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2010/11 REPORT TO RESIDENTS


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N 2010, The Tenant Services Authority, (TSA), launched six new housing standards, drawn up with landlords and tenants from across England.

The standards cover how we should deal with tenant involvement, repairs and maintenance, rents, quality of accommodation, complaints, antisocial behaviour, value for money and how to support our local communities. The standards require us to agree ‘local offers’ with you, to give you a say about how some of your services could be tailored and delivered locally. They also require us to produce an annual report so you can see how good our services are. We have produced two reports; this summary and a full version. We would like to know what you think of them and you can tell us using the freepost form on the back page. We have worked closely with you this year to improve your services, and you have challenged us where you felt your services were not good

Meets the standard

enough. You have helped us to set targets to improve, and you have worked with us to agree your local offers. A group of you also agreed the look and feel of this report and the information it should contain, including the use of a ‘traffic light’ system to show how we are performing. We have rated our progress against our own targets for 2010/11. We have also included the Housemark benchmark rate which shows how we compare to other landlords. I’d like many more of you to challenge and scrutinise our performance in future so we can be sure we are providing you with the services you have a right to expect. If you would like to get involved with helping us to improve your services in this way, please contact the resident involvement team on 01274 717 500 or email yourviews@accentgroup.org.

Claire Stone Managing Director, Accent Foundation

Partly meets the standard

Does not meet the standard

Our traffic light system shows how our performance is rated for the current year; the smaller traffic light shows our performance from last year.


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Tenant Involvement & Empowerment Standard: Pg 4 – 5

2

Home Standard: Pg 6 – 7

3

Tenancy Standard: Pg 8 – 9

4

Neighbourhood & Community Standard: Pg 10 – 11

5

Value for Money Standard: Pg 12

6

Local Offers: Pg 13

This report is a summary A full report detailing our performance can be found on our website www.accentgroup.org, under the annual report section of our publications page. To comment on this report, please complete the form on the back page.


1 | Tenant Involvement & Empowerment Standard Customer Service, Choice & Complaints We will offer you choices, information and communication in how we deliver our standards. Our processes will be clear, simple and available to everyone, and your complaints will be resolved promptly, politely and fairly.

HOW WE PERFORMED:

2010/11

2009/10

PROGRESS

TARGET

HOUSEMARK

Satisfied with the service we provide

85%

79%

84%

84.4%

Complaints closed in target times

39%

n/a

90%

91%

Satisfied with the complaints process

63%

n/a

90%

67%

What have we improved? When we compare how satisfied you are with our services overall to other landlords, we are in the top quarter. We are still not closing all our complaints quickly enough, but we have increased the number of complaints closed at stage one to give more of you quicker results, and save on administration time and costs.

What improvements will we make? We will work with our residents’ complaints forum and staff to increase the number of complaints that we close in the target time.

Arrangements for your involvement and scrutiny

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You will be able to co-regulate us by choosing how you want to get involved and influence our policies and services. We will support you if you need help to be more involved. We will agree local offers for service delivery together. You will be able to influence how we meet all the TSA’s standards, and scrutinise our performance against them.


HOW WE PERFORMED:

2010/11

2009/10

PROGRESS

TARGET

HOUSEMARK

Satisfied we listen to you and take your views into account

67%

59.3%

64%

69.8%

Resident board members

33%

33%

33%

22.2%

What have we improved? We are close to being in the top 25% of all landlords for how happy you are that we take your views into account. We recruited eight resident inspectors in the Bradford and Yorkshire areas and we set up a repairs forum to check our repairs performance. Resident board members play a major part in board meetings. Last year, they increased the board’s focus on what we spend on planned maintenance.

Local offers We have produced local offers of service for all our neighbourhood teams, which will be reviewed every year through the offer of a neighbourhood team meeting. What improvements will we make? s We will recruit resident inspectors in the north east and north west. s We will work with the Residents’ Panel to agree improvements based on the results of the 2010 Residents’ Satisfaction Survey. s We will set up older persons’ forums to look at services for sheltered housing residents.

Understanding and responding to your needs We will treat you with fairness and respect and show that we understand your individual needs in terms of equality, diversity and support.

