Avatar Icons Tom 02
Editor Communications Team

As of 7 November 2022, our existing Direct Services Team took over from contractors idVerde in East Sussex, covering homes up to, and including, Brighton and Hove allowing our Grounds Maintenance Service to come in-house.

The team also aim to extend their service to include West Sussex (currently provided by Groundscapes) in the coming year.

What does this mean for you?

Protecting service charges 

This change means protecting service charges for you – we expect to save just under £500,000 over the next five years.

Improved quality

Many of you will be familiar with our current Direct Services Team – much of their work already crosses over with contractors, including:

  • Fencing
  • Void Property Clearances
  • Bulk Waste / Fly-tipping Disposal
  • Jet Washing & Graffiti Removal
  • Sharps Collection
  • Garden Clearances
  • Neighbourhood LEAF Projects
  • Minor Tree Works
  • Weed Control & Hardstanding Maintenance
  • Winter Works.

In East Sussex, the team already has a 100 per cent satisfaction score from residents.

This shows Optivo staff have the passion, drive and focus to provide the very best service for you. Resident satisfaction and pride in our estates comes naturally to us – it’s ingrained in our ethos and culture.


We know West Sussex has seen a number of contractors over the past few years, which can be unsettling. Our in-house team will provide a consistent service across the region.

Our offices are based in Hastings and we’ll be re-locating our Ford office, ensuring the region is well covered.

Working with you to ensure continued quality

We’ll work with you to ensure we’re doing what we say we will. Expect to see better communication, and increased flexibility further down the line. We’ll be able to resolve issues far quicker than a contractor.

Our Direct Services Management Team already works closely with Resident Involvement to ensure we’re continually improving, providing the service you want and need. There’ll be many more opportunities for you to have your say in the coming year.

We’ll also work to build more relationships within the local community, with agencies, businesses and local suppliers to ensure further sustainability, efficiencies and savings.

More information

We'll be updating our website regularly, so watch this space!


We've been delighted to hear great feedback regarding the quality of our team's work:

"I really wanted to reach out specifically about a younger guy who was doing some of the work. His workmanship and attention to detail was unreal! I really hope he keeps up the good work/energy."

Frequently Asked Questions

This change affects residents with communal grounds surrounding their home.

You can email or call 0800 121 6060 to report a job. 

The chemicals we use are compliant with all relevant laws, and the operatives are licensed to complete the work. The chemicals are designed to wilt or supress the growth of weeds only, and are not harmful to wildlife or pets.

We’ve a short, medium and long term plan to get all our estates up to a quality score of at least 3.5 (with 4 being perfect). Over the next year, we’ll be able to see the current challenges of each area and understand how we can improve things. After 24 months, we hope each estate will be scoring at least a 3, then a 3.5 after 36 to 48 months. We’ll then ensure they never fall below this level. And, who knows, we could even hit that perfect 4.

If you live in East Sussex (up to, and including, Brighton and Hove), Direct Services will be taking over from current contractor idVerde on November 7. If you live in West Sussex, we’re looking to take over from Groundscapes after their contract finishes on March 31, 2023.

There may be two reasons for this. Firstly, this may have been put on a reduction programme to be completed within the winter season. Secondly, by law, if birds are nesting within the hedge  (typically between March – October) we're unable to complete any hard pruning and will only complete light maintenance within the beds, or if the hedge is causing a health and safety risk.

Leaves are only removed from the paths to prevent slip and trip hazards. However, they'll be left to naturally compost on all other areas. 

We took the decision to 'cut and drop' to ensure we're contributing towards reducing land waste and allowing our operatives to be on site a greater percentage of time. It also keeps us in line with neighbouring authority-owned land. Where safe to do so, we'll provide a mulching service. You will see this after the third or fourth cut of the year.  This will also provide a natural fertiliser for the ground.

Please be aware of a slight delay in grass being cut on some of our estates in Sussex. This is due to heavy rain fall at the start of the grass cutting season (March/April through until September/October*).

We're working hard to get to all estates as quickly as possible and apologise for any inconvenience caused.

We’ve taken the decision to move to a cut and drop service, meaning the grass is left to mulch onsite to provide a natural fertiliser. This decision will help us to reduce waste and allow our operatives more time to spend onsite carrying out the work. It also allows us to cut the cost of disposing grass cuttings meaning service charges are kept as low as possible.

Raised areas and banks will be given a courtesy cut of approximately one metre. The remaining areas will be left to flourish as wildflower areas in line with our approach to green spaces and sustainability.  New signage will be put up in these areas shortly.

*Grass isn’t cut during winter months

Our news

All Articles
Andy 1
  • 01 December 2023
  • Care

Isle of Wight Resident Andy is a Woodwork Whizz!

