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Annual Review to Residents 2012


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ANNUAL REVIEW TO RESIDENTS 2012


Contents Foreword from the Chief Executive

4

Our approach

6

We can get better by working with you

8

We can give you a home you’ll feel proud of

12

We can improve your housing choices

16

We can create stronger communities

22

We can lower costs and raise standards

28

We can run a business that’s accountable to you

30


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ANNUAL REVIEW TO RESIDENTS 2012

Foreword from the Chief Executive Welcome to the Annual Review to Residents 2012

Government changes

This year the Board went back to first principles and asked what our purpose really was. This was important for us at a time when the Government is turning social housing on its head. We wanted to be sure that those who govern Family Mosaic keep it true to its original purpose.

One of the biggest challenges we face is the introduction of the Welfare Reform Act which will change the way benefits are calculated and allocated, from April 2013. Plans include a new Universal Credit payment system where all benefits, including Housing Benefit, will be merged into one payment. This will be paid direct to claimants. So, if you receive Housing Benefit you may be responsible for paying your rent to us. The Government is also set to reduce Housing Benefit for those of you living in a property with one or more spare bedrooms. To help you get ready for the changes, we have been providing advice and support via our website, through community meetings and by visiting you at home. If you have concerns you can speak to our Welfare Rights Team.

We decided that our purpose is: To be a strong organisation that helps those in greatest need to be independent. For those who can be truly independent, social housing could be a stepping stone. For those who need long-term help, we will provide a safe and secure environment for them. Thinking about our purpose resulted in us creating a new manifesto: the ‘Health, Wealth and Wellbeing’ of our customers. We have pledged to invest money to give you the support you need to lead an independent lifestyle, whatever that might mean for you.

During the year we also had to consider our response to the Affordable Rent programme, cuts to the Supporting People grant and the introduction of fixed term tenancies. Many of you have contributed your views and ideas and we are grateful for your input.

Our performance At the beginning of the year we parted company with one of our contractors which slowed down our cyclical and major works programmes. Both are now back on track and, although customer satisfaction dipped during this time, we now know that many of you are happy to see work being done. We’ve made significant improvements to our repairs service which means we were very close to meeting our target response times for emergency, urgent and routine repairs (see page 13).


We have also reduced the average cost of a repair to £108 – two years ago the average cost was £151. Finally, through a range of initiatives led by our Income Collection Team, we managed to reduce rent arrears to 4.6% of our total rental income. This is a good result for us; we rely on your rent to continue investing in homes and communities. As always, I welcome your views. If you would like to comment on this Review or our activities over the last year, then please get in touch. I would like to thank all of you for your continued support.

awards won this year „„ London TPAS award for the Family Mosaic Youth Academy ‘Best Practice in Youth Involvement’ „„ National TPAS award for the Family Mosaic Youth Academy „„ Housing Heroes Award ‘Care and Support Team of the Year’ „„ London Mayor’s award in recognition of our volunteering programme

Chief Executive Brendan Sarsfield


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ANNUAL REVIEW TO RESIDENTS 2012

Our approach We’re one of the largest housing providers in London and the South East. We provide affordable homes to rent and buy as well as services to people who need extra support. We have around 23,000 homes for rent and serve more than 49,000 people. We provide a wide range of opportunities for customers such as training, employment and access to learning. We also work with them to make their neighbourhoods better places to live. We are an ambitious organisation and our vision is to provide quality homes and thriving communities.

Our mission is about „„ Five star services: we aim to exceed Government standards. „„ Big, but local: we use our size to deliver high quality services at a local level. „„ We can: we’re ambitious in everything we do for our customers, our stakeholders and our staff. „„ More homes, stronger communities: we grow by building more homes every year, by expanding our supported housing services and by adding value to local communities.


About this Review In 2010 the Government introduced a new regulatory framework for all registered housing providers to follow. It includes seven core standards. This Review tells you how we’re performing across each of the standards:

Customer standards

„„ Tenant involvement and empowerment „„ Home „„ Tenancy „„ Rent (introduced from April 2012) „„ Neighbourhood and community

Economic standards

„„ Value for money

„„ Governance and financial viability You can read about our performance in important areas such as repairs, complaints, dealing with anti-social behaviour and collecting rent, and it will also be available on our website. It also highlights the efforts we’ve made to strengthen communities and involve more of you in how we provide our services. As part of the new framework we have also developed local standards with you. Local standards are a new way of tailoring services based on what you want.

We launched these standards in April 2011 and they now form part of our day to day work. Where local issues are raised either through estate inspections, My Place assessments or consultation with you, a new local standard will be put in place. You can find out how we’re meeting local standards in this Review – look for the pink boxes titled, Local standards – how are we doing? We also provide performance information on our website and in the Connections newsletter.


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ANNUAL REVIEW TO RESIDENTS 2012

We can get better by working with you Tenant involvement and empowerment standard We’re always looking for ways to involve you more. Over the last few years we’ve introduced a range of new initiatives where your involvement is bringing improvements to services. Every year many of you get involved with us – you take part in panels, forums, conferences, workshops, surveys and a range of community activities. We always need more of you to join us. This year we spent an average of £48 per property on customer involvement and community development, helping to meet a wide range of local needs. We think this is good value for money because your involvement brings changes that enhance our services and the quality of life for many customers. We also give you the opportunity to tell us what you think through regular surveys. This year we invited you to take part in an online debate about the future of social housing. This brought comments from 380 of you and we made a film about it which you can download from our website. Some of you also help us to choose new contractors and many of you have also participated in postrepairs inspections. This year you’ve been involved in selection panels for the repairs contract and the cleaning and gardening contracts.