What have we improved? We hold detailed information for 91% of you. We use it to offer you more personal and improved services, such as helping you to access benefits, training and employment, and to set up resident involvement activities. Our disability forum shares helpful and supportive information with disabled residents, and encourages them to get involved in improving their services.

What improvements will we make? s We will clearly set out how we will use your information. s We will use your preferred contact method to talk or write to you once our new computer system is introduced in February 2012.

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2 | Home Standard Quality of accommodation In line with this standard, by December 2010, we made sure your homes met the Decent Homes Standard or any higher standards that applied. Any local offers we agree will not be less than the standards to which your home was built, if these are higher than the Decent Homes Standard.

HOW WE PERFORMED:

2010/11

2009/10

PROGRESS

TARGET

HOUSEMARK

Homes meeting the goverment’s Decent Homes Standard

96%

90%

95%

98.1%

Satisfied with the quality of your home

83%

77%

82%

86%

What have we improved? PLANNED MAINTENANCE SPEND 2010/11

2009/10

£10million

£7million

This has paid for 873 new boilers, 412 homes to be re-wired, 331 kitchens, 287 fire risk

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assessments, 220 bathrooms, 64 sets of windows and 171 new doors. What improvements will we make? We have finalised our five year planned maintenance timetable. It will be published on our website before the end of March 2012.


Repairs and Maintenance We will provide you with a cost-effective repairs and maintenance service, which meets your needs and choices, and health and safety requirements, and aims to get the job done right, first time.

HOW WE PERFORMED:

2010/11

2009/10

PROGRESS

TARGET

HOUSEMARK

99.28%

99%

100%

99.47%

80%

68%

73%

81.4%

Repairs appointments made and kept

86.6%

81%

90%

n/a

*Repairs fixed first time

76.9%

77%

85%

85.5%

Gas services completed Happy with our repairs service

* For first time fixes, we have used our own figures, rather than our contractors, as we think this is the fairest way to report them. Our contractors’ figures would be higher. What have we improved? We have added more repair appointment time slots for you, including mornings, afternoons, early evenings, outside school runs and Saturday mornings. A new system called Tickle helps to improve our repairs service by letting us send a text message to your mobile phone the day after your repair is due to ask if you are happy with it. If you are not, we telephone you back the same day to find out why, and try to put things right. We improved our out-of-hours repairs service with the appointment of a new contractor offering a better service at a cheaper price. We have also completed fire risk assessments in all blocks of flats where there are shared staircases and corridors. Our residents’ disability forum helped us to review our aids and adaptations process. As a

result, we doubled our spending to £400,000 a year and we completed 231 minor adaptations and 102 major adaptations in 2010/11. What improvements will we make? Two of our largest contractors now make follow up appointments while their engineers are still at your home. The best performing landlords report 94% first time fixes. This is a top priority for us to improve this year, and we are working with our contractors to deal with areas of poor performance. We will charge penalties to repairs contractors if they do not attend booked appointments. Over the next two years, we will deliver a £2 million programme of fire safety upgrading work. This includes the distribution of over 5,700 smoke alarms. 7


3 | Tenancy Standard Allocations We will let our homes fairly, openly and efficiently, with your needs taken into account. We will show you how we make the best use of your homes, keeping to their purpose, and work in partnership with local authorities. We will have clear application and decision making processes. HOW WE PERFORMED:

2010/11

2009/10

PROGRESS

TARGET

HOUSEMARK

32.4%

8%

n/a

n/a

Average time (in days) to re-let homes

35.2

39

32

28.8

Happy with our moving in process

97%

n/a

98%

n/a

New residents through choice based lettings

What have we improved? We use choice based letting schemes in some of the areas we work in. We keep our own waiting lists in the areas where we have fewer homes as it offers better value for money. We joined the Homeswapper scheme in 2010. 350 of you registered for a swap and seven swaps took place. In 2010 we built 222 new homes.

What improvements will we make? s We will publish our lettings policy on our web site. s We will improve the time it takes us to re-let our empty homes. s We will continue to increase the number of homes we let through choice based lettings schemes.

Rents We will charge rents in accordance with the objectives and framework set out in the government’s direction to the TSA of November 2009. We will provide you with clear information that explains how your rent and any service charge is set and how it is changed.

