Part 1. An Introduction
This report has been compiled for Gold acre Housing Association to respond residents complaints, GHA put the safety of the clients as the chief priority at all time and will carry on to work hard ensure that clients get value for their money. To attain this we will make sure that the properties under the management of the GHA meet the needs of the tenants. The principal reason of this report is to give an efficient approach for the management of repairs of the houses and facilities as well as addressing anti-social behavior in a proper way and effective management of void and empty properties within our estates.
Background and context
This report is mainly focusing on the matters of concern raised by the occupants of Goldacre Housing Association managed estate that is as follows;
A Little help is provided to tenants who experience difficulties in paying their rents.
Residents complain that they experience difficulties when reporting repairs and the repairs are of low quality.
Residents are complaining how anti-social behavior is being addressed within the estate (Bramley G et al. 2005)
The report is going to address the main problem and plans for tackling the reported issues above. Also, the report will commend a good practice that has been applied by other landlords and have been proved to be efficacious and ensure the health and safety of people and property are the first priority (Reeves 2014).
Part 2. Dealing with repairs and maintenance: Implementing an operational repairs management strategy
Developed in partnership with Mears Group charter provide tenants with proper strategies and practical approaches that maximize the ability of the tenant to provide an efficient and effective repairs service. The have to ensure that tenants and clients benefit from homes and estates that are well maintained and ensure that the services are of high quality and affordable cost. They ensure that landlord provide quality and modern technology facilities to make sure the tenants are fully satisfied by providing what they want (Audit Commission, 2002).
It is the responsibility of every landlord to ensure that they maintain value for their services (Chartered Institute of Housing 2011). The repair services are the largest area of spending for most of the landlord and this challenges the landlord to procure and deliver repairs services and maximize opportunities to enable local sustainability. In this connection, Goldacre Housing Association will ensure that assets are maintained in good condition to ensure they last for an extended period. To make sure that landlords provide Gold acre Housing Association proper services the method used by Mears Group charter to improve their services. GHA will partner with work together with CIH to equip employees with knowledge and skills required to deliver quality services as per the customers. We have to ensure that our staffs are well committed and equipped with the most recent technology to provide the tenants with quality services.
GHA will ensure that emergency repairs within less than 24 hours after the tenant have reported. In a situation where the life or the tenant is in danger, the repair has to be done within two hours after the tenant has notified us, and he/she will be informed about the progress of the job using the automatic text message service. Moreover, GHA is planning to introduce the good practice through Livin Housing Association (LHA) supports services known as Digital Me where a client is given free digital support training to assist them to be connected with the contractors and landlords. The service will help the tenants to be able to book a repair at their convenient time and follow up the whole process ensuring that he/she get the feedback after every work that is done (Audit Commission 2009). This good practice will be implemented well by GHA by specifying the timing and standards of any given repair to give the tenants what is to be done and when it will be executed. The adoption of the technology will keep the tenant informed of what is happening and the kind of standards they are expecting (Audit Commission 2007). Since many problems are recurrent GHA will have to the factors that are contributing to the complication and identify methods of solving them. This will involve coming up with strategies that will facilitate the repair process from the time it is reported to the time a solution is implemented. Various problems that are experienced in the process include lack or poor communication between the management, residents, and contractors involved in implementing the repairs.
GHA will implement the good practice to ensure it has an effective management strategy as a way of dealing with the repair problems to attain effective and timely outcomes. The first step will include the provision of the automatic message and Digital Me services to help the maintenance department, and residents can communicate efficiently and reports issues arising. Also, GHA will ensure that emergency repairs are readily available to the clients 24 hours a day, any day of the year. The kind of emergency repair that will be addressed during these working hours include those who poses a severe risk to safety and health of the residents and poses a major risk to the structure of the property. In the case of an emergency Council of tenants will call our center or send a message using the automatic message at any time of the day or night. After reporting a repair request, it will be followed by assessing the required repair and placing theirs in order of their emergency. The contractor will then be required to attend in every emergency repair requested within 24 hours. Some repairs which pose a major risk to the tenant such as gas leakage should be attended immediately within 2 hours or less. An automatic text message will be used to inform the management and the tenant on the progress of the job concurrently (Chartered Institute of Housing undated).