Panel Plus Panel Plus is our strategic customer group. Comprising of 12 resident volunteers, it plays an important role across the organisation by overseeing changes to policies and procedures, Ian Jones, identifying when Panel Plus chair services aren’t operating well and influencing strategic decisions. Panel members also sit on regional forums and the Board. These links help to make sure your concerns and ideas are listened to at the highest possible level. This year the Panel has: „„ developed ways to tell you about the forthcoming welfare changes „„ discussed this year’s rent increases „„ reviewed the housing transfer policy „„ held discussions about affordable rent and fixed term tenancies.


Tenant Scrutiny Panel The new Tenant Scrutiny Panel, which has been set up to help us raise standards across the organisation, has carried out a number of ‘test’ inspections looking at repairs, access to services and how we deal with anti-social behaviour. This has not only given members an insight into how we operate, it has also helped to formulate a process for all future inspections. The Panel is set to carry out a programme of ‘live’ and ‘full’ inspections across all of our services. Once these inspections are underway, the Panel will tell you about its findings through the Connections newsletter and our website.

Accessing our services We provide a range of ways for you to access our services. Our Customer Care Line is open during office hours for general enquiries and to take rent payments. During the year we handled around 107,105 calls – over 17,867 more than last year (last year it was 89,238), and we replied to almost 9,000 letters and emails. Improvements this year included giving you a summary of the conversation at the end of a call and stating more clearly when and why you’re being passed to another department.

did you know? We received over 107,000 calls last year As a result, we improved our ranking in the Top 50 Call Centres, coming 12th overall for emails and 18th for calls. The Care Line service was also shortlisted for an award in the London and South East Contact Centre Awards 2012 for Best Small Contact Centre. We now have 23 Contact Centre staff taking your calls. More of you are using our website to get information and use our services. This year an average of 203,000 hits were made to the tenant zone and 566 of you have signed up for online rent statements via our website.

After consultation with you, our website is in the process of being redesigned and we’ll keep you up to date with improvements via Connections. We provide homes to a diverse range of people - from different cultures, religions, family backgrounds and with a range of different abilities and beliefs. So we need to make sure that our services are flexible enough to meet a broad range of needs. This year we set up an Equality and Diversity Forum comprising of 10 staff and we are going to start recruiting customers to the Forum before the end of the year. Its role is to revise our existing strategy and develop a three-year action plan that will see equality and diversity firmly embedded in every part of the organisation. Alongside this, we have also been working with the National Centre for Diversity towards achieving their ‘Investors in Diversity’ accreditation, a clear demonstration that we are committed to understanding the different needs of the people we work with – whether they are customers, employees, suppliers or Board members.

Satisfaction and complaints

An average of 81% of you were satisfied with our service overall. We received 1,082 formal complaints An averageduring of 81.8% the of year you- that’s were satisfied a complaint from withjust ourover service 2% overall. of you. Around We received 46% of 1,082 complaints formal complaints were about during the repairs the yearservice, - that’s a although complaint this from is down just over from2% 63% of last you.year Around so 46% while of complaints there is still were much about to do, the it repairs showsservice, the service although is improving. this is down from 63% last year so while there1,082 is stillformal much complaints to do, it shows the service We received during Estate management complaints have tripled is improving. the that’s a complaint justToover thisyear year-and represent 9% offrom cases. provide 2% of you. Around 46% of complaints were you Over with theayear better estate service management we have revised complaints our have about the repairs service, although this service tripled charge but only policy represent so some 9%ofofyou cases. will To beprovide is down from 63% last yearbenefit so have while there our paying you with more. a better But this service will we everyone revised is still to it shows the service is be paying and service willmuch help charge usdo, to policy give so you some a good of you estate will improving. management more. But this service will benefit that standards everyonevalue and will for help money. us to give you a good estate management service that provides value for money.


10 We don’t always get things right but we do try to learn from your complaints. By listening to you, we’ve made a number of changes this year, including: „„ putting in place temporary Neighbourhood Managers to cover staff who are on holiday „„ adding information about any parking restrictions to sign up packs and sales brochures so you’re clear about parking before you move in „„ giving you clear information about work that needs to be done to a property when you agree to a mutual exchange „„ at sign up, being clear with you about what our policy is on paying rent in advance including those on Housing Benefit „„ carrying out surveys on all our properties so we can provide a more efficient repairs and cyclical improvement service „„ carrying out spot checks to make sure estates are cleaned properly „„ improving the language in our letters so that we’re always friendly and helpful. Less than 16% of your complaints reached stage 2 and only 4% of all complaints reached stage 3. Less than 1% were adjudicated by the Housing Ombudsman. An explanation of our procedure is available on our website.