Our rents are set in line with the government’s rent policies. We give you clear information on how your rents are set each year, and send you a rent statement every three months. 8


1p

5p

11p

12p

2p

How every £1 of your rent is spent Your service charges are fixed and reviewed each year. You receive a breakdown of your service charge at each rent review. Leaseholders and shared owners have variable service charges. We talk to you about major changes in your service charges.

9p

22p

ch ar Se ge rv co ice st of M s ou an a r s ge ta m ff en yo ma t c ur na os ho gin ts m g es

22p

m ai Pl nt an en n an ed ce Ba re ren d d -c t ha ar ebt rg re s f ed ar ro re s an m pa d in Ot vo he irs lv r em co s de ent, ts ( bt in res co sur ide lle an nt In ct ce io , te n) re st to p bu and aid ild m on ne or lo w tga an ho ge s m s es fu Su tu rp re lu in s t ve o st fun m d en t Re nt em los pt s d y ue ho t m o es

R m ep ai ai nt rs en an an d ce

16p

Last year, we introduced direct debit – 10% of you have chosen to pay your rent in this way. We hope to increase this to 20% in 2011/12. What improvements will we make? We will talk to you more about how we set our service charges to provide you with better value for money services.

Tenure We will offer and issue you the most secure form of tenancy for your home. We will meet all statutory and legal requirements relating to the form and use of tenancy agreements. We will develop and provide services that help you to maintain your tenancy and prevent unnecessary evictions. HOW WE PERFORMED:

Evictions as a % of tenancies terminated What have we improved this year? In Yorkshire, County Durham and East Lancashire, we have set up partnerships with credit unions to give you more access to financial services. We will help and support those of you on low incomes and benefits.

2010/11

2009/10

PROGRESS

TARGET

HOUSEMARK

3%

3%

3%

n/a

What improvements will we make? s We will introduce starter tenancies for all new residents in 2012. s We will publish our tenancy management policy. s We will have a new system for carrying out checks on all our residents. It will help us to spot any problems early and help more vulnerable residents keep their tenancies.

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4 | Neighbourhood & Community Standard Neighbourhood management We will keep our neighbourhoods and communal areas clean and safe. Where it benefits us all, we will work in partnership with you, other landlords and public agencies.

HOW WE PERFORMED:

2010/11

2009/10

PROGRESS

TARGET

HOUSEMARK

Happy with your neighbourhood as a place to live

83%

77%

82%

80%

Happy with your estate services

78.5%

n/a

90%

n/a

What have we improved? We have produced a detailed estate management policy which sets out what our scheme standards are, how we inspect them, and how we involve you in managing your neighbourhoods. We launched the new style staff on site days and monthly scheme standards inspections to

make sure we manage our estates properly and keep standards high. What improvements will we make? We have talked to you through our yearly scheme surveys to find out what your priorities are and agreed local offers of service with you. We will report back to you in March each year to say how we have performed against them, and offer you the chance to meet with staff to agree the next year’s priorities.

Local area co-operation We will co-operate with our relevant partners to help promote social, environmental and economic well being in the areas where we own homes. 10


What have we improved? As part of our local offers, we have set out how we work with our local partners in your neighbourhoods. We provide information on the local agencies we work with, and those we plan to work with, to make improvements to your services in the coming year.

What improvements will we make? We will produce a statement that sets out which local council areas we work in and what our role is in each one. We will provide examples of how we are working with them and other agencies to help meet your needs in the areas where we have a considerable number of homes.

Anti-social behaviour We will work in partnership with other public agencies to prevent and tackle anti-social behaviour in the neighbourhoods where we own homes.

HOW WE PERFORMED:

2010/11

2009/10

PROGRESS

TARGET

HOUSEMARK

Satisfaction with handling anti-social behaviour cases

71%

n/a

✗

83%

71%

What have we improved? Our new antisocial behaviour policy will help us to tackle antisocial behaviour quickly. The needs of victims and the impact on the local community will be a priority. We introduced a new service so you can report anti-social behaviour when our offices are closed.

