Agenda item

Directorate Report


The Group considered a comprehensive report presented by James Barrah

Director of Housing and Communities), Chris Brown (Assistant Director –

Development and Regeneration), Ian Candlish (Assistant Director, Housing

Property), Simon Lewis (Assistant Director, Housing and Community

Development), Shari Hallett (Housing Performance Manager)

Comments/questions from the group members included;


·       Concerns with maintenance scheduling. Schedulers not contacting tenants with appointment times that the maintenance staff were visiting properties to carry out repairs. There were also times that staff were turning up to properties that had already been repaired; we were still being challenged with Covid and the backlog of repairs. Additional tradesman were being sought to carry out the backlog of work. We are also updating out IT system for scheduling works;

·       Concerns that void turn around times were still quite high and not on target; Again, Covid has had an impact on this with trade staff etc, but this is being looked into and processes would be put in place to speed this process up;

·       What is classed as a reasonable turnaround? Concerns that this is holding up other areas like Homefinder/Regeneration Programmes; we are trying to get the property advertised on Homefinder sometimes before the work starts. We are also interviewing and allocating properties. For a minor void this is 30 day and longer for a major;

·       Sheltered housing voids seem to be taking longer, 12 weeks in Monmouth Road; There were several mitigating circumstances behind why this was being held up. We are aware of this and looking to resolve the issues;

·       Under the Housing and Communities team, do you know how many residents in the housing stock were registered as disabled as there was nothing on the Homefinder forms to ask if a tenant was disabled? We do have statistics around this. We collect this data as part of the Homefinder application form. A tenant Census would be completed to capture this process to include into our processes. The tenants that were registered disabled would be brought back to the next meeting in September;

·       The Council needed to build their own policies and structure around disabilities and not rely on Occupational Therapists who had their own structure and may not fit in with the Council policies; In the past we have relied on our Aids and Adaptions process or our Disabilities Grant Process. There was another layer of service delivery that needed looking at on how we provided these services;

·       we needed to look at our Policies from a customer basis; this was something that we are looking at to get this process right;

·       why has it taken so long for the Disabled Policy to be looked at? We have an Equalities Policy in place, but these Policies do need looking at to see that we are covering all needs and decision making;

·       Training for staff needs to be undertaking on dealing with all aspects of the public; We were working with customer services to try to help with this training on how we deliver this service. We can share details at a later date;

·       Information was needed from Officers on the training progress as we did not want to come back in 6 months with the same concerns from the group members;


The report was noted.

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