ANNUAL REVIEW TO RESIDENTS 2012

GETTING INVOLVED BENEFITS COMMUNITIES SAYS YVONNE Since Brixton resident Yvonne Rhooms got involved with Family Mosaic, she’s been able to bring some positive changes to her local community. Now into her second year as Chair of the South Regional Forum – a customer body that represents tenants across the area, Yvonne works with fellow Forum members and Family Mosaic staff to resolve problems in communities. “We look at a range of issues including rubbish collection, neighbour disputes and how we can use funding to enhance the lives of local residents,” she says. According to Yvonne, it’s a responsible role and, while she volunteers her time for free, she says it’s something she enjoys. “I like to know what’s going on in my community and in other neighbourhoods across the area. I’ve made new friends through my involvement with the Forum and other community activities. It’s good to have a voice, be involved and understand what the issues are.” Just recently Yvonne has worked with other residents to set up a Greening Communities project in her neighbourhood. She explains: “With the help of Family Mosaic we were able to get funding to turn an empty green space into a working plot of land. We now grow vegetables and fruit there. Local people have been very enthusiastic about the project – bringing their own ideas and coming together to make it a success. Even people who perhaps once felt isolated have got involved with the project.” Yvonne’s next challenge is to get the local community centre open again. “We need a place that provides activities for children so they can learn and have fun in a safe environment.“ And, with support from the Association’s Pathways2Work programme, Yvonne was able to complete a Teaching Assistance Level 2 course. “This extra qualification has helped me to get a new job as an Art Teaching Assistant at a school for children with special needs. I have to say that my experience of being involved with Family Mosaic and finding out what the Association can do to help me and the community I live in has been a very positive one,” she concludes.


did you know? 81.8% of you were satisfied with our service overall

LOCAL STANDARDS – HOW ARE WE DOING? These are the local standards that we have agreed with you: 1. Customers will have access via a range of means to what our standards are and how we are performing against them Service standards for each service area are published on our website. You can also pick up leaflets from our offices, order over the phone or download them from our website. 2. We will learn lessons from complaints which reduce complaints of a similar nature in future Our Customer Relations Management Team collects information about complaints and ‘lessons learnt’. This is sent to staff and put into practice. Some of the bigger lessons learnt are published in the Connections newsletter every three months. 3. We will provide a choice of ways for customers to get involved with us There many ways for you to get involved. For example, you can join local forums, customer panels, answer surveys, become a resident inspector or join our mystery shopping programme. The Tenant Scrutiny Panel carries out inspections and recommends service improvements. 4. Where customers get involved it will provide good value for money A number of community based projects decided by you will add value locally. 5. We will have a range of ways for customers to contact us You can contact us by telephone, email us direct or via our website and we remind you about this in each edition of Connections. We monitor the effectiveness of our contact services by getting your views at forums and through surveys.


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ANNUAL REVIEW TO RESIDENTS 2012

We can give you a home you’ll feel proud of Home standard

Repairs and maintenance

We know it’s important for you to have a home that’s safe and well maintained. Each year we invest millions into improving homes and we focus on providing an effective and reliable repairs service.

Our repairs and maintenance team works hard to keep homes and neighbourhoods looking good. This year, through both planned and routine work such as painting the outside of homes and improving lighting, we invested a total of £20.7 million across London and Essex.

This year we spent £15.8 million improving 2,417 occupied and empty homes by fitting new kitchens, bathrooms and heating systems. We’ve also spent £314,806 fitting aids and adaptations such as chair lifts to give people with mobility problems more independence in their home. This year it took us an average of 16 days to complete this type of work – beating our target of 28 days. We’ve also introduced a fast-track service for adaptations that cost less than £1,000. This means that minor work, such as fitting a hand rail or a lever tap, can be done straight away. Our partnering contracts with Morrison and Enterprise ended during 2011 which meant our improvement programme slowed down during the year. Now, with new contractors in place – Mullaley, TSG, STV, and Breyer Group, we have begun to plan work that will bring improvements to some 1,300 homes. And we have a substantial programme of upgrades to your homes planned during the coming year including kitchens, bathrooms, electrical works, roofs, boilers and windows.

did you know? Repairs completed on time jumped from 94.6% last year to 98.8% this year During the year we carried out 51,960 repairs reported by you. We’ve made significant improvements to our performance for emergency, urgent and routine, communal and out-of-hours repairs. This is because we have new contractors in place and we’ve also introduced a new texting service to help us ‘get it right first time’. By giving us your mobile phone number we’re able to text you the day before to give you an approximate time for visiting, followed by a text when we’re on our way and then a final text to confirm that work is complete.


Percentage of repairs completed within target

did you know?

Type

2010/11 2011/12

% Difference

Emergency Repairs

96%

99.4%

3.4% increase

Urgent Repairs

91%

99.3%

8.3% increase

Routine Repairs

96%

99.0%

3% increase

Communal Repairs

93%

98.9%

5.9% increase

Out of Hours

97%

97.8%

0.8% increase

Average cost per repair

£118

£108

£10 decrease

Your involvement is continuing to raise our standards. Both the Repairs Forum and the Residents Inspectors are helping us provide a high-quality repairs service that gives good value for money. This year the average cost of a repair dropped to £108 – a saving of £10 per repair on last year A new Handyman Service, which we’re testing in Lewisham, Lambeth and Southwark, is set to speed up the completion of minor repairs. We’ll be providing longer appointments as well as an ‘MOT’ inspection of your home to see if we can do other minor work at the same time. We’ll also be carrying out small but important tasks for those of you who are older and more vulnerable – such as changing light bulbs and fitting curtain rails. If you receive this service from us, please let us know what you think when we contact you afterwards. If it works well and you’re happy with it we might expand it into other areas. Each year we carry out gas safety checks to make sure any gas appliances in your home are working properly and are safe to use. This year we achieved gas safety certificates for 99.7% of our homes. We need to get this up to 100% and we’ll be working with you to achieve this next year.

Each repair cost an average of £108 – £10 less than last year

Building new homes This year, despite ongoing cuts to housing grant, we built 1,111 new homes – 839 for rent and 272 for shared ownership, across several London boroughs. This cost us £157 million, with £76 million coming from Government grant.

did you know? We’ve built 1,111 new homes for affordable rent and shared ownership This investment not only brings urgently needed homes to communities, it also brings more money into the organisation through rental income and profit on house sales. This allows us to build more homes and deliver better services to you. Finally, as part of our drive to provide employment opportunities to you, we are working with our contractors to find more apprenticeship posts. We aim to place at least 50 of you into an apprenticeship programme with our contractors and also by directly employing you ourselves.