Top performing landlords achieve 87% satisfaction with anti-social behaviour case handling. We are contacting residents after we have dealt with their case, to ask them about our service to help to improve satisfaction. What improvements will we make? s We will train our staff on the new anti-social behaviour policy and how to deliver a higher quality service to you. s We will improve your satisfaction with how we deal with cases through regular personal contact and follow up phone calls. s We will publish our new policy and the details of our service standards and support for victims of anti-social behaviour. 11


5 | Value for Money Standard Value for money In meeting all TSA standards, including local offers, we must manage our business to provide you with quality homes and services that give value for money.

What have we improved? Spending money on planned repairs and maintenance offers better value for money than spending on unplanned repairs. 69% of our maintenance was planned. Our target was 70%. Our figures are better than some of the top performing landlords, who report that 60% of their repairs are planned and 40% are unplanned. Two thirds of you think that repairs and maintenance is a priority, and half of you think that improving homes is a priority. For this reason, we do not plan to reduce spending on maintenance. With a budget of £10 million, we spent £3 million more on planned maintenance in 2010, and we plan to spend even more in 2011, with a budget of £25 million.

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s We changed our out-of-hours repairs service provider, and secured a better quality of service at £20,000 less than we were paying before. s We saved £50,000 a year by reviewing the caretaking and gardening service in Barrow-in-Furness. s Spending 69% of our budget on planned maintenance and 31% of our budget on unplanned repairs has helped us to keep our costs down. What improvements will we make? We have discussed how we can improve the value for money of your service charges with our scrutiny panel. We will publish more information in our local offers, and make more improvements in 2011-12.


6 | Local Offers

Local offers are our commitment to you for the next year. They tell you what you can expect from your neighbourhood team, how we will deal with your local priorities and what the planned maintenance proposals are for the next five years. Our service standards are set out in our leaflets, and will be included in our new tenancy handbook in Spring 2012.

Our offers are documents in which we set out our promises about what we will do in the next 12 months to respond to your local priorities. Once a year, in March, we will report to you about how well we have performed against your local offer, and offer you a meeting so we can agree your priorities for the coming year with you. In the future, we will try to link local offers with neighbourhood forums. We have been testing this with the Barrow Area Tenants’ Forum and we know it works. In 2011-12, we hope to set up more neighbourhood forums, but that will depend on whether you are willing to get involved with them.

If you would like to get involved with helping us to improve your services, please contact the resident involvement team on 01274 717 500 or email yourviews@accentgroup.org. You can help to improve services for yourself and all residents.

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Some descriptions of terms used in our report… Choice based lettings schemes council schemes which social landlords sign up to. Co-regulation when you get involved to help regulate our business. Customer profile or information the information we securely and confidentially hold about you. Decent Homes Standard the government’s minimum standards for warmth, comfort and safety that all homes in the country had to reach before December 2010. Fire risk assessments assessing the risks of fires in the communal (or shared areas) of our properties and putting plans in place for if they happen. Forums groups of residents who look at our services and try to improve them for all residents, locally (Barrow Area Tenants’ Forum) and nationally (the Disability Group). Homeswapper a national home swapping internet scheme which is free to residents.

Housemark Benchmark we compare our performance to other similar landlords. The benchmark is the national average score. Local offers (or standards) local agreements for services we have made with you based on your priorities. For example, gardening or cleaning contracts or neighbourhood services. Planned maintenance major repairs and improvements needed to your homes that we know of and plan to do. Residents’ Panel a group of residents who look at the services we provide at a higher level to benefit all residents across Accent Foundation. Standards the six housing standards set by the Tenant Services Authority in April 2010 that all housing associations and registered landlords must deliver their services to. Tenant Services Authority one of the national agencies that regulates housing associations and registered landlords. (This agency is due to be replaced). Unplanned repairs routine repairs you ask for, such as repairing leaks.


85% of our residents are satisfied with their services


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ANNUAL REPORT 2010/11: For translation, Braille, large print or audio, please ring the resident involvement team on 01274 717 500.

ACCENT FOUNDATION LTD Jeremy Downs House s Senior Way s Bradford s BD5 0QB s www.accentfoundation.org


Customer Feedback Form Our Report to Residents was put together by staff and residents, and designed in-house. We’d really like to know what you think of it. Please complete this form and post it back to us, there’s no need for a stamp. Name:

Address: Did you find the Annual Performance Report to Residents useful?

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Annual Report to Residents 2011  

Report to Residents of Accent Foundation

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