The priorities raised the residents will be dealt with adhering to health and safety guidelines. After the repair, the strategies will include giving the residents feedback and giving them an opportunity to express their concerns or express relating to the service or repairs done, to the management (Audit Commission 2005). The housing association or local authorities can only be able to deal will the respond to issues compiled by the residents by giving them a platform to be part of the decision making process (Reeves 2014)
Furthermore, GHA will introduce a system where the management will be issuing a quarter report about the repairs that have been conducted. It is a strategy that aimed to make sure that there is an interaction between the management to hear from the tenants whether they are satisfied or with service that is being offered by GHA. The tenants will be able to give the level of satisfaction with services they receive giving them a sense of belonging.
Part 3: Addressing Ant-Social Behavior
According to Clarke, Williams, & Wydall (2012), anti-social behavior (ASB) is the act that leads to harassment and distress to one or more individuals.
Chartered Institute of Housing (2017) holds that the government introduced ASB charter for housing in 2006, known as RESPECT CHARTER that is currently used by social landlords to tackle and avert ASB efficiently. According to the respect charter, ASB is the most critical needs that the landlord should be providing to their tenants to avoid nuisance within the estate.
GHA take the safety of the tenants very serious and will follow the guidelines of Lewisham Homes sound practice as a benchmark when dealing with ASB. GHA will sign the respect charter that was provided by the government to guide when dealing with ASB. Also, the tenant will be given a platform such as online reports or telephone calls to report their ASB concerns. After that, an ASB officer will be required to make a follow-up on the matter and a visit to the estate within one day.
Additionally, GHA will incorporate the good practice that is used by East Lothian Council in which has installed closed circuit television (CCTV) to common areas such as entrance and corridors to monitor the activities happening within the building and ensure the tenants are feeling safe. The residents will be reminded the danger that they will face if they involve themselves in ASB activities such as losing their homes. The kind of consequences that the tenant will face will be listed on the agreement to ensure that the residents are well informed. The CCTV will be installed on each block of the flat monitor the whole premises and make sure that tenant is reminded of the consequence of being involved in ASB act, as per the agreement.
According to government introduced the respect Charter standard for landlords to make sure that local authorities and housing associations improve the quality of life for the tenant by dealing with the unacceptable behaviors. The agreement is signed to make sure that the landlord is fully dedicated to creating a neighborhood where residents feel valued, supported, and bound by a sense of community.
Part 4: Dealing with empty home management
According to (Mullins and Murie 2006) an empty house or home in community causes serious problems like giving the area a poor image and increase the rate of crime. When there so many empty homes within an area many people will fear to live in such a neighborhood and the long run this will devalue homes in that region and prevent the homeless individuals from securing a home (Lister Perry and Thornley 2007).
GHA will also apply good practice guide used Ealing Councils for letting out empty homes. This will involves providing full refurbishment for the houses that have been left empty for more than six months. The second grant will be known as Better Homes Grant, and it will be covering 100% repair cost for homes that have been vacated for less than six months. The method will be applied by GHA to ensure that empty houses are dealt with in a way that the customer will feel satisfied (Fitzpatrick and Stephens 2008).
Lastly, GHA will make sure that vacated properties are put in proper use to prevent the problems it brings in an area to make the residents and their families are safe and also avoid potential tenants being scared away.
ACTION DATE RESPONSIBILITY
Digital Me Support Service June 2017 Director Repair Team
Sign up to the RESPECT CHARTER. June 2017 Housing Manager
Automatic SMS test message system June 2017 Director Repair Team
Install closed circuit television June 2017 Director Repair Team
Free Digital Support training June 2017 Director IT
Working database for collecting data for empty homes June 2017 Director IT
Audit Commission. 2002. Learning from inspection: repairs and maintenance. London: Audit Commission. (W)
Audit Commission. 2009. Key Lines of Enquiry: repairs and maintenance. London: AC (W)
Bramley G et al. 2005. Key Issues in Housing Policies and Markets in 21st Century Britain. Basingstoke: Palgrave 333.3380941 BRA.
Chartered Institute of Housing. 2011. Repairs and Maintenance. Housing Practice. Coventry: CIH (W)
Chartered Institute of Housing. (undated). How to carry out repairs- in time, the first time. Coventry: CIH (W)
Fitzpatrick S and Stephens M. 2008. The future of social housing. 363.5850941 FUT.
Harriott S and Matthews L. 2009. Introducing Affordable Housing. Coventry: CIH. Chapters 4 (housing finance) and 6 (housing management).
Hills, J. 2007. Ends and Means: the future roles of social housing in England. London: Centre for Analysis of Social Exclusion. (W)
Lund B. 2011. Understanding Housing Policy. Bristol: Policy Press. 363.50941 LUN.
Mullins D and Murie A. 2006. Housing Policy in...
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