Last year we conducted a wide reaching review of our repairs and maintenance service in order to better understand how we could improve the standard of service we provide to our tenants.
You may have read the findings of this review in our Annual Review and Newsletter, if not you can read it HERE.
Taking on board everything tenants shared with us last year it became clear that some of our contractors are letting us down and there are too many levels of communication for customers to navigate. These two issues were at the heart of a lot of other issues raised.
We looked at what other organisations do and studied those with particularly high levels of satisfaction, and found a solution that will improve things for all our tenants.
As a result we will be entering into a repairs partnership with Alliance Homes. What we are essentially doing is setting up our own contractors/ repairs service in partnership with Alliance Homes. This sharing of resources will give us much more control over how our services are delivered and improve the customer satisfaction of our repairs service.
Alliance Homes currently run the service for their customers and we will be entering into a new legal structure with them so all decision about the service are made jointly. The idea is, that in the future the service could be shared with other Housing Associations, providing an alternative to traditional repairs and maintenance contracts. This is a really good option for small associations like ourselves who other wise couldn’t afford to run their own repairs service and would have to rely on external contractors.
What is covered by the partnership?
- Day to day repairs
- Empty homes
- Gas Service and repairs
- Electrical inspection and repairs
- Pre & post inspections of repair work carried out
- Out of hours – Emergency repairs
What is not covered?
- Communal cleaning
- Communal gardening and ground maintenance
- Option appraisals/Asset management
- Planned and cyclical maintenance
Your questions answered
When will the change happen?
There will be a phased introduction of the service from February 2018, with full transition being completed in July 2018.
Who are Alliance Homes?
Like United Communities, Alliance is a community based social housing provider. They operate in North Somerset and manage around 6,500 homes. As well as providing homes, they also provide a range of care and support services.
Why are we partnering with Alliance Homes?
Alliance Homes already employ a direct labour force to carry out their repairs and it is this team that we will be using to deliver our services from now on. This means their teams are trained to a standard set by the Housing Association and understand that some of our tenants have particular needs.
Alliance Homes have very high customer satisfaction levels and will expect the new partnership to deliver the same levels of satisfaction to our customers
What are their customer satisfaction scores?
In a survey conducted in the first half of 2017 by Alliance Homes 91.2% of respondents are very or fairly satisfied with the repair and maintenance service (72.8% very satisfied and 18.4% fairly satisfied). Compared with United Communities 71%
What will change?
From a tenants perspective not a lot will change. The way you report repairs will be the same; same number, same website, same email address. You might see different trades people turning up to carry out repairs but they will all have ID that identifies them as United Communities trades people. For the first few months they may turn up in Alliance vans but this will change.
If you have any more questions regarding the changes then please don’t hesitate to contact Becky Whitmore (Events & Communications Coordinator) on 01179 424 600 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please note Becky doesn’t work Tuesdays.
Thank you to all residents that contributed to this review we really do value your insight and experience.