Housing Division Asset Management Plan (2008 - 2009)

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Housing Division Asset Management Plan (2008 - 2009)

  1. 1. NORTH WARWICKSHIRE BOROUGH COUNCIL HOUSING DIVISION ASSET MANAGEMENT PLAN 2008 - 2009 Housing Division Asset Management Plan – 2008-2009 Version 5 Page 1 of 39
  2. 2. Contents Executive Summary 1 Introduction and Context 1.1 Context 1.2 Scope of the Asset Management Plan 1.3 Definition and Purpose 1.4 Corporate Goals and Objectives 1.5 Lifespan and review process 1.6 Data Sources 2 Current Position 2.1 Stock Profile and Condition 2.2 Customer Profile – Meeting Housing Needs 2.3 Modern and Efficient Homes 2.4 Safe and Accessible Homes 2.5 Sustainable Neighbourhoods 3 Use of Resources 4 Review of Asset Management 4.1 Customer Profile 4.2 Engaging with Tenants 4.3 Meeting Housing Needs 4.4 Garage Sites 4.5 Stock Condition 4.6 Housing Direct Works Team 4.7 Standards 4.8 Estate and Tenancy Management 4.9 Leaseholders 4.10 Other Stakeholders Housing Division Asset Management Plan – 2008-2009 Version 5 Page 2 of 39
  3. 3. Executive Summary 1 Introduction and Context 1.1 Context The Asset Management Plan for the Housing Division has developed to provide detail necessary to provide a clear direction for the management of the assets that the Housing Division manages. The Plan has been developed in a way that enables Tenants to understand the current position of the Housing Division with regard to Asset Management and future direction. The Borough Wide Tenants Forum has been fully involved in all of the decisions which have been necessary to establish the foundations set out in the Plan. This Asset Management Plan identifies the investment and maintenance needed to contribute to the Council’s strategies. The Asset Management Plan supports and is informed by the Council’s Corporate and Housing strategies. The Asset Management Plan reflects the priorities set out in the Housing Revenue Account Business Plan. It also updates the information set out in the Business Plan which is currently under review and therefore will be used to inform the revised Business Plan. 1.2 Scope The Housing Division Asset Management Plan covers all of the housing stock owned and managed by North Warwickshire Borough Council and includes garages and sheltered scheme communal rooms. 1.3 Definition and Purpose This Asset Management Plan provides a framework to enable us to manage the stock proactively and support the Business Plan objectives. It helps to ensure that resources for maintaining the assets in good condition and investments made are clearly focussed. 1.4 Corporate Goals and Objectives The objectives for the Asset Management Plan support the strategic objectives set out for the housing service in the Corporate Plan. These include achieving the Council’s Bronze Standard, the efficient and effective management of the Authority’s stock and ensuring equal opportunities in service delivery and provision. 1.5 Lifespan and review process This plan reflects the changes and improvements made to the services the Housing Division provides during 2007 and provides a position statement for 2008/2009. It also looks to the future when a more comprehensive Asset Management Plan will be built out of the work carried out in 2008 to improve our information base across all areas of work, engage further with Tenants to continue to explore what their aspirations for their homes are and to develop plans further to improve capacity to deliver services. 1.6 Data Sources The Asset Management Plan links strategic and operational drivers for the Housing Division’s services. In order to achieve this link this plan considers:  the profile of the stock and its condition  the profile of current and future customers  services required to provide sustainable neighbourhoods Housing Division Asset Management Plan – 2008-2009 Version 5 Page 3 of 39
  4. 4. 2 Current Position This section outlines the Council’s current position with regard to its stock and its customer profile. The housing stock totals 2,773 as at 1 January 2008. The stock condition survey undertaken in 2004 has been updated during 2007 with the information transferred onto the Division’s housing management system. A new stock condition survey will be carried out during 2008. Section 2.1 provides information on the Council’s stock of properties, garages and sheltered scheme communal rooms. Section 2.2 gives an outline of the Housing Division’s current Tenants and potential Tenants of the future. Work will be undertaken to update these profiles during 2008 and the information used to inform service development. Section 2.3 provides information on work which has been carried out to ensure that the Council’s properties meet modern standards and are energy efficient. It also gives an indication of future programmes of work which will build on work already undertaken. This includes work to be carried out at the ex- coal board estates at Hill Top, Arley, and Piccadily, near Kingsbury. Section 2.4 sets out the work undertaken by the Housing Division to ensure Tenants’ homes are safe and accessible. It covers adaptations, gas servicing and asbestos surveys. Section 2.5 gives a broad view of how the Housing Division is working to ensure its neighbourhoods are well managed and are areas where people want to continue to live and will choose to live in the future. 3 Use of Resources The Council has made a firm commitment as part of its Capital Programme to ensuring that the ‘Bronze Standard’ is achieved for its own stock by 2010. The commitment in financial terms is £16,945,500 until 2011. In addition, the Housing Revenue Account continues to be in a healthy position, even in the face of the demise of the Rental Constraint Allowance, and we can ensure that services required to address the Council’s landlord commitments are available. This section outlines our approach to Value for Money and procurement, as well as setting out changes to our staffing resources to improve our capacity to deliver services well. The capital spend for the years after 2010 have been estimated on the current stock condition survey information. This equates to £2.1 million for 2011/12 to 2013/14 and £2.7 million for 2014/15 to 2017/18. However, this will be reviewed when the stock condition survey is undertaken during 2008. 4 Review of Asset Management This Asset Management Plan sets out the Council’s current position with regard to the management of its stock. The Plan also looks forward to the development of a 10 year Plan which will be in place from April 2009. There are a number of steps which need to be undertaken to ensure the sound development of that 10 year plan. A broad outline of the work required to progress our Asset Management Plan is set out in the Plan and this includes work to be undertaken to • Improve our customer profile information • Engage with Tenants • Address housing needs • Carry out options appraisals on our garage sites • Update our stock condition information • Improve the productivity and efficiency of our Housing Direct Works Team • Review and set out clear service standards • Improve our estate and tenancy management services • Work with leaseholders • Engage with other stakeholders to set out a 10 year Asset Management Plan Housing Division Asset Management Plan – 2008-2009 Version 5 Page 4 of 39
