There is no escaping the fact that many housing associations reputations are often won and lost on their repairs service alone. With an ever-growing demand for a personalised service from the customer and increased focus on energy efficiency, safety and improving the decent homes standard from government, housing associations are very much in the firing line right now.
Financial pressures add some spice to the challenge as like many things in our world the cost of the raw materials needed for repairs skyrocket when inflation goes up, and then stay there when it eventually comes down!
And yet, despite this pressure our first 12 months as Southern Housing has been somewhat heartening when it comes to repairs.
Let's examine some of the numbers from our first year of operation:
- 154,947 responsive repairs undertaken.
- 22,125 emergency repairs carried out.
- 10,877 damp and mould repairs dealt with
- 269 disrepair cases closed.
While those numbers will tell part of the story about our investment and responsiveness, you need the resident voice to complete the picture. So what do they think?
- Complaints relating to our repairs service are at 1.59%
- Our follow-up satisfaction survey of 1,994 residents had over 1,300 rating the service received at 4 or 5 stars out of 5.
To my mind this helps paint some positive perspective on where our repairs service currently sits, as opposed to what you might read or hear about elsewhere. Our newfound financial resilience that has come about through merger has helped us ride the storm more effectively than either of our legacy organisation could have done alone, but we still have some way to go before we can be truly satisfied.
This year has not only been about delivering a service therefore, but about putting in the foundations of a new and improved operating model for the future. Our resident voice, through our new resident governance structure, will be at the heart of co-creating our new approach.
What I see now though is a system and a team of people that is currently working hard and delivering strong results. We have a good base from which to build, and ever exacting demands that will keep pushing us forward. I’m looking forward to leading our response to the challenges we face and helping, perhaps, repair more than just our homes.