Annual Report 2021 / 2022

Annual Report 2021/22

Contents

Welcome

Welcome to our Annual Report to Tenants, which tells you what we have achieved over the last 12 months and how we have performed in the key areas that have been set out by the Regulator of Social Housing, called Consumer Standards.

These 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 and Rent Standard - How we spend your rent money and set your rent for the coming year.

We have also included some information on Tenant Satisfaction Measures, which will become part of this report from 2024 and deal with how we are performing and the quality of our services, including how tenants perceive the quality of our services.

This report deals with the 12 months between the beginning of April 2021 and the end of March 2022. This is a key period for us and reflects how we have performed as we have emerged from the Coronavirus Pandemic.

We hope you agree that during what was an extremely difficult period, we have continued to provide essential services and have also begun to move forward with our plans in a number of areas, as you will discover throughout the course of this report.

There is still much more work to be done and we look forward to telling you all about it in future reports. With that in mind, we hope you find our Annual Report informative and that it gives you a greater insight into the work that we do for the benefit of all our tenants.

If you have any further questions about the information that is included in our Annual Report, please don’t hesitate to contact us on 0800 590 542 or email us at customer.services@bassetlaw.gov.uk

Cllr Steve Scotthorne – Cabinet Member for Housing

Alison Craig – Head of Housing

Tenant Involvement and Empowerment Standard

Meaningful engagement with our tenants and residents can help to drive greater involvement and empower them to have a stronger voice on how we deliver our services and how we can improve on what we already do.

We offer a range of options in how tenants and residents can engage with us and what level of involvement they choose to have. This starts with staying in touch with our latest news and developments through social media, digital newsletters and printed newsletter – In Touch; being a valued part of consultations, surveys and forums; right through to being an active member of a review group and tenant panel.

At the time of this report we had:

  • 11,130 Follows on Facebook
  • More than 3,500 subscribers to our Digital Tenant Newsletter
  • Deliver a printed newsletter to more than 6,500 tenants

Over the last 12 months we have:

  • Continued to work with tenants, staff, councillors and TPAS - The tenant engagement experts, to co-create a new Tenant Engagement Strategy that will drive how we grow our engagement, the Council’s Tenant Engagement offer to residents and how we address all of the actions contained within the Government’s Social Housing White Paper.
  • Begun a review of services through our Service Review Groups and Housing Liaison Group to identify areas for improvement, including working with a neighbouring authority to ‘Mystery Shop’ our Complaints Process.
  • Worked closely with tenant group ‘Voices of Bassetlaw’ to help them become established, recruit new members and support their activities.

Over the next 12 months we will:

  • In partnership with our tenants, carry out a review of our Repairs Service.
  • Introduce a new Complaint Monitoring Panel which will look at all aspects of how we handle complaints including; the reasons for complaints and dissatisfaction with our services, and how we can identify improvements as a result of complaints.
  • Agree and start to implement the actions in our new Tenant Engagement Strategy.
  • Undertake a satisfaction survey of tenants across a range of our services and identify areas for improvement.

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.

Over the last 12 months we have:

 Demand for Housing

  • There are more than 3,900 active applicants on our waiting list; and this year we let 382 properties.

Allocations

  • Reviewed historic applications of residents who are on our waiting list to better understand the demand for housing within Bassetlaw.
  • Produced a draft Allocations Policy and will start consultation soon.

Supporting Tenants

  • Our officers have supported 104 new tenants and carried out in excess of 3,500 actions that support our most vulnerable tenants to remain in their homes, enjoy better health outcomes and improve their overall standard of living. This includes intensive support to help them maintain their tenancies, provide access to benefits and other financial support and address hoarding.

Adaptations

To improve the lives of our tenants and to enable them to live in their homes safely and independently, we have completed:

  • 73 Fast-Track adaptations, which include measures such as grab rails to prevent falls
  • 194 Minor Referrals such as half steps, handrails and drop down rails;
  • 130 Major Adaptations such as level access showers, ramps and stair lifts.

Over the next 12 months we will:

  • Start to upgrade the Lifeline Service equipment in customers’ homes to a digital system before the analogue lines are disconnected in 2025.
  • Consult with tenants and residents on changes to our Supported Housing Service.
  • Introduce a 24/7 – 365 day a year telephone and web-based Tenant Support and Wellbeing Service, which will provide counselling and advice on issues such as health and wellbeing, legal, financial, childcare and consumer affairs.
  • Upgrade our Choice Based Lettings IT system to improve the way in which applicants can apply for re-housing online, submit supporting information and bid for homes.

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.