  5. 5. 1. Introduction and Context 1.1 Context 1.1.1 North Warwickshire is a rural Borough with the largest centres of population in the market towns of Atherstone, Coleshill and Polesworth. Atherstone is the area with the largest numbers of Council properties. The Borough has a mining legacy and still has a working pit in the area. The mining legacy is reflected in some of the issues the Council is dealing with in respect of its stock – including issues such as re-generating ex coal board housing estates and dealing with a stock which for many years housed Tenants who predominantly preferred solid fuel heating systems. 1.1.2 This plan accords with the principles set out in the Council’s Corporate Property Strategy, Capital Strategy and Asset Management Plan which are currently being reviewed. The Housing Division has developed an Asset Management Plan as a separate strategy because of the detail necessary to provide a clear direction for the management of the assets that the Housing Division manages. The Plan has been developed in a way that enables Tenants to understand the current position of the Housing Division with regard to Asset Management and future direction. The Borough Wide Tenants Forum have been fully involved in all of the decisions which have been necessary to establish the foundations set out in the Plan. This Asset Management Plan identifies the investment and maintenance needed to contribute to the Council’s strategies. The Asset Management Plan supports and is informed by the Council’s Corporate and Housing strategies. 1.1.3 The Asset Management Plan reflects the priorities set out in the Housing Revenue Account Business Plan. It also updates the information set out in the Business Plan which is currently under review and therefore will be used to inform the revised Business Plan. In 2004/2005 the Council undertook an Options Appraisal for its stock. The Government Office for the West Midlands signed off the Council’s Appraisal in July 2005. The outcomes of the Options Appraisal are reflected in the Business Plan with the Council committed to achieving the ‘Bronze Standard’ [Appendix 1] favoured by Tenants during the Appraisal process. Housing Division Asset Management Plan – 2008-2009 Version 5 Page 5 of 39
  6. 6. Corporately the Council has committed 86% of its capital programme budget to ensure that the Council’s Bronze Standard is achieved in all of its properties by 2010. This commitment was required in order to accord with Tenants’ favoured option which was for the housing stock to continue to be managed by the Council. In order to ensure that its commitment to meeting the Bronze Standard by 2010 in a way that has customers at the heart of the process the Council has undertaken a fundamental review of how it procures its improvement programmes with a view to ensuring value for money into the future. 1.1.4 A commitment to stock retention is also a commitment to providing homes in sustainable communities into the future. The Housing Revenue Account Business Plan sets out the services the Housing Division provides to achieve this and again those commitments are reflected and updated here. 1.2 Scope of the Asset Management Plan 1.2.1 The Housing Division Asset Management Plan covers all of the housing stock owned and managed by North Warwickshire Borough Council and includes garages and sheltered scheme communal rooms. 1.2.2 North Warwickshire Borough Council is responsible for the management of 2773 properties (at 1st January 2008). Appendix 2 provides the breakdown of the Council stock by location at 1 January 2008. The Council also has of stock of 1212 garages and 22 sheltered scheme communal rooms. It manages 105 blocks of medium rise flats. 1.2.3 The Housing Division’s vision is: “To provide customer focussed services by well trained knowledgeable staff with tenants fully involved at a level suitable for them at both strategic and operational levels.” The focus of the whole Housing Division is to manage a very important asset for the Council corporately and most importantly for the residents who live in the Council’s properties and on estates that the Housing Division manages. Both the Management and Maintenance Sections work together to provide services which are aimed at maintaining and improving the Council’s asset to ensure we provide homes and estates where people choose to and want to continue living. This is the case whether we are carrying out day to day repairs, bringing homes up to modern standards, managing tenancies so that they remain in good condition or providing neighbourhood services to keep estates to a high standard and free from anti social behaviour. Housing Division Asset Management Plan – 2008-2009 Version 5 Page 6 of 39
  7. 7. 1.3 Definition and Purpose of the Asset Management Plan 1.3.1 This Asset Management Plan provides a framework to enable us to manage the stock proactively and support the Business Plan objectives. It helps to ensure that resources for maintaining the assets in good condition and investments made are clearly focussed on meeting current and future customers’ housing needs in terms of type of properties available, location, facilities and standards. 1.4 Objectives for the Asset Management Plan 1.4.1 The objectives for the Asset Management Plan support the strategic objectives set out for the housing service in the Corporate Plan:  To achieve the Council’s Bronze Standard by 2010  To ensure the efficient and effective management of the Authority’s stock  To provide a high standard maintenance and improvement service to the Authority’s housing stock  To ensure that the Authority takes a strategic and proactive role in meeting the housing needs and associated issues across all tenures and that housing plays a fully integrated role in corporate initiatives  To ensure equal opportunities in service provision and delivery The plan therefore aims to:  Set out the role of the Council’s stock in meeting housing need  Set out the investment committed to bring properties up to the Bronze Standard by 2010 and start to identify investment required to keep assets in good condition beyond 2010  Start to link the maintenance and investment in the stock to current and future customer needs  Set out how we will ensure neighbourhoods are sustainable into the future  Achieve value for money in the delivery of the maintenance and investment needs in the stock 1.5 Lifespan and Review Process 1.5.1 This Asset Management Plan is a working document that drives decision-making in the management of the Council’s housing stock of dwellings and garages and sheltered scheme communal rooms. 1.5.2 A considerable amount of work has been carried out during 2007 to review and improve services provided by the Housing Division to manage the Council’s assets. Firm foundations for Asset Management into the future have been laid and provide a clear direction. We now need to work to mature the service and work with Councillors, Tenants Housing Division Asset Management Plan – 2008-2009 Version 5 Page 7 of 39
