter the homes of residents who were self-isolating or shielding and adhering to other restrictions during the Coronavirus Pandemic.
  • To ensure that homes are safely managed we instructed an independent audit of our gas, electric, water safety, lift safety, and asbestos management. In addition to reviewing all our Fire Risk Assessments in communal areas of flats and Independent Living Centres.

Major Home Improvements

  • To ensure that properties continue to meet the Decent Homes Standard we have invested almost £6.5 million in your homes, an increase of around £250k. This work included:
  • Replacing 41 roofs
  • Installing 214 new bathrooms
  • Replacing 228 Kitchens
  • Installing new windows or doors in 300 properties
  • We have also carried out a Stock Condition Survey of 30% of our properties to understand what future improvements are required and to ensure that we continue to meet the Decent Homes Standard.

Over the next 12 months we will:

  • Deliver £11.497 million of improvements to our existing housing stock.
  • Begin an eight-year programme to revamp our Independent Living Centres, starting with Larwood House in Worksop.
  • Start to build 120 new Council-owned homes at Radford Street, Manton.

Neighbourhood and Community Standard

We do our best to make sure that your neighbourhoods, as well as your homes, are a safe and enjoyable place to live.

As part of our work to improve your neighbourhoods, we have committed a total of £11m over the next five years to maintain estates and neighbourhoods with programmes that include roads, footpaths, parking, fences and garages.

Safer and Cleaner Neighbourhoods

We take anti-social behaviour extremely seriously and in partnership with the Council’s Anti-Social Behaviour Team, we have dealt with 94 cases of low-level and high-level ASB.

This action includes:

  • Issuing Community Protection Warnings and Notices, formal warnings and notices to individuals whose behaviour has had an adverse impact on a community they live in or visit. This includes breaches of Covid-19 restrictions.
  • We also tackled more serious ASB offences, which have resulted in properties being closed, the tenant being evicted or their tenancy being surrendered.

Our caretakers also work hard to keep your neighbourhoods clean and tidy and during 2020/21 they cleared:

  • 256 tonnes of fly-tipped waste, garden waste and rubbish.
  • They also removed 14 incidents of graffiti, 11 of which were offensive.

Over the next 12 months we will:

  • Carry out a review of the Council’s housing land, garage sites, and other assets and agree an approach to invest in and improve them, or use them to generate additional funds for the housing service.
  • Begin our first estate regeneration scheme on the Carlton Wimpey Estate in Carlton-in-Lindrick.
  • Continue to tackle anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping and littering in your communities.

 

Value for Money

The Housing Service’s budget for 2020/21 was almost £28m. We strive to offer value for money for our tenants and since the Housing Service was brought back under the control of Bassetlaw District Council, we have;

  • Saved more than £1.76 million, by adapting our staffing structures, retendering contracts, bringing some work back in house and removing budgets that are no longer needed.

During 2020/21 we collected just over £26.1 million in rent, which is 99.28% of the rent and arrears that were due to be paid to Bassetlaw District Council.

Our Rents Team and Money Advisors can provide budgeting advice and agree affordable repayment plans should you fall into arrears with your rent. Thanks to their work:

  • Our current rent arrears are just £186,373, this accounts for 0.72% of money due to be paid in the year.
  • We currently have 1,542 households in receipt of Universal Credit. This is 23.62% of all our tenancies.

Over the next 12 months we will:

  • Undertake a full review of our Repairs and Maintenance Service to ensure that the way our operatives work is more efficient, and how we undertake works on a planned basis to deliver more value for money.
  • Continue to identify other areas where we can work more efficiently and reduce costs, which will be re-invested back into services to tenants, e.g. repairs, new housing, estate improvements.
  • Continue to review external contracts with a view to bringing work back in house where possible to ensure greater value for money.

 

 


Last Updated on Monday, July 26, 2021