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ANNUAL REVIEW TO RESIDENTS 2012

How we compare to other social housing providers (April 2011 to March 2012) What we are measuring

Our score

Our rank

Where this puts us

Average time it takes to let an empty general needs property

27 days

6th place out of 6 housing providers

In the bottom quartile (poor performance)

Percentage of emergency repairs completed within target time

98.64%

5th place out of 6 housing providers

In the bottom quartile (poor performance)

Percentage of urgent repairs completed within target time

99.07%

1st place out of 6 housing providers

In the top quartile (very good performance)

Percentage of routine repairs completed within target time

99%

1st place out of 6 housing providers

In the top quartile (very good performance)

Percentage of all reactive repairs completed within target time

98.96%

1st place out of 5 housing providers

In the top quartile (very good performance)

Data provided by HouseMark, an Independent body that provides benchmarking information for social housing providers. The above table focuses on organisations in the G15, which is the group made up of the largest social landlords in London.

MAUREEN GETS THE HOME SHE ALWAYS WANTED Sixty-nineyear-old Maureen O’Callaghan couldn’t believe her luck when she was told she would be moving into a brand new flat in Edgware. “When I was told I could leave my old place and move into a newly-built apartment block, I almost jumped for joy,” she said. And Maureen didn’t have to move far – just across the road in fact. “I didn’t have to leave my neighbours or the area that I know so well,” she said.

As part of Edgware’s ongoing regeneration, Barnet Council has moved a number of its tenants into new homes being managed by Family Mosaic. Originally from Ireland, Maureen came to live in London with her friend, Rita Bowden, in 1974. Still firm friends they’ve continued to live together, and both of them are enjoying their new home. Maureen added: “We’re on the second floor so we’ve got a great view to look out on from the living room. We’ve got a balcony too, with a table and chairs and some planters. And a new kitchen and bathroom is a real bonus. It’s all so much better than the old place. “Family Mosaic staff have been marvellous – making sure that we’re settled in OK. I feel very lucky to get a place like this at my time of life.”


LOCAL STANDARDS – HOW ARE WE DOING? These are the local standards that we have agreed with you: 1. We will deliver a ‘right first time’ repairs service on 80% of routine repairs We’re now monitoring the number of right first time repairs each month using a sample of 240 completed repairs against target. 2. Communal areas within blocks and schemes will be clean and well maintained Estates inspection results are reported monthly and all cleaning and estate maintenance issues are reviewed by our maintenance teams. 3. We will deliver a repairs service that’s tailored to individual customer needs To help us achieve this, we have introduced a new Handyman Service - first in Lewisham, Lambeth and Southwark. We’ll be monitoring its success and asking you what you think. If you find it useful, we’ll look to roll it out in other areas. 4. Contractors will demonstrate accountability for the quality of their repairs Monthly surveys are tied to the contractor bonus structure based on your satisfaction with the repairs service, including the quality of the work. This is based on a monthly sample of 240 of you. 5. Our repairs service will demonstrate value for money when compared to others Contractors will be expected to pay a penalty fee where the service isn’t up to standard as well as compensation for missed appointments.


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ANNUAL REVIEW TO RESIDENTS 2012

We can improve your housing choices Tenancy and Rent standard We provide support and advice to help you maintain your tenancy, pay your rent on time or move to another home if yours is no longer suitable.

did you know? 23,245 homes are owned and managed by us By the end of March 2010 we owned and managed 23,245 homes across 27 London boroughs and in Essex. This year we let 2,517 properties and sold 163 homes for shared ownership. On average it took us 27 days to let a property after a tenant had left. And 90% of you were happy with the condition of the property when you moved in.

did you know? It took 27 days to let an empty property During the year we spent time planning the introduction of fixed term tenancies. This type of tenancy allows you to rent a home for a fixed amount of time, rather than being an assured ‘lifetime’ tenancy. Tenancies will be set for six years and open to renewal at the end of this term.

This only applies to residents who joined us from April 2012. This change will enable us to use our homes more effectively to meet housing need. We also see it as an opportunity to work with customers to explore their employment and training options, and whether home ownership might be a possibility for them in the future. In addition, as a result of what you’ve asked for, we have introduced a Good Neighbour Agreement which all new customers have to sign up to. It gives guidance on noise nuisance and other behaviour that might affect the peace and safety of neighbours and the wider community.

Transfers This year we arranged transfers for 52 households who needed either a larger or smaller home. Over the coming year we will be focusing on supporting people living in homes that are considered too large for them. As part of the Government’s welfare reforms (you can read more about this on page 19), there will be a new size criteria for Housing Benefit claims. If you receive this benefit and live in a home with spare bedrooms your benefit could drop by an average of £16 a week for one spare bedroom and more if you have two or more spare bedrooms. These changes are likely to be introduced from April 2013.

did you know? 52 households transferred to a more suitable home


We have recruited a Re-housing Options Team Leader as well as a temporary Transfer Officer to join our Housing Options Team. We will be providing personalised advice to those of you looking to downsize as a result of the changes, and we will continue to provide financial help so that it’s easier for you to make the move. This work may free up larger family homes to help tackle overcrowding. We have around 2,000 of you on our transfer waiting list. In the coming year we will be reviewing each case individually to check there is still an urgent need for transfer. This process will allow us to concentrate on those of you in greatest need. Other initiatives include the Homeswapper scheme which, this year, saw us arrange 86 swaps, our Next Generation Scheme which re-housed six young adults this year, and the Housingmoves mobility scheme which allows you to move to a different part of London.