Over the last 12 months we have:

Maintaining Your Home

  • We own and manage 6,636 properties.
  • Last year we carried out a total of 14,598 repairs.
  • 84% of all repairs were completed within our timescales.
  • To ensure that homes are safely managed we carry out safety and compliance checks on a rolling schedule in six key areas. These are; Gas, Electric, Water Safety, Asbestos, Fire and Lifts and Hoists. We also review 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 £5 million in your homes. This work included:

  • Replacing 117 roofs
  • Installing 81 new bathrooms
  • Replacing 160 kitchens
  • Installing new windows or doors in 108 properties
  • Since 2019, we have also carried out a Stock Condition Survey in almost 5,000 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 £21.375 million of improvements to our existing housing stock.
  • Continue the major refurbishment all of our Independent Living Centres, including the project at Larwood House, Worksop and starting a second project at Westmoreland House in Harworth and Bircotes.
  • Start to build 120 new Council-owned homes at Radford Street, Manton.
  • The Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund will allow us to improve the energy efficiency of 25 homes in Tuxford. This includes: installing loft insulation, external wall insulation, damp works, new windows and doors and air source heat pumps.

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 improving roads, footpaths, parking, fences and garages.

Over the last 12 months we have:

  • Consulted with tenants and residents living in the Carlton Wimpey Estate on major plans to regenerate areas of their community, with a view to providing additional housing, creating new public spaces and tackling anti-social behaviour.
  • We take antisocial behaviour extremely seriously and, working in partnership with the Community Safety Team, we have reviewed how we manage cases of ASB and how evidence gathered by tenants can be cross-referenced with information from other sources, including CCTV and other eye witness reports, to manage and take action against low-level and high-level ASB.
  • Re-introduced Healthy Neighbourhood Inspections to deal with the issues that matter the most to tenants and residents in their communities.
  • In addition to our Caretakers working hard to remove fly-tipping, litter and graffiti in our communities, we have trialled the introduction of a Clean and Green Team to carry out intensive grounds maintenance work in estates with large communal areas that are owned by multiple people or organisations. This includes; cutting and edging grassed areas, weed treatment and removal, and shrub bed maintenance.

Over the next 12 months we will:

  • Begin a review of our Housing Caretaking Service and how it can work in partnership with our Street Cleaning and Parks Services to regularly inspect and maintain communal areas and open spaces, and make the most of our available resources.
  • Begin our first estate regeneration scheme on the Carlton Wimpey Estate in Carlton-in-Lindrick based on the feedback we received from tenants and residents as part of our recent consultation.
  • Review our Anti-Social Behaviour Policy to ensure that it is fit for purpose.

Value for Money

Every penny that we receive from tenants’ rent is put back into the Housing Service. The Value for Money Standard looks at how we spend the rent we receive from you, plus funding from other areas.

The Housing Service’s budget for 2021/22 was over £27million.

During 2021/22 we collected just over £26 million in rent, which is 99.24% of the rent and arrears due to be paid to Bassetlaw District Council. Our Rent Arrears for this year were £96,203.

To illustrate how we spend your rent money, we have broken down how each pound in rent that you pay is divided up across the Housing Service.

  • 45p – Maintaining your home. This is split into:
    • 18p for Major Works and 27p for Responsive repairs.
  • 18p – Housing and Tenancy Management
  • 7p – Supported Housing and Caretakers
  • 14p – Interest charges on loans
  • 13p – Contribution to reduce all loans
  • 3p – Other costs including IT and bad debts

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 our planned works deliver more value.
  • Introduce a new Repairs IT System which will improve the way tenants can report repairs online, including making an appointment at a time of their choosing.
  • Continue to identify other areas where we can work more efficiently and reduce costs, which will be re-invested back into services to tenants.
  • Continue to review external contracts with a view to bringing work back in house where possible to ensure greater value for money.

Tenant Satisfaction Measures

As part of the Government’s Social Housing White Paper – The Charter for Social Housing Residents, a new set of Tenant Satisfaction Measures (TSM) will be introduced in April 2023.

During December 2021 and March 2022, the Government consulted with tenants and landlords, including Local Authorities, Housing Associations and other Registered Providers of Social Housing on the introduction of TSM.

These satisfaction measures will provide the Regulator of Social Housing with information about our performance and the quality of our services, so that when their report is published, tenants can see clearly how we are performing and hold the Council to account.

The Government has asked us to collect and publish the data on 22 tenant satisfaction measures, covering five main themes. 10 of these will be measured by landlords directly, and 12 by landlords carrying out tenant perception surveys.

We will be required to collect and publish this information every year, some of which we already collect and is contained in this report. As this is due to start in 2023, we will publish our first report on TSM in 2024.

The five main themes we have been asked to report on include:

  • How we keep properties in good repair
  • How we maintain building safety
  • Respectful and helpful engagement
  • Responsible neighbourhood management
  • Effective handling of complaints

Last Updated on Thursday, February 8, 2024