  8. 8. and other stakeholders to make decisions that take us beyond 2010. This plan reflects the changes made and provides a position statement for 2008/2009. It also looks to the future when a more comprehensive Asset Management Plan will be built out of the work carried out in 2008 to improve our information base across all areas of work, engage further with Tenants to continue to explore what their aspirations for their homes are and to develop plans further to improve capacity to deliver services. 1.5.3 This Plan will be fully reviewed and enhanced during 2008 to provide a ten-year plan from April 2009. 1.6 Data Sources 1.6.1 The Asset Management Plan links strategic and operational drivers for the Housing Division’s services. In order to achieve this link this plan considers:  the profile of the stock and it’s condition, and  the profile of current and future customers  services required to provide sustainable neighbourhoods This information is then used to inform:  the programmes of work,  the budget profile, and  the methods of delivery  future arrangements for tenancy and neighbourhood management services The data used in the preparation of this plan are from:  Housing Strategy 2006  Housing Revenue Account Business Plan 2006  NWBC Asset Management Plan 2007  Housing Division Procurement Strategy Statement 2007  Housing Revenue Account Business Plan 2006  NWBC Asset Management Plan 2007  Housing Division Procurement Strategy Statement 2007  Procurement Strategy for Housing Maintenance 2007  Affordable Warmth Strategy 2007-2010  Current information about responsive repairs and stock condition data as held on the IBS housing management system  Customer Profile Information held on IBS housing management system Housing Division Asset Management Plan – 2008-2009 Version 5 Page 8 of 39
  9. 9. 2 Current Position 2.1 Stock Profile and Condition 2.1.1 The housing stock totals 2,773 as at 1st January 2008. In summary the stock comprises: Property Size Number Bedsit 23 Flat 1 Bed 471 2 Bed 129 3 Bed 10 Maisonette 1 and 2 Bed 37 Houses 2 Bed 460 3 Bed 1009 4 Bed 55 Bungalows 1 Bed 309 2 Bed 270 Total 2773 The stock can be stratified into the following archetypes which reflects the Department for Communities and Local Government criteria and reported as part of the Business Plan Annual Monitoring submission. Archetype Count Pre 1945 small terrace houses 212 Pre 1945 semi detached houses 304 All other pre-1945 houses 2 1945–64 houses 659 1965 –74 houses 254 Post 1974 houses 158 Non Traditional Dwellings 0 Pre 1945 low rise flats 0 Post 1945 low rise flats 185 Medium rise flats 419 High rise flats 0 Bungalows 580 Total 2773 2.1.2 A 25% stock condition survey based on a banded sample of property archetypes was completed by FPD Savills in 2004. Since that survey was carried out further work has been carried out to ensure the information was accurate and up to date. The information has also been moved to the Housing Division’s housing management system so that it can be readily used and reports can be drawn from it to inform programmes of work. As part of the efficiencies gained because of new ways of working capacity has been increased to be able to carry out a comprehensive stock condition survey during 2008. The Housing Division Asset Management Plan – 2008-2009 Version 5 Page 9 of 39
  10. 10. sample completed will be the remaining 75% of the stock not surveyed by Savills. Once this work is complete there will be a continuous cycle of surveys every three years. The investment planned to ensure the Council’s stock of properties is kept in good condition is set out at Appendix 3. The Council’s housing stock is in demand with most of the stock in good condition and has benefited from considerable investment for the last 7 years. These include programmes to upgrade kitchens and bathrooms, replace windows, renew roofing, install external installation, installing gas central heating boilers and carrying out electrical upgrades. Three estates of older ex coal board properties – at Ansley Common, Hill Top Arley and Piccadilly near Kingsbury – have been highlighted as needing considerable remedial works. These are the last of the coal board legacy properties which require major capital work schemes to be undertaken to ensure they are sustainable in future years. Decisions have been made to take action to improve each of the estates and these are now being addressed and the work undertaken is set out below. A survey of the Council’s garages was undertaken during 2007. The Council’s stock of garages is generally in good condition although some will benefit from future painting programmes of work and disrepair to tarmac areas is being addressed where required. Some garage sites are in good demand from Tenants and applicants but others are not. There are currently 160 vacant Council garages across the Borough. The Housing Division manages 22 communal rooms as part of its sheltered schemes. These were subject to an audit with regard to their compliance to the Disability Discrimination Act during 2004 and work is now being undertaken to ensure all of the rooms are accessible and user friendly. Current finances only allow for one communal room per year to have a substantial refurbishment but work is underway to review the work undertaken so far and where possible to carry out small-scale improvements to some rooms until they are time tabled for major work. 2.2 Customer Profile – Meeting Housing Needs 2.2.1 The information collected on the profiles of our current customers informs what services we deliver for our customers and how. We collect information from our current Tenants and housing applicants. The information is based on information which has been provide by our customers either in conversation or by way of questionnaire. We hold it in our housing management system. It is kept up to date by way of a number of methods – routine contact, annual visits to Tenants, at point of tenancy sign up and periodic telephone surveys. Housing Division Asset Management Plan – 2008-2009 Version 5 Page 10 of 39