Our properties

Your rent is our main source of income. To continue to provide high-quality services, improve homes and invest in communities we have to be able to collect the rent on time.

did you know? Rent arrears down to 4.6% of rental income By the end of March 2012 rent arrears stood at 4.6% of our rental income – a drop of 0.5% on last year which is good news. Two years ago we set ourselves a target to reduce rent arrears to 5% and we’re delighted to have beaten this target. We are contacting late payers sooner, visiting them at home and giving advice on benefits and debt management. We regularly review and compare our charges with other housing providers. Each year we send you a letter telling you about rent changes. We also provide this information in the Connections newsletter and on the website.

Care (93)

Shared ownership (2,995)

General needs (17,252)

Supported housing (2,833)

Non residential (268)

Temporary housing (112)

Other (14)

Rent


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ANNUAL REVIEW TO RESIDENTS 2012

Where your rent goes

Average weekly rent

£110.36

£95.40

Development of new homes and other services (£17) Financing (£29)

General needs

Supported housing

Management costs (£16) Repairs and maintenance (£36)

Care and support It’s been a challenging year for our care and support team with public spending cuts starting to hit. We have had to work hard to manage cuts to funding without it affecting the quality of our service. During the year we took over In Touch care and support from Hyde Housing. This means we now provide care and support services to more than 8,000 of you, delivered by a staff team of 1,800. In touch brought with them a particular expertise in aids and home adaptations that help people live more independently in their home. We’re looking forward to using this expertise to enhance the quality of life for older people and those with disabilities and to deliver training.


We have continued to roll out our personalisation projects, which give you more choice and control over the service you receive. This has been welcomed by many of you - more than 100 customers now ‘purchase’ their service through individual service funds and personal budgets.

In Hackney, we secured three large contracts to provide services for people with mental health issues. This has also resulted in the opening of a new resource centre in Homerton, which forms part of the Hackney Mental Health services contract we have recently won. We provide the centre to the local community who may want to use the space available to run meetings, community groups, deliver training, and more. In Essex, we have been contracted for another five years to provide floating support services in South and West Essex, Southend and Havering. Customers were involved in the selection process which shows just how important the service is. We now have a staff team of over 100 support workers who provide this important service to people living in supported housing as well as their own home.

Welfare advice Our young people services have thrived with this approach with many young people taking more control over their lives, which is how it should be. During the year the team of staff who manage our Bramble Court young person’s scheme in Essex won the care and support category in this year’s Housing Heroes awards, run by Inside Housing magazine. The judges said they were impressed with the amount of people we’ve helped into education and work.

Our Welfare Rights Service helps you to claim benefits and provides advice if you’re struggling to pay your rent. This year our dedicated Welfare Rights Officers worked with 294 of you, generating a total of £269,439 more income – that’s an average of £83.78 a week extra for each person. We’ve also provided debt advice to 60 of you, helping some of you negotiate repayment terms with your creditors. In addition, through our Tenancy Sustainment Service, we have helped 107 of you claim benefits totalling £23, 805 and supported five of you to avoid eviction from your home. During the year we carried out an awareness campaign to tell you about the welfare reforms, due to come into force in April 2013. We’ve sent you information with rent statements, ran articles in the Connections newsletter and carried out home visits to help you prepare for the changes.


20 As part of the Welfare Reform Act, the Government is set to introduce a Universal Credit payment system where all benefits will be combined into one single payment, including Housing Benefit. This Universal Credit will be paid directly to claimants, which means we will no longer receive the Housing Benefit element of your rent from the local authority. You will be responsible for paying all of your rent directly to us. It’s important that you understand this so you don’t fall behind with your rent and find yourself in debt. We are currently testing this approach with 525 of you. Working with the Government, we are one of six housing providers selected to run a ‘demonstration’ project to see how direct payment of Housing Benefit might work in practice. You can read about our progress in the Connections newsletter in the coming months. There’s more information about the welfare changes on our website and we will continue to provide updates through Connections. If you would like to talk to someone about it, speak to your Neighbourhood Officer or contact our Welfare Rights Service on tel 0300 123 3456.

ANNUAL REVIEW TO RESIDENTS 2012

NEW JOB, NEW LIFE AND NEW OUTLOOK FOR LISA There was a time when Lisa Windley didn’t have much to look forward to. Having been unemployed for a number of years, with no qualifications or work experience, Lisa struggled to find a purpose in life. “My life was chaotic, I was in a dark place and suffering from depression,” she says. “On top of that I was struggling to pay my rent and faced losing my home. It wasn’t until I had help from Family Mosaic’s support team that things started to change. Gradually I started to take control of my life.” Lisa’s determination to make a new start led to her being invited onto a trainee support worker programme with the Association. “My support worker saw potential in me and thought I would be good at helping people get their lives back on track too. At first I laughed it off. I couldn’t see how they would want someone with no previous experience to come and work for them. But I decided I had nothing to lose,” she says. After a six-month training course followed by 12 months working in general care and then floating support, Lisa is now an Assessment Officer, responsible for helping people in crisis. Lisa explains: “I provide support to people who are homeless or escaping domestic abuse as well as people with drug or alcohol problems. They literally walk in the door with nothing. I tell them what their accommodation options are, sort out their benefits and signpost them to other specialist agencies. “It’s a challenging job but it’s so satisfying when I get a good outcome. That’s what keeps me motivated – I have a very good reason for getting out of bed in the morning.”