90DOMA Sharepoint Thumbnail
  • 30 November 2023

We’re improving our contact services

WRD Video Thumbnail
  • 25 November 2023
  • Support and advice

White Ribbon Day 2023

Microsoftteams Image (54)
  • 21 November 2023
  • Surveys and competitions

Holding on to Home

Safeguarding Adults Week4
  • 20 November 2023
  • Support and advice

We're supporting Safeguarding Adults Week

International Men's Day Banner
  • 17 November 2023

Celebrating International Men's Day

  • 13 November 2023
  • Care

Residents Enjoy Spellbinding Day at Wizarding World of Harry Potter

Dockley Cropped
  • 10 November 2023
  • Announcement

Dockley Apartments wins Housing Project of the Year

Free Wharf CGI (1)
  • 09 November 2023
  • New developments

New Life Breathed into Shoreham-by-Sea's Waterfront with Affordable Housing

Southern Housing Template Intranet Email Thumbnail
  • 09 November 2023
  • Announcement


Nudge Platform 2
  • 06 November 2023
  • Money matters

Talk Money Week 2023

Climate Champion Shortlist Banner
  • 02 November 2023
  • Sustainability

Our Climate Champions Shine Bright on the 2023 Climate Champion shortlist

Adobestock 256962110Grass Cutting
  • 30 October 2023
  • Announcement

Grass Cutting Announcement for Residents in East Sussex

6Fc2f3b3 Af9f 45A3 B175 D4ec3c580245
  • 30 October 2023
  • Diversity and inclusion

Reflecting on Black History Month

  • 27 October 2023
  • Support and advice

Don’t Play with Fire, Celebrate Safely this Autumn

Contact Us Compliments And Complaints
  • 25 October 2023

We’re moving forward together

Stop Loan Sharks
  • 24 October 2023

Stop Loan Sharks Awareness Week

DWP Leaflet
  • 23 October 2023
  • Support and advice

DWP/HMRC Leaflet Warning

Building Safety Resident Engagement Strategy
  • 20 October 2023

Introducing our Building Safety Resident Engagement Strategy

Construction Event
  • 19 October 2023

Construction Careers event in London

Halloween Activity Sessions
  • 19 October 2023

Halloween Activities in Sussex

  • 18 October 2023
  • Support and advice

We’re Supporting Anti-Slavery Day

Ohenewaa G15 Award
  • 17 October 2023
  • Diversity and inclusion

What does Black History Month mean to you?

Grand Avenue10 (3)
  • 17 October 2023
  • New developments

Grand Avenue Wins Best Shared Ownership Development at Evening Standard New Homes Awards

Heat Networks Resized
  • 13 October 2023
  • Sustainability

Southern Housing Awarded Funds to Improve Heat Networks

Tenancy Sustainment
  • 11 October 2023
  • Support and advice

Success at the Kent Housing Awards

Mother And Child
  • 10 October 2023
  • Money matters

Money worries? There's support for you

Myaccount Hub
  • 10 October 2023

Changes to our MyAccount service

BHM Social Media Social Media Sq Graphic
  • 02 October 2023
  • Diversity and inclusion

Celebrating Black History Month

Adobestock 227762852
  • 27 September 2023

Have you received a Section 20B letter?

Barnard House With LS
  • 20 September 2023
  • Resident Involvement

New lease of life for community garden

  • 19 September 2023
  • New developments

Final brick laid at New Kent Road development

Milestone At Southwark Development
  • 15 September 2023
  • New developments

Milestone at our Southwark development

PHOTO 2023 09 04 10 46 47
  • 14 September 2023
  • New developments

Grand Avenue Takes Trophy for Best Show Home

Pension Awareness Lead Banner 03 2024 1
  • 13 September 2023
  • Support and advice

Pension Awareness Week 2023

IMG 0683
  • 12 September 2023
  • Support and advice

End Digital Poverty Day

Mum And Son Cooking On Gas
  • 11 September 2023
  • Support and advice

Gas safety week

Southern Housing Template Intranet Email Thumbnail
  • 07 September 2023


Financial Reports News Article 2
  • 31 August 2023

Our first Financial Report as Southern Housing is out now

Litterpick Banner
  • 30 August 2023
  • Community

Litter heroes clear up Hastings

IMG 7985
  • 29 August 2023
  • wellbeing

Getting back on my feet

The Show Globe Please Photo Credit Sara Lou Bowrey
  • 29 August 2023
  • events

A day of 'sea magic' in Sussex

Lindsey Lamont Uwnh5jsrdr4 Unsplash
  • 24 August 2023
  • Support and advice

Are you scam aware?

London Skyline
  • 14 August 2023
  • Support and advice

Staying safe this summer

Summer Savings Banner 2
  • 08 August 2023

Low cost activity ideas for families this Summer

Sh Logo Blue
  • 04 August 2023
  • Announcement

Update on major leak at one of our buildings in Mitcham

  • 01 August 2023

New affordable housing development wins award

Croydon Colleagues 170423 20
  • 31 July 2023

New research project: do you want to take part?

  • 28 July 2023

Safety tips - electric bikes and e-scooters

Ryde Village
  • 25 July 2023
  • Care

Popstars in the making

  • 25 July 2023
  • Care

Farm trip for Isle of Wight residents

Komp Edna Photo
  • 24 July 2023
  • Care

New technology helping older residents to stay connected

Rachel Stone2
  • 24 July 2023
  • Care

A new start for Rachel

Alan Kew Fever Photo
  • 24 July 2023
  • Care

Inclusive club nights

Rosemary House
  • 18 July 2023
  • Sustainability

Topping out at The Green Quarter

Construction Course
  • 17 July 2023

FREE Construction Course for Southern Housing residents

The Mannings
  • 11 July 2023
  • Sustainability

Topping out at new low carbon housing project

  • 11 July 2023
  • Sustainability

Narrowing the retrofit skills gap

Classroom 1 (1)
  • 11 July 2023

Lettings Open Day - Tower Hamlets

Teaching Assistant
  • 28 June 2023

FREE Level 2 Teaching Assistant Course for Southern Housing Residents

Microsoftteams Image (49) (1)
  • 15 June 2023

Your new resident magazine is here!

Johannes Plenio Voq97kezcx0 Unsplash
  • 15 June 2023

Top up your electricity by prepayment meter? You can get a discount

Southern Housing Template Intranet Email Thumbnail
  • 14 June 2023
  • Money matters

Change from Tax Credits to Universal Credit

Southern Housing Template Intranet Email Thumbnail
  • 14 June 2023

Statement following fire at Hallam Court

  • 14 June 2023
Southern Housing Template Intranet Email Thumbnail
  • 08 June 2023

Hallam Court Fire

A Chance To Thrive Post Graphic
  • 07 June 2023

A chance to thrive

  • 02 June 2023

Free accredited courses available for Southern Housing residents in London

G15 Awards Win
  • 26 May 2023

Southern Housing colleagues win at the G15 Ethnicity in Housing Awards

Four Million Homes Logo Stack Blue Solo
  • 25 May 2023

Learn about your rights and how to stand up for them

EIHA23 Banner Tablet Central Purple
  • 04 May 2023

Southern Housing colleagues nominated for G15 Ethnicity in Housing Awards

Carl Taylor Ecosafe & Rachel Pearson Thumbnail
  • 28 April 2023

Festival weekend of fun at Four Courts Wellbeing Hub

House Overview
  • 25 April 2023
  • Resident Involvement

Research project launched

  • 24 April 2023

Saving water

  • 17 April 2023

Saving energy

Footsize Headers 3
  • 11 April 2023

Improving green spaces

PXL 20230328 094021559.MP
  • 04 April 2023

Cutting down on our waste

Microsoftteams Image (5)
  • 30 March 2023

Footsize does matter

Markus Spiske Teyrhlv0jba Unsplash
  • 29 March 2023

Litter pick for the Great British Spring Clean (on 4 April)

Join Us Email Header 2 (Smaller) Web Tile
  • 27 March 2023
  • Resident Involvement

We need your skills and lived experience

Vivint Solar 9Calgksrzb8 Unsplash 2
  • 22 March 2023

£10.3m for our energy efficiency work

Paul Hackett And George Blunden
  • 14 March 2023

Exploring our proud history

Noah Buscher X8zstuks2pm Unsplash
  • 14 March 2023

Is sustainable living important to you?

Adobestock 286657250
  • 06 March 2023

Rent and service charge update

Evangeline Shaw Vlkooabaxqw Unsplash
  • 01 March 2023

Bexhill Jobs Fair

Caring Callers Programme Update
  • 28 February 2023

Caring Callers programme to support vulnerable residents comes to an end

Adobestock 168018271
  • 16 February 2023

Be window and balcony aware

LUF Photo Of All
  • 13 February 2023

Heart of Sidley Levelling Up Fund success

Handing Over Keys
  • 10 February 2023

Right to Shared Ownership update

Tree Planting Crew Edit
  • 09 February 2023

500 new trees

Clifton Road2
  • 31 January 2023

Delivery of 74 new affordable homes in Newhaven nears completion

Avoiding Scams
  • 27 January 2023

Our top tips to avoid scammers

  • 26 January 2023

Protect yourself from loan-fee fraud

SH & L&Q Logos Transparent
  • 24 January 2023

Southern Housing acquires 794 homes from L&Q

Young Woman On Phone
  • 24 January 2023

Take control of your money

Adobestock 386138567
  • 13 January 2023

Discount for electricity service charge payers

PH With Van
  • 16 December 2022
  • Announcement

Optivo and Southern Housing Group merger completed

Adobestock 390142760
  • 16 December 2022

Join our residents’ panels