  11. 11. 96% of our Tenants identify their ethnicity as ‘British/European White’. Of the remaining respondents ‘Irish White’ was identified as the highest ethnicity description at 3%. 96% of our housing applicants identify their ethnicity as ‘British/European White’. Of the remaining respondents ‘Irish White’ was identified as the highest ethnicity description at 1.9%. Indications from our current customer profiling are that we have an older population in our properties with only around 7.4 % of our Tenants between 18 and 25 years. This age profile suggests that there is an ageing population in the Council’s stock but further work needs to be done to increase the information base to ensure the information is valid and usable. The age profile of housing applicants shows that 0.8% are under 18, 35% are between 18 and 35 and 35% are over 55 years old. We have started to collect information from our customers about needs they might have because of a disability. Further work needs to be done to improve the information available and make it more comprehensive. However current indications are that around 1493 of our Tenants has a disability of some sort that 110 of our Tenants are wheelchair users. Of those occupiers who responded, 35.3% describe themselves as having a ‘hidden impairment’ and 19.9% as having ‘mobility problems’. The information provides an indicator of likely demand for future programmes and spend, for example, the refurbishment of stock to meet disability needs and/or the adaptation of properties in response to individual requirements. We are carrying out further customer profile work to identify specific issues and how we can assist Tenants – for example by collecting information on mobility (with dexterity in use of hands as well as with walking difficulties) and whether they would benefit from adaptations to their homes. The questionnaire and process we are using for this is attached at Appendix 6. Discovering information about customers will assist us to identify the level of service to match individual needs both in the delivery of planned and responsive maintenance and with regard to providing support for Tenants to enable them to retain their independence in a positive way. Further work is required to carry out the same profiling of future tenants. The information is currently gathered from customers and we are awaiting the development of our housing management software to enable us to collate and assess this information to inform service delivery. Housing Division Asset Management Plan – 2008-2009 Version 5 Page 11 of 39
  12. 12. 2.2.2 The Council’s annual stock turnover is low – at around 6%. The type of properties which becomes vacant does change however profiling indicates that around 40% of vacancies are houses 20% bungalows and 40% flats. This means that as well as ensuring focussed services for our older Tenants we also need to consider services for younger Tenants who may be moving into their first home to live independently and as well as support to settle in and deal with financial issues or life skills may also require assistance to ensure that they are able to manage their obligations with regard to maintaining their home in good condition and repairing responsibilities. 2.2.3 The Council’s recent Housing Market Assessment (2007) has provided some useful indicators with regard to the role of the Council’s own stock in meeting housing needs. The research set out in the Assessment shows that there continues to be an affordability gap in the Borough estimated at around 300 properties a year. The Council’s own stock turnover is relatively low and therefore our work in partnership with the Housing Corporation and Housing Associations to develop more affordable homes in the Borough remains a corporate priority. Nonetheless our contribution is important as the largest stockholder of affordable rent homes in the Borough so we also recognise that for the Council to continue to provide properties where people choose to live our Asset Management must provide properties which meet modern standards and are part of estates which are in good condition and free from anti social behaviour. Currently we have a refusal rate of around 5% and we intend to work to sustain that. The Housing Division is realistic with regard to the extent that its own properties can help to meet housing need. There are 1700 applicants on the Housing Register and the Council lets around 170 to 180 properties a year. A reasonable % of these are accommodation for older people. The Council has for many years worked to ensure support services are available to help older people live independently longer in their own homes. However in recognition of the growing affordability gap and the information we have on stock turnover will also be using our customer profiling work to discover how many properties are under occupied and whether the Council should consider developing support and incentive schemes to assist people to move to smaller homes in order to make better use of the stock. The Housing Market Assessment also mirrors our own customer profiling with regard to an ageing population. North Warwickshire has a particularly high proportion of the younger generation of older people (aged 60-79) compared with neighbouring districts. According to the research 14.5% of these older people are owner-occupiers and this is lower than our neighbouring districts. 5.4% are in social rented accommodation in North Warwickshire and Housing Division Asset Management Plan – 2008-2009 Version 5 Page 12 of 39
  13. 13. this is higher than our neighbouring districts. The Housing Market Assessment also indicates that expectations around space have changed and the types of housing related support differ from the past because of expectations for continuing independence and choice. This has implications for future decisions around the quality and sustainability of older types of local authority bungalow accommodation (which tends to be small, one bedroom and limited kitchen space) in terms of space standards, mobility and access requirements as well as the balance between low level support needs (Category 1), medium support needs, (Category 2) and higher level support needs. (Extra care services.) This information reflects the experience of the Housing Division over recent years with older people being less likely to accept flat type accommodation or our smaller bungalows. This has resulted in re-designating some flats in the past and this is an area of work we will revisit as part of this Plan. 2.3 Modern and Energy Efficient Homes 2.3.1 The Council has prioritised providing modern and energy efficient homes to meet the expectations of both current and future Tenants. It is currently undertaking a wide range of modernisation schemes that reflect the priorities of current Tenants. These include:  Modernising kitchens and bathrooms  Installing new external doors to modern standards  Ensuring all homes have double glazed windows  Installing gas mains where none exist to improve choices about heating  External installation These works are carried out to high levels of customer satisfaction. They not only look to meeting the Decent Homes Standard but to take the opportunity to work with Tenants to ensure their homes are brought up to standards for modern living – including where requested and possible re-designing kitchens and utilising space better. All of this work will assist to ensure our properties meet customers expectations in the future. The Council has set out its programme to deliver the ‘Bronze Standard’ agreed with Tenants in the Stock Options Appraisal by 2010. The programme for achieving the Decent Homes and Bronze Standard is progressing in accordance with the stock condition survey information. Good progress is being made and we are on target to meet the Decent Homes Standard for all of our stock by December 2010. Tenants have been fully involved in setting out the programme of works for major investments from 2008 to 2010. A table of involvement is attached at Appendix 4. A summary of this programme has been is provided at Appendix 3. The contractor who will Housing Division Asset Management Plan – 2008-2009 Version 5 Page 13 of 39
  14. 14. deliver this programme will be appointed in January 2008 and will start on the programme by April 2008. As part of the contract arrangements they will delivery of this work collaboratively with the Council to identify any efficiency gains that can be achieved by adjusting the programme. 2.3.2 The Council manages three estates in the Borough that require regeneration and work above that set out in the Decent Homes Standard. These are estates at Ansley Common (35 properties) Hill Top Arley (34 properties) and Piccadilly (36 properties). Each of these estates has suffered from being less attractive to new Tenants than other Council properties in the past. This is because as well as not being seen as an acceptable modern standard internally they also have problems externally – with service roads separating properties from gardens and large unmanageable gardens. The Council inherited a number of properties from the coal board and spent 10 years in partnership with Housing Associations resolving issues presented by the PRC constructed properties. Following on from that major partnership project the Council has been keen to find the right solution for all three of the estates – with wider objectives than refurbishment and ensuring that they are regenerated and modernised to good standards and are attractive to current and future Tenants. The estate at Ansley Common is being regenerated in partnership with the Housing Corporation and Waterloo Housing Association. Phase one of the regeneration is complete and phase two is well underway. Phase three will begin late in 2008. The development scheme has involved the refurbishment of some properties and has also produced some new homes as part of the scheme all to a high specification. Properties at Piccadilly will be improved as part of the Council’s capital programme. There are land ownership issues here which limit the scope for external major improvements but where possible work will be undertaken to change external areas as well as internal. Once partnering arrangements are in place work will begin with Tenants in the spring of 2008 prepare for the refurbishment of their homes. The estate at Hill Top Arley requires regeneration and the Council is committed to attracting funding which will facilitate both improvement to individual properties and external areas in order to provide sustainable homes for the future. 2.3.3 The forward Capital Programme agreed for 10 years following the completion of the major investment programme, allows for maintaining the Decent Homes and Bronze Standard. This has been driven by the stock condition survey and the life cycle of elements. The capital programme is detailed in Appendix 3. Housing Division Asset Management Plan – 2008-2009 Version 5 Page 14 of 39
  15. 15. 2.3.4 The initial programme of work has been developed for 3 years. This programme will be refreshed following the selection of a contractor partner to determine any efficiency gains in reprogramming the work. The possibility of completing all works within a two year period will be explored. Any revisions to the programme will be subject to consultation with Tenant representatives. 2.3.5 As well as modernisation schemes the Council has programmes for cyclical repairs and minor planned works. The allowance and type of work completed on the cyclical programme is likely to reduce given the installation of low maintenance products such as PVCu windows. However, requirements for servicing of new products introduced as part of the major investment programme may neutralise any potential savings. This is an area of work that we are currently assessing in order to plan services and work in the future. The cyclical and minor planned work budget will be subject to an ongoing review in light of the work completed as part of the major investment programme. 2.3.6 Fuel poverty is an issue for Council Tenants – especially those who live in older ex-coal board properties that require better insulation and an alternative heating system to solid fuel. The Council’s Affordable Warmth Strategy, 2007, aims to co-ordinate the improvement to energy efficiency across all tenures. The priority areas for the strategy are:  Vulnerable groups; people living in areas of deprivation; older householders; families with children; householders who are disabled or suffering from a long term illness.  Properties of all ages in all tenures. In comparison to neighbouring authorities the annual domestic consumption of electric and gas is higher than similar areas as demonstrated by the graphs below: Housing Division Asset Management Plan – 2008-2009 Version 5 Page 15 of 39
  16. 16. The SAP (Standard Assessment Procedure) rating is the Government’s recommended measurement for the energy efficiency of dwellings. The average SAP rating for the Council’s stock is above the national average. The Council’s housing stock achieves an average rating of 53.06, compared to the national average of 45. However, the local authorities in the upper quartile are achieving an average SAP rating of 63. We are below upper quartile because of the number of properties in our stock which still have solid fuel heating – a legacy of a predominantly mining area with regard to the stock around Atherstone, Arley and Baddesley. The Council’s investment programme for its own stock includes work to address energy efficiency. The work programmed includes work to improve the insulation of dwellings through:  External insulation  Re-roofing (including increasing insulation)  Replacement of windows and doors In addition, energy efficiency will be improved through our pro-active schemes to replace of boilers and provide gas mains supplies in areas where there is currently no gas and therefore increase our ability to change heating systems which are currently heated by solid fuel systems. It is expected that the improvements will bring the average property SAP rating up to a level in line with the upper quartile performing authorities. In future years, in response to Tenants feedback, we will also consider the effectiveness of storage heaters with regard to energy efficiency and running costs for Tenants. Housing Division Asset Management Plan – 2008-2009 Version 5 Page 16 of 39
  17. 17. In addition to these schemes of work the Council is keen to maximise the opportunity to benefit from the government’s ‘Enhanced Capital Allowance’ scheme for the investment in equipment that meets published energy-saving criteria. NWBC will be working with their Construction Partner and supply chain who will be involved in the long term programme for the delivery of major investment, to identify potential new technologies to maximise energy efficiency and cost savings. 2.3.7 As part of our most recent Tenant Satisfaction Survey we asked Tenants to prioritise the services we provide in order of importance. 83% of those replying said repairs and maintenance was the most important and 64% said the overall quality of their home was the most important. The Council recognises that how we deliver our response repairs service is an important aspect of keeping properties in good condition. We want a comprehensive, prompt, efficient and customer friendly service for our Tenants. Tenants have consistently told us that they prefer the services to be delivered by the in-house team – with 93% of them judging the workforce has having a positive attitude to customers. In view of this we have restructured our in-house Housing Direct Works Team to extend the service they deliver and to provide a more efficient and flexible service. The Housing Direct Works Business Plan is attached at Appendix 7. Appendix 5 gives an indication of the costs of providing the gas servicing work and electrical work in house. The work that the Housing Direct Works Team carries out dovetails importantly with the improvement work being carried out by the Housing Division and ensures properties remain in good condition once the work has been completed. As the Housing Direct Works Team develops over the next few years we would expect that it will carry out some improvement works itself in the future. 2.4 Safe and Accessible Homes 2.4.1 The Housing Division carries out around 90 adaptations every year – a mix of minor (40) and more substantial (50) adaptations. Whatever the adaptation a speedy response to the need for adaptations makes a significant difference to Tenants. The Housing Division is currently involved in fundamental countywide review of the adaptations procedures in order to improve services for customers. The action plan being used to drive the review is attached at Appendix 8. In the interim the Housing Division is implementing new systems of working to ensure adaptation requests are dealt with promptly and sensitively as part of our re- structured Housing Direct Works Team. This team will deal with all requests for Housing Division Asset Management Plan – 2008-2009 Version 5 Page 17 of 39
  18. 18. adaptations – acting promptly to address minor adaptations that do not need an Occupational Therapist referral and either doing the work to carry out larger adaptations as part of their day-to-day work or employing specialist contractors when necessary. Turn around performance has already improved in this area and further improvement is expected as new systems of work bed in. 2.4.2 The Housing Division has a clear and robust stance to asbestos management. A Type 1 survey has been carried out to develop an initial asbestos register that is maintained electronically and forms an integral part of the housing management system to:  identify potential asbestos for responsive repair operatives and planned work contractors, and  inform the investment programme costs for the removal of asbestos. A visual survey is the minimum standard for compliance with the Control of Asbestos at Work Act 2006. However, these surveys often over-exaggerate the extent of asbestos materials as, where there is a potential for a material to contain asbestos, it is assumed that it does. Each material identified requires to be monitored as part of the overall asbestos management plan. This means that we could be spending more time and effort managing materials that in fact may not contain asbestos. In view of this in future we will be undertaking two phases of sampling, the first of which is to communal areas of our housing premises. These areas are currently covered by the Control of Asbestos at Work Regulations 2006, as they are deemed as “non domestic” properties. These surveys will be carried out within the financial year. For the remainder of the stock properties we will be undertaking an archetyping exercise to identify properties of similar type and age. A type 2 asbestos survey (visual with samples) will then be undertaken of these properties. Initial investigations show that there are approximately 420 different archetypes, which will require survey. The information will be continually developed and updated given that:  type 2 surveys are being carried out in 2008, and  the construction partner delivering the investment programme is required to organise a type 2 survey where potential risk is identified. We currently provide Tenants with information about asbestos safety however more comprehensive information will be developed when the additional survey work is complete. Housing Division Asset Management Plan – 2008-2009 Version 5 Page 18 of 39
  19. 19. 2.4.3 Ensuring gas servicing of appliances is an important area for customer safety. We currently service 2809 appliances. This will increase in future years as we continue our programmes to change heating systems to gas in line with customer demand and we provide gas mains supplies to our estates which do not currently have gas supplies. Over the last twelve months the Housing Division has improved its performance to ensure that properties receive a gas service at the scheduled time. It is now working to improve value for money in this area of work and to ensure that it is a customer focussed service. From February 2008 the Council will be carrying out the gas servicing work within its enhanced Housing Direct Works Team. The objective here is to have a service which is better value for money than the current contracted out service and one which is both more sensitive and more robust in addressing issues with customers. The capacity within the team is sufficient to anticipate the need to service more gas appliances in the future as we convert properties to gas heating. We have already undertaken to publicise the importance of customers allowing the gas safety checks to be undertaken in a timely manner. It is something we stress to new Tenants as part of the new Tenant sign up procedure. Over the next year we will be doing more work to raise the profile of the annual service to their appliances with Tenants. 2.5 Sustainable Communities 2.5.1 An important part of our Asset Management is concerned with ensuring that we are delivering the right services in the right way to our customers. Part of this work is driven by the information we have and are able to use to profile our customer base. Another good source of information is what customers tell us about our service. We have noted recently that there is a disparity between the feedback we receive from older Tenants compared to younger Tenants. An example of this is reflected in our most recent Tenant Satisfaction Survey (2006). This indicated that in total 69% of Tenants who have had their tenancy for eleven years and over were satisfied with the final outcome of an enquiry that they made to the Council while this figure drops to 60% among those Tenants of under two years. Housing Division Asset Management Plan – 2008-2009 Version 5 Page 19 of 39
  20. 20. Levels of satisfaction with the final outcome also drop, for example to 45% of the 16 to 34 age group and 53% of Tenants with children. We are doing a follow up survey to try to discover why there is this disparity but it is clear that we must build on the positive work we already undertake to support tenants in their homes – by using Supporting People services and settling in visits as well a named Tenancy Services Officer contact to resolve issues and annual visits to all Tenants. An in-house response repairs Team also allows us the flexibility to respond to Tenants needs and to develop our service based on local knowledge and personal service. 2.5.2 We want to provide customers with homes that they choose when the need to move home and choose to live in for many years after that. Customers on our housing register (including homeless applicants) have choice as part of the allocations process. They advise which area they want to live in and there is no penalty if they refuse an offer made to them. Our refusal rate is around 5% of offers made. However we want to improve on how customers can choose where they want to live and are in the process of working in partnership to develop a sub regional choice based lettings system of marketing properties and as a consequence being able to share with customers a lot more information about lettings in the area than we can easily do currently. The sub regional partnership includes our Housing Association partners who have stock in this area, is intended to include private landlords in the future and the sub regional structure will enhance the possibility of mobility for customers. 2.5.3 We perform well in vacant property management. Our average turn around time is currently 19 days in 2007/2008. We ensure that properties are not routinely left empty for long periods of time causing blight to estates and compromising rent income levels. Our allocations policy ensures applicants choose the area in which they want to live however it doesn’t end there. We also work to ensure that new Tenants have good information about our service and the property and area they are moving to as well as access to support if appropriate. Before letting properties are brought up to an agreed and publicised void property standard. Action is also taken to ensure that the opportunity is taken to bring new lettings up to the ‘Bronze Standard’ where required. Random checks are undertaken by members of our Borough Wide Tenants Forum to give additional feedback on letting standards. Housing Division Asset Management Plan – 2008-2009 Version 5 Page 20 of 39
  21. 21. 2.5.4 Sustainable neighbourhoods are about estates and communities as well as properties which are in good condition and have modern standards. In general the Housing Division has very little serious anti social behaviour on its estates – with on average no more than 1 or 2 cases a year where a Notice of Seeking Possession or other legal enforcement action has to be taken. When it does occur we work with partner agencies to address issues promptly. In 2007 we asked Tenants to give us feedback about serious problems that they experience on their estates. Their feedback is set out below: Litter & rubbish in the street 12% Vandalism 12% Dogs 12% Drugs dealing 9% Graffiti 7% Other crime 7% Noise from people 7% Noise from traffic 6% Problems with neighbours 5% People causing damage to your home 2% Racial harassment 1% We are addressing these issues as part of the objectives set out for our recently formed Post Tenancy Team. This Team has two separate but interlinked aspects – Tenancy Services which works with individual Tenants to resolve issues and Neighbourhood Services which ensures that communal areas of estates are in good condition. Both Teams are pro-active – with annual visits to Tenants and publicised estate walkabouts at the heart of the work that they do. The Post Tenancy Team aims to respond to the needs of the area. It does have a Tenancy Enforcement Officer to deal with tenancies with persistent and serious nuisance issues but the general thrust is to work with Tenants and other occupiers to individual properties and the surrounding neighbourhood are kept in good condition. The new Neighbourhood Services Team is already making a visible impact on estates and we now need to build on this. The Council has not yet signed up to the Respect Standard for Housing Management but has already built the foundations necessary to take that step. 2.5.5 A large part of the work of the Tenancy Services and Neighbourhood Services Teams is to engage with Tenants. They do this as part of their mainstream work as well as our specific Tenant Led Community Panels. The Panels are relatively new. We have Housing Division Asset Management Plan – 2008-2009 Version 5 Page 21 of 39
  22. 22. five Panels set up in the Borough and are working to establish more. As part of their objectives the Panels agree to:  Find our what the important issues are in their local area and represent those views  Promote awareness of the Community Panel in their area  Get involved with visits and events taking place in their local area and beyond To ensure the Panels can pro-actively take remedial action on estate issues within their area Constituted Tenant Led Community Panels can bid for monies from the Housing Revenue Account to cover small scale environmental improvement issues such as installing gates, erecting additional fencing, installing security lighting, providing additional gardening services, removing or pruning bushes, erecting signage. It is envisaged that these environmental improvements are not currently covered by spending priorities but are important to the local Tenant community. A sum of £20,000 has currently been set aside for the work the Panels request. 2.5.6 Listening to what Tenants tell us and acting on their feedback is at the heart of our asset management. We understand that most of our customers cannot readily take their ‘custom’ elsewhere and therefore we must have easily accessible ways for them to be able to voice their opinions about our services. We want to encourage communities to work with us. Tenant participation has grown in the Borough and we have a well established, very strong and experienced Borough Wide Tenants Forum who give us clear and honest feedback on our services. Over the last year they have been involved in giving direction to all of the changes which are set out in this Plan. We have also worked closely with Community Panels and other local groups. However we know that we need to build on that work and involve a wider range of Tenants in service development in the future. Our fully revised Tenant Partnership Agreement 2007 sets out how we intend to do that. 3 Use of Resources 3.1 The Council has made a firm commitment as part of its Capital Programme to ensuring that the ‘Bronze Standard’ is achieved for its own stock by 2010. The commitment in financial terms is £16,945,500 until 2011. In addition the Housing Revenue Account continues to be in a healthy position, even in the face of the demise of the Rental Constraint Allowance, and we can ensure that services required to address the Council’s landlord commitments are available. Housing Division Asset Management Plan – 2008-2009 Version 5 Page 22 of 39
  23. 23. 3.2 Value for Money is central to our asset management. Our position is set out in the Housing Division’s Value for Money Strategy. Specific issues pertinent to the Division’s Asset Management Plan include:  Our approach to procuring the next stage of works to deliver improvement programmes  Improved efficiency to deliver gas servicing  Improved effectiveness and better customer service in delivering adaptations  Developing a more efficient and effective Housing Direct Workforce  Working in partnership to regenerate older ex coal board stock  More efficient and effective cleaning and caretaking services 3.3 Procurement is a key area of business in managing our assets well. How we procure services to manage the assets is set out in the Housing Division’s Procurement Strategy Statement. Again the objectives set out in the Procurement Strategy Statement are pertinent to this Plan. These include:  Achieve the ‘Bronze Standard’ target by December 2010 within or less than the budget allocation  Ensure the Response Repairs service offers good value for Tenants  Have a clear customer focus in all procurement decisions  Ensure that all other housing objectives are achieved within or less than the revenue budgets  Be able to prove value for money in all significant spending areas within the housing division  Maximise the use of partnership working or consortia agreements.  Have arrangements in place to monitor the effectiveness of contracts and use the information improvements in future procurement  Have consideration for sustainability and equality issues in procurement To assist us to monitor our use of resources we are working within the Housemark benchmarking club and have also become a member of Checkmate to enable us to carry out some specific benchmarking with regard to the work of the Housing Direct Works team. 3.4 Over the last 12 months we have carried out a root and branch review of staffing resources needed to undertake the services we provide. Both the Management and the Maintenance Sections have been re-structured to both increase capacity and a better focus on the priority service areas. Structure charts for the Management and Maintenance Sections are attached at Appendix 9a and 9b. 3.5 The objectives set out in the Value For Money Strategy and Procurement Strategy Statement have driven the Housing Divison’s procurement process for the selection of a construction partner to a long term partnering arrangement for the delivery of the major investment programme. The Council, is embracing the recommendations of Housing Division Asset Management Plan – 2008-2009 Version 5 Page 23 of 39
  24. 24. the Egan Report “Rethinking Construction – Accelerating Change”, and adopting a partnering approach for the delivery of their planned housing investment services. The Council recognises that by working closer with contractors and suppliers under the umbrella of partnering, tangible improvements in terms of time, cost and quality can be achieved. The contract awarded in January 2008 will run for 3 years plus a further 2 years dependent on performance. 3.6 The Council’s spend on response and planned maintenance is a significant financial commitment at around £1.7 million per year. Following its fundamental review of how its delivers its response repairs service the Council has committed itself to developing a modernised and effective in-house Team as key resource in how it manages its resources in the future. As part of the review it was recognised that the structure of the Housing Direct Works Team at that time meant that it could not perform in terms of productive income in way that was efficient compared to other in-house teams. The re-structure of the Team, including an expanded workforce able to tackle additional work streams, will provide a more efficient workforce into the future while retaining the customer focus that Tenants recommend to us about the in-house Team. Additional work streams include the delivery of cyclical maintenance so that the optimum size of the business is reached to ensