Annual Report to residents
Introduction We are pleased to present our annual report for 2012/13. This year we worked with our residents to produce a report that reflects your priorities and is presented in a way that you want. Our mission is to deliver great housing services for thriving neighbourhoods. Over the past year we have: Brought over 1,900 homes up to the Decent Homes standard. Helped over 365 residents to use our back-to-work clubs and High-5 employability programmes for residents. We’ve also employed 60 apprentices from the Lewisham area.
Andrew Potter Lewisham Homes CEO
Invested £47,946 to bring five community rooms back into use as part of the Community Investment Programme. Contacted and helped over 1,100 residents affected by the new under-occupation rules and welfare changes. Improved satisfaction with the repairs service to 99.5% Delivered five projects as part of the Resident Business Plan and provided over £30,000 of funding for community projects. We are proud of our achievements this year, but we know we still need to improve. We’ll continue working with you through our Scrutiny Panel, Service Improvement groups, your TRAs and Area Panel to identify where we need to improve services.
Julia Cotton Lewisham Homes Board Chair
How we are governed We are governed by a management board of 15 directors, seven of whom are residents, three are councillors and five are independent members. There are four sub-committees to the Board, which scrutinise our finances, policies and performance and ensure that the company is well run.
Our corporate objectives Excellent services We want to understand your priorities and the service that you expect. Quality homes We want our residents to feel proud of their homes, and safe and secure in their environment. Sustainable business We are continuing to come up with ways to make our services more efficient. Since 2007, we have delivered ÂŁ8.5 million in efficiency savings. Community focus We put residents at the heart of our services, giving you the opportunity to influence our decision-making process. Employer of choice Striving to be an employer of choice, offering staff opportunities to develop their skills and knowledge and recognising good performance.
Customer care and support What went well? We answered 88% of telephone calls within the target time of 20 seconds, a steady improvement from last year. The number of residents who are dissatisfied with our services has fallen, and we are continuing to make improvements. More complaints were dealt with at the first stage and more quickly. We’ve worked with residents to prepare for the impact of welfare reforms; 1,100 residents affected by the new under-occupation rules have been contacted by our staff and helped through the welfare changes. We’ve also established a dedicated Welfare Advice team to help affected residents. We’re providing more support for vulnerable residents by: Starting a scheme to help maintain their gardens. Leading on the Lewisham hoarding protocol and visiting known hoarders every two weeks, and providing intensive tenancy support. Completing a programme of safeguarding training for our staff. This helps us identify any risks to vulnerable adults and children in our properties and reporting these to partner agencies.
What didn’t go so well? Complaints about the Major Works Programme increased with the volume of work. Complaints were mainly about not keeping residents informed. Our contractors increased their staffing levels, which has improved the service provided to residents, and complaints have fallen again.
We want to keep improving our services by finding out your priorities and providing services that reflect them. We know that we donâ€™t always get it right. We take complaints about any service seriously, investigate the issue and we learn from it.
Whatâ€™s coming up? We will improve customer satisfaction to 80% by 2016, by the following: If you complain to us, we will contact you by telephone to try to resolve your issues. Introducing a new customer care training programme for all our staff. Improving the effectiveness and quality of our communications with you. Reviewing our Customer Care Service Standards with residents.
We will continue to help deal with the impact of welfare reforms by: Targeting welfare advice to tenants most in need. Continuing our joint work with Lewisham Plus Credit Union, who now have a weekday service based at our Pepys Office, to provide financial advice, support and services to our residents. Providing training and development opportunities for residents looking to return to work.
Welfare Benefits Manager, Kriss Graham giving advice to residents at Twin Employment event.
Get involved What went well? The Resident Business Plan delivered five projects in 2012/13, including: Gardening training for vulnerable residents, giving them new skills to help them maintain their tenancy. The â€˜Love Where You Liveâ€™ initiative to improve the communal areas and local environment on estates. Increasing involvement from residents living in street properties by targeting involvement opportunities to them directly, and inviting them to the 2013 Resident Involver Conference. PC and internet facilities and training to sheltered housing blocks in New Cross and Sydenham. Working with residents to deliver 11 community projects. The Residentsâ€™ Conference and Involver Awards in March 2013 recognised the amazing contributions residents have made in local communities. The Scrutiny Committee worked with our Estate Services to identify improvements required and developed a service improvement plan which was agreed by the Board in March 2013.
In partnership with our Major Works contractors, we delivered on our Community Investment promises, including: 60 apprentices from Lewisham have been taken on by us in various trades. 283 people have visited our monthly back-to-work clubs. 82 residents have graduated from High 5 employability courses with 69 returning to work or further training. 5 community rooms have been refurbished and been brought back into use. We delivered a variety of activities for young people during the 2012 summer holidays and after school. Visit our youtube channel and see videos of our events throughout the year. www.youtube.com/ lewishamhomes
Residents continue to be at the heart of our services. Last year, the Resident Business Plan delivered a variety of resident-led projects and over £30,000 of funding for community projects. We’ve also created extra opportunities for residents to help improve our services with the establishment of the Resident Scrutiny Committee.
What’s coming up? This year, we will deliver the 2013/2014 Resident Business Plan. Tasks include: more gardening support for vulnerable residents; DIY repairs training; setting up more internet facilities in sheltered housing blocks. 16 community-led projects have received a share of the £60,000 Lewisham Homes Community Fund. All the projects that bid for money were judged by a panel of residents who decided the projects to receive funding.
We’re continuing to support our traditional forms of involvement, such as local TRAs, Area Panels, Improvement groups and resident training. We will improve opportunities for leaseholders to give their views when Major Works are completed to shared areas of their blocks.
Residents presenting their project to win funding from the Community Fund.
Photograph ÂŠ Barry Still
COMMUNITY FUND The Community Fund gives residents the opportunity to apply for a grant of up to ÂŁ5,000 to improve their local area. This year we delivered 11 projects, including: Honor Oak Olympics and the I love Honor Oak project Hazel Groove Intergenerational project (shortlisted for a national TPAS award). Visit our youtube channel to see the video. www.youtube.com/ lewishamhomes Improving Crossfieldsâ€™ green spaces. Pond Paragon and Ryculff Olympic and Jubilee community garden. Installing the Mountbatten Memorial plaque and garden project at The Colonnade and Terrace on the Pepys estate. Schools Out holiday programme in Kender and New Cross. Somerville gardens project.
Residents at Heston Community Garden (pictured).
Your home This year we’ve helped residents manage repairs that are their responsibility, improved customer feedback for repair jobs, reduced complaints and invested in accredited training for our contact centre staff. We are now in our second year of our Major Works Programme, having completed internal refurbishments to over 1,900 homes. We are pressing ahead with external improvements.
What went well?
What’s coming up?
We invested over £27.5 million in improving residents’ homes including new kitchens, bathrooms and rewiring.
We are spending £36 million on our Major Works Programme in 2013/14, providing improvements to over 2,100 homes.
91% of residents are satisfied with the improvements to their home. Shared areas in sheltered blocks were refurnished and painted. 17 door entry systems were installed to blocks across the borough to improve security and reduce antisocial behaviour. 99.6% of all repairs reported were completed on time, with 94% of tenants reporting they were satisfied with the repair. Over three quarters of our vacant properties were re-let within the target time of 55 days. 100% of gas safety checks were carried out on time. We helped residents reduce the impact of condensation and mould in their homes through a targeted campaign. Visit our youtube page to watch the video. www.youtube.com/lewishamhomes
105 more blocks will have upgraded door entry systems to improve security and help reduce antisocial behaviour. We will ensure that residents who move and leave their home in a poor state of repair are charged for the work to improve them.
Our Major Works Programme and the repairs service continue to be the top priorities for our residents.
91% of repairs calls are answered in 20 seconds.
98% of repairs were completed on the first visit.
97% of repairs were completed on time.
94% of tenants are satisfied with completed repairs.
Your neighbourhood What went well? We introduced the Love Where You Live initiative on the Hazel Grove estate, to reduce flytipping, littering, dog-fouling and other antisocial behaviour (ASB). We’ve worked with two estates to introduce neighbourhood agreements. This means all residents sign up to a standard of respect for the area in which they live. We have developed a witness support package for victims of ASB. This helps support people to give evidence that we can use to enforce action against perpetrators of ASB. A more customer focused approach from our ASB team has led to a reduction in the number of complaints about the service. Seven Top Dog events providing free dog neutering, microchipping, dog training and dog ownership advice. Over 60 dog owners have benefited from these so far, with more events planned throughout 2013/14.
What didn’t go well? Satisfaction with internal cleaning of blocks was 59% for 2012/13. We’ve worked in partnership with residents and the Resident Scrutiny Panel to develop an action plan to improve performance. Early figures in 2013/14 show a big improvement.
What’s coming up? We will be working with residents to see if we can turn disused areas on our estates into allotments or communal gardens. We’re looking at the cost of upgrading disused pram sheds to bring them back into use. We’re improving the approach to dealing with ASB and tenancy breaches in communal areas. We will be increasing mediation between residents to resolve disputes before they become potentially more serious.
You continue to tell us that caretaking services and managing antisocial behaviour are two of your biggest priorities. This year the Resident Scrutiny Committee chose caretaking as its first service to examine.
Value for money What went well?
What’s coming up?
We’ve improved our rent and service charge collection rates.
We will be doing more repairs in-house, including repairs to empty homes and Major Works, investing money saved into essential services.
We’ve made £1.1 million of efficiency savings in 2012/13 which we’ve invested in the services and improvements. We’ve prepared for welfare reform by providing residents with help and support to continue paying rent and service charges.
We will continue to increase income by reducing re-let times for empty homes, continuing to identify efficiency savings and improving and our rent collection rates.
Our Repairs Service will now be involved in the refurbishments of properties on our estates. This means more work for local people, and a better deal for tenants.
Average £rent per week
150 Lewisham Homes
Housing Association in Lewisham Private rented in Lewisham
We want to ensure that our services provide value for money at all times. We’ve continued to make efficiency savings in all of our services, and rent levels have continued to compare well with other landlords.
How we’re doing
Service charge collected against total available (exc. arrears)
Total current leaseholder debt (service charges & major works)
Rent loss due to empty homes
Former tenant arrears as % of the amount due
1.1 1.0 0.5
1 2 3 5 9 0 6 4 8/0 009/1 010/1 011/1 012/1 012/1 012/1 012/1 0 0 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
Efficiencies £ million
Your home, your view
During 2012/13 we were in wide-ranging conversations with residents about housing in Lewisham. This included the demand for housing, the rise in house prices, the investment needed over the next 30 years for homes and communities, and better housing for older people.
Following the feedback from this, the Council asked Lewisham Homes to continue the conversation and find out more about residentsâ€™ views. A website has been set up with all the background and updates as they happen. www.yourhomeyourview. lewishamhomes.com
Weâ€™ve really enjoyed working with you, our residents, over the past year and hope that many more of you will work with us in the coming year, to build bigger, better and stronger communities. Communities are, after all, at the heart of what Lewisham Homes is all about.
You can follow us on Twitter or Facebook, or go to our website www.lewishamhomes.org.uk to see what else you can discover (we have a fantastic range of resident information videos that we hope you will find both interesting and useful).
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