LOCAL STANDARDS – HOW ARE WE DOING? These are the local standards that we have agreed with you: 1. Our customers will sign up to a good neighbour agreement All new customers now have to sign a good neighbour agreement. It gives guidance on what we expect from them and what our obligations are 2. We will support under-occupiers to move We have produced a leaflet about under-occupation, how transfers work and what moving incentives are available. We have also expanded our Housing Options Team which will actively work with under-occupiers to find a smaller home that better suits their needs. Please visit our website to find out more. 3. Customers will have access to credit unions, where available, to support them with savings and borrowing We have close links with several credit unions particularly in our key boroughs of Southwark, Lambeth, Haringey and Islington. We have leaflets available in our offices and our website has information and links to the money advice service. We tell you about any upcoming events that you can attend and our debt advice service is open to everyone. 4. We will provide a personal rent collection service Each one of you has a named Income Officer that you can contact for rent enquiries. We’ll tell you about any rent increases in advance and give you support and advice about benefit changes that might affect your ability to pay your rent. 5. Customers will be well informed on options for moving and on transfer list waiting times Information about moving options and transfer waiting times is detailed in our customer leaflet; Transfers, and Other Ways to Move and on our website. You can also speak to a member of the Housing Options Team or a Customer Care Line Agent.


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ANNUAL REVIEW TO RESIDENTS 2012

We can create stronger communities Neighbourhood and community standard We want our neighbourhoods to be attractive, thriving places where everyone has the opportunity to take part in community activities and learn new skills. Following last year’s successful accreditation of our estate services by the Housing Quality Network, we have continued to improve our neighbourhoods. This year we carried out 8,191 general neighbourhood inspections. We always encourage you to do this with us so we can be sure we’re getting a full and true picture of an area. Many of you joined us in these inspections and 89% of these neighbourhoods were rated as being good or excellent – an increase of 8% on last year. In addition, our annual My Place inspections saw many of you inspecting your area with contractors and staff. This year we carried out 79 My Place walk and talk inspections with you.

did you know? Overall satisfaction with our handling of anti-social behaviour cases is almost 60%

Through your involvement, we’ve been able to create agreements for things like communal cleaning, dealing with anti-social behaviour and general maintenance. Each estate is graded either bronze, silver or gold and a local standard is agreed with you to either improve the grade or to maintain gold standards. This year we extended the scheme to include neighbourhoods that consist of leasehold properties. There are now more than 200 neighbourhoods across London and in Essex included in the My Place programme

My Place inspections 2011-12 Bronze

16

Silver

44

Gold

19

Total

79

Of the 80 neighbourhoods that were re-inspected, the grading improved on 42, with 29 of these reaching gold standard. We experienced delays in carrying out some estate improvements due to the need to appoint new contractors so we expect more estate gradings to improve once this work is completed. We’ve also been busy choosing new contractors to carry out cleaning and grounds maintenance, and some of you have been involved in this process.


The aim has been to both improve the service we provide and ensure that we are able to give you good value for money.

Improvements made this year include: „„ using sound monitoring equipment in noise nuisance cases

Last year we also introduced the My Neighbourhood initiative, aimed at providing a version of My Place to those of you living in street properties. Unfortunately only 1% of you were keen to get involved with My Neighbourhood so, following consultation with Panel Plus, we have decided not to continue with this initiative on value for money grounds. But we will look at other ways of engaging with you, for example through a neighbourhood champion initiative.

„„ creating a Gang and Youth Crime Strategy

Dealing with anti-social behaviour We want you to feel safe in your home and out in the community. Dealing with all types of antisocial behaviour is a priority for us. Over the last 12 months we have been working hard to improve the way we handle cases and, as a result, we’ve improved our service as our customer satisfaction levels show in the table below. By end March 2011

By end March 2012

Case outcome

38%

62%

Overall case handling

63%

68%

Regular updates to victim 58%

76%

ASB action plan

73%

54%

„„ reviewing our policy on the use of CCTV „„ providing extra support to more vulnerable residents „„ using mediation more often to help resolve neighbour disputes. These improvements have come despite having an increase in cases reported to us. This year we received 2,342 complaints, up from 1,432 last year. We are looking at our data to try and understand why there’s been a rise in reported cases, and what we can do to tackle it. Our strategic Anti-social Behaviour Forum now has four customer members and this has given us a much better insight into how these situations affect you. The Tenant Scrutiny Panel has carried out a pilot inspection of how we manage anti-social behaviour and we know there is more work to do. Both of these initiatives will help us to provide more tailored services in future.


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ANNUAL REVIEW TO RESIDENTS 2012

ASB satisfaction results and targets 2011-12

ASB by type

Satisfaction indicator

Target 2011-12

Jan 11 to Jan 12 to Mar 11 Mar 12

Ease of reporting

92%

92%

96%

Person taking report

95%

96%

99%

Time taken to interview

85%

79%

90%

Regular updates

75%

58%

76%

Regular updates

60%

54%

73%

Helpfulness

90%

88%

72%

Knowledgeable

80%

75%

72%

Final outcome

45%

38%

62%

Overall case handling

65%

63%

68%

Noise (29%)

Tenants unavailable

N/A

70%

33%

Tenants refused

N/A

7%

12%

Other such as flytipping, vandalism, arson (42.5%)

Tenants answered survey

N/A

23%

55%

Neighbour dispute (22%)

Violence, verbal abuse and harassment (6.5%)


Community spirit

Jobs and training

Our Social and Financial Inclusion team work with you to provide a wide choice of community activities and one-to-one support. During the year, 10,242 of you got involved in a range of different projects – such as the Football Academy, the Greening Communities project, the Youth Academy, the Time Bank volunteering project, U Can Dance classes, and the apprenticeship programme. Many of you say you have benefited from our Debt Advice Service.

Our Pathways2work service provides advice and training to help you achieve your career goals. This year we helped 106 of you find a job, provided one-to-one careers advice to 79 of you, put 13 of you into apprenticeship programmes, recruited an extra 12 volunteers, ran free courses for 600 of you and launched a new online training course which benefitted 145 of you. We also ran a jobs fair which saw 240 of you take part in workshops on interview technique, how to write CVs and different career types.

In addition, 3,745 care and support customers have taken part in local activities such as day trips and coffee mornings. We’ve also run lots of community events this year. During school holidays we organised sports events, canoeing, drama classes and art workshops.

Since its launch in 2005, Pathways2work has helped 689 of you to into work. As well as making a commitment to recruit you into 20% of of job vacancies with us, this year we pledged to provide even more job opportunities, work placements, shadowing opportunities and mock interviews. With unemployment levels reaching a 17-year high, we will be putting more resources into helping you access training and work. During the year we employed five more staff to work in the Pathways2work team, including two Job Brokers who will work with local and national businesses to secure jobs for you. Our target is to get 1,000 of you into work in the next three years. We have also made a commitment to take on 12 apprentices in different roles across the organisation. If you want to learn new skills and improve your chances of getting permanent employment, contact the team on on 020 7089 1345.


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ANNUAL REVIEW TO RESIDENTS 2012

NEIGHBOURHOOD MANAGERS OUT IN THE COMMUNITY For Neighbourhood Manager, Ben Campbell, spending time out and about, meeting customers and dealing with any neighbourhood problems is what he likes to do best. Ben, who has been with Family Mosaic for two years, is responsible for managing homes in Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith & Fulham and Ealing. In Ben’s own words, this is what his job entails: “A large proportion of my job is spent out of the office interacting with customers and visiting estates. There are also admin days, staff training, and team meetings but as a front line staff member and mobile worker, my main focus is to spend as much time as possible working in neighbourhoods. And that’s what I enjoy the most. For example, if I’m carrying out an estate inspection – which is something I do once a month in each neighbourhood – I’ll be grading the area on things like cleanliness and grounds maintenance, and I’ll report any communal repairs or maintenance problems. I have 12 estates to inspect, which range from having 80 properties in six blocks to being a converted street property of eight flats, so each place is different. These estate inspections are promoted on noticeboards so customers can join me on the inspection and talk about any neighbourhood or property issues they might have. This is a good opportunity for me to meet residents, speak to neighbours involved in disputes and door knock residents who we think could be subletting their home without our permission. I also have appointments booked into my diary by the Customer Care Line. These appointments are booked for a variety of reasons. The most common ones are to do with anti-social behaviour - notably noise nuisance and neighbour disputes, as well as signing up new customers and welcoming them to their new homes. Neighbourhood managers also work on Wednesday evenings which is a good time for me to meet leaseholders and run resident association meetings. There is a natural rhythm to the month with set days during the week for teams to be in the office, carry out estate inspections and hold monthly meetings with other agencies operating in the borough. I also handle evictions, attend court, meet with social services and deal with any emergencies that come up. So no two days are the same.”


LOCAL STANDARDS – HOW ARE WE DOING? These are the local standards that we have agreed with you: 1. We will learn and share lessons with other housing providers on the effective management of anti-social behaviour We regularly attend and contribute to the LONHAG Anti-social Behaviour Group to share best practice and benchmark. We have taken part in two peer reviews this year as part of this group. Data is also compared to other social landlords. Key staff also attend the Social Landlords Crime and Nuisance Group Conference 2. Our community events are advertised on the website and in newsletters We have a calendar of events on our website listing all upcoming community events. We also publicise events in the Connections newsletter and on noticeboards. 3. Our communal grounds and gardens will be clean and well maintained Estates and grounds are visited every month by Neighbourhood Managers. During the year we carried out 8,191 inspections with you and 89% of neighbourhoods were rated as good or excellent – a rise of 8% on last year. 4. We will give clear, easy to read information on what we can and can’t do to tackle anti-social behaviour Our leaflet ‘ASB – what you can expect from us’ details the action we can take and the action you can take to resolve an anti-social behaviour situation. We also have other specialist leaflets on hate crime, mediation and domestic abuse. 5. Customers know who their Neighbourhood Manager is and how to contact them Postcards are on every noticeboard with a picture of the Neighbourhood Manager and their contact details. For those of you living in street properties, we send you a letter or mailer to let you know if your Neighbourhood Manager has changed. Contact details are also published online and in the Connections newsletter.


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ANNUAL REVIEW TO RESIDENTS 2012

We can lower costs and raise standards Value for money standard We have a robust value for money strategy that helps us make the best use of our resources while giving you the high-quality services that you expect from us. Our strategy, which has been in place for two years, is supported across the organisation by a team of staff champions who look for ways to increase efficiency and customer experience. Quarterly performance reports, which highlight savings and service improvements, are shared across the organisation. The newly-formed Tenant Scrutiny Panel is working alongside us to ensure we make savings while maintaining a high standard of service. And, this year, we recruited a Contract Manager who will work with suppliers to ensure that high-quality services are being delivered.

Through our Value for Money Strategy, we have made savings of ÂŁ5.9 million in the last two years. This year we have made some cost savings through: Buying waste containers in bulk instead of renting from local authorities Retendering our estate gardening and cleaning services Introducing a new process for producing rent statements Offering Dulux paint packs to new customers so they can to decorate their new home how they want it Expanding the services our neighbourhood managers provide so we rely less on temporary staff Bringing some training in-house that was previously outsourced

did you know? We made cost savings of more than ÂŁ5.9 million in the last two years


Money from grants We also bid for funding from various organisations such as Government departments and charitable organisations. This year we’ve received funding of £1.1 million from the Maisie Sheed Trust which has helped us to tackle worklessness by providing volunteering and work experience opportunities, apprenticeships and bursaries to some of our Youth Academy members. For the coming year (2012-13) we have already received a £50 million grant from the Homes and Communities Agency which will enable us to build 1,000 homes, and £65,000 from Southwark Council to continue the many good projects being run by Pathways2work.

did you know? For next year we have already received a £50m grant from the Homes and Communities Agency to build 1,000 homes


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ANNUAL REVIEW TO RESIDENTS 2012

We can run a business that’s accountable to you Governance and financial standard We think it’s vital that customers have a say in how we manage the organisation. Your involvement is helping to set new standards, improve our services, bring better value for money and launch new initiatives. Corporate governance is all about how we run things – who makes the decisions and how we make ourselves accountable to you, our regulator and other stakeholders. We are committed to high standards of corporate governance. We follow the National Housing Federation Code of Governance and we also comply with the regulatory requirements of the Homes and Communities Agency – the Government department responsible for social housing. The organisation is managed and monitored by the Group Board, supported by the Risk Management and Audit Committee, the Finance and Development Committee and the Management Team. The Board is responsible for our strategic direction. It comprises of 10 Non-executive Directors, the Chief Executive and three tenant Board members. The Board acts independently of management to ensure the highest standards of accountability are upheld. Each Board member gives their time for free and brings their own expertise and experience to the decision making process.

It’s important that the people at the top of the organisation know what’s going on in the communities where we work. Chair of the Board, Ian Peacock, has been out and about this year, meeting staff and customers. This is what he has to say about it: “Over the past few months I have visited a number of our supported housing projects in Harlow and in various parts of Hampshire. I’ve met customers who were previously homeless, people with mental health problems and young people getting used to living independently for the first time. I have enjoyed these visits enormously and have been impressed by the professionalism, care and good humour shown by the staff who work in these projects. They often work long hours and sometimes encounter situations which need very careful handling. We, and society as a whole, should be very grateful for the work they do. I have also visited a Handyperson scheme, based in Winchester. This is part of the In Touch business which we acquired from Hyde Housing Association last year. This service provides additional support to customers by providing small ‘handyman’ type jobs around the home. During the visit the Handyperson can also spot other jobs that might need doing which would reduce the number of visits by contractors - saving us money and giving the customer a better service. This is a great idea, one which could expand to all our customers. We are now testing it out in Lewisham, Lambeth and Southwark.” Ian Peacock, Chair of the Board.


Scrutiny panel The creation of the Tenant Scrutiny Panel will see customers play an increasingly important role in the management and scrutiny of Family Mosaic. The Panel is a truly independent body, with its own executive, resources and direct link to the Board. This is a positive move towards genuine coregulation - the result of which will help to drive through service improvements year on year. The Panel will tell you about its progress through regular updates on the website and in the Connections newsletter.

Financially robust The turnover for our last financial year (1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012) was £181 million – a rise of 27% on last year – and our net surplus rose to £38 million. As a not-for-profit organisation, we put this money back into the business to help us improve our existing homes, build new ones and develop our services. This year we reduced our repairs costs, improved our operating efficiency and sold 163 homes through shared ownership. We continue to be well positioned for future growth. Our accounts are checked by external auditors each year and we publish a full financial report, which is available in our offices and on our website.

WHY CUSTOMERS SHOULD GET INVOLVED IN GOVERNANCE “The Government, through its social housing agencies, has entered a new phase of promoting tenant empowerment at almost all levels within housing associations. Family Mosaic has been extremely proactive and has encouraged us to volunteer and take part in forums, panels, committees and community projects – even giving us the opportunity to get involved at Board level. Customer involvement is an important part of the organisation’s governance structure – the process of managing, scrutinising and participating. These involvement opportunities are backed by wideranging support from Family Mosaic staff who encourage us, advise us and provide help with funding. I take part in a regional forum every three months and contribute to board meeting every two months. It really is crucial that we – both tenants and leaseholders - take up this empowerment drive and make a contribution to the running of Family Mosaic, carving out independence for customers and working to improve transparency. Taking part can be hard work at times, especially when you have to read a wad of papers or go to a meeting just when there’s something worth watching on the TV that night! But it can be enjoyable. And, after a while, you grasp just how much time and manpower goes into the provision and management of our homes and tenancies. We all want to improve what goes on around us so it’s a good idea to start with our immediate environment and give a small fraction of our time to work with Family Mosaic to achieve this. Gets my vote, anyway.” Barry MacNamara, Tenant Board member


If you need any part of this document in large print, Braille, or on CD please contact our Communications team on 020 7089 1046. Head Office Family Mosaic Albion House 20 Queen Elizabeth Street London SE1 2RJ www.familymosaic.co.uk With thanks to residents Ian Jones, Geraldine Petterson, and Josephine Hollis for their help in preparing this Review.

Annual review for tenants 2012  

Family Mosaic's annual review for tenants, 2012