Efficient Housing Maintenance - 17 August 2017

The Council has been working closely with its tenants to ensure a comprehensive approach to buildings maintenance in the borough. In the last year officers have attended resident estate sessions and walkabouts as well as Tenant Services Management Board meetings which are open to the public.

Cllr Terry Beale, Executive Councillor for Housing Services, said: “We have totally changed the way we manage our assets based on tenant feedback and innovative thinking around how to maintain them in a way which suits our residents. We have used this feedback, good and bad, to direct our contractors on the sort of service that we want to see from them for the health and wellbeing of our tenants, from preferred calling times to specification of bathrooms.”

The Council has rolling programmes of work for installing central heating systems, bathrooms and kitchens; replacing doors and windows; painting and decorating; fire safety works and door entry systems.

All of these programmes are currently on target. Some have started and are progressing as expected. Others have been planned to start at a specific time later in the year.

Cllr Beale said: “Our aim when delivering buildings maintenance is a holistic approach. This means that when we survey properties for a new heating system, for example, we will take into account the condition of the rest of the property because insulation, windows and doors all contribute to how warm a resident will feel inside their property. We want to make a real difference to tenants’ quality of life where we can by working to ensure their homes are warm, dry and energy efficient.”

In the door replacement programme last year the Council replaced doors on over 850 properties when it only targeted to replace 500.  A total of 1014 boilers were installed (14 more than programmed) and 93 central heating systems replaced on a reactive basis as a result of boiler failures.

The Council actively working with tenants at some properties which have yet to change to a modern, fuel-efficient heating system by offering upgrades. It also replaces or updates heating systems, kitchen and bathrooms as a matter of course where needed when a property is void and awaiting re-let.

Information on all installations and upgrades is kept on a database maintained by the housing management and asset management teams.