18 September 2018

Future options for delivering housing repairs and improvement services

Bringing responsive repairs and empty property services in-house is among the recommendations being proposed for the council’s 11,550 rented homes and 2,700 leasehold properties.

The future delivery of these services is being discussed at a special Housing & New Homes Committee on 26 September 2018.

Since being introduced in 2010, the council’s partnership contract with Mears has allowed us to bring all council homes up to the government’s Decent Homes Standard and has delivered savings for the council. The contract with Mears ends in 2020 and the council has been looking at how this service could be delivered in the future.

We’ve been speaking to tenants, leaseholders and other stakeholders about their experiences and what the focus of the future services should be, as well as working with staff and councillors to develop options for the future delivery of services.

Feedback from all stakeholders set out a number of key objectives for the future delivery of the services. These include excellent customer service and the ability to self-serve, a strong focus on maintaining existing assets, a clear demonstration of value for money, and added economic, social and environmental benefits for the city.

The recommendations for delivering the service are to:

  • Deliver customer service and quality assurance services in-house
  • Deliver responsive repairs and empty property refurbishment works to council housing through an in-house team 
  • Set up at least one contract to provide planned maintenance and improvement programmes
  • Set up a multi-contractor framework agreement for major capital projects
  • Continue to deliver specialist work, such as lifts, adaptations, etc through individual contracts

Councillor Anne Meadows, Chair of the Housing & New Homes Committee, said: “We’ve listened to what our residents want and our priority is to deliver a high-quality, responsive and value for money repairs, maintenance and improvement service. It is one of the most important services we deliver to our tenants and leaseholders, and we’ve done a lot of work investigating all the options to make sure we provide the best service we can.

“Our current contract has delivered a good value repairs service and allowed us to achieve 100% Decent Homes across our housing, as well as many other improvements to our residents’ homes. It is important that the design of the new service allows us to maintain the high standards our residents have come to expect in the quality of their repairs and improve the areas where satisfaction has been lower.”

For more information, read the 26 September 2018 Housing & New Homes Committee report.

The final decision will be made at the Policy Resources & Growth Committee on 11 October 2018.