"We’ve created a new Corporate Lead-ASB role to deliver consistency and drive service improvement. I’ll lead on implementing best practice and learning from the likes of the Housing Ombudsman Spotlight reports. I’ll also support the operational integration of our ASB service following our merger in December 2022.
We’ve implemented over half of the recommendations from the Housing Ombudsman’s Spotlight report on noise. That includes developing a draft Good Neighbourhood Management procedure – one of the report’s key recommendations. We’ll go live with it by the end of March 2024. This will mean we’ll intervene earlier to resolve issues between neighbours before tensions escalate into ASB.
We’ve co-created a Southern Housing ASB policy with residents, drawing upon their lived-experience, as well as learning and best practice from others tackling ASB. It’s another key step towards delivering consistency.
We’ve also got some key milestones to come in 2024. Our Service Improvement team have recently started an ASB service review. As part of this, colleagues and residents will co-create a new Southern Housing ASB process and customer journey. We’ll use residents’ insights to better meet their needs, manage expectations and improve satisfaction. This review will help us develop an improved ASB case management system by the end of 2024. It will deliver greater compliance with procedure, enhanced quality assurance and better performance reporting.
My colleagues have been working hard since merger to help respond to ASB. We’ve supported 1,791 households affected by ASB including:
- 382 households experiencing harassment
- 248 households affected by noise
- 125 drugs-related investigations
- 159 physical violence cases.
We’ve also helped 396 households experiencing domestic abuse.
We’re expected to use legal action as a last resort and have an in-house legal team to assist with advice as well as progress cases for court action. Since merger we’ve handled over 40 active legal ASB cases. We’ve also obtained eight court orders including six injunctions, one undertaking and one possession order.
We know we need to, and will, improve. However, it’s useful to see how our ASB service compares with our peers. A recent benchmarking exercise with similar organisations revealed we had the highest satisfaction with ASB handling of our peers in the first half of this year. We'll keep a keen eye on how our performance compares when the Tenant Satisfaction Measures are published later in the year as we continue to refine how we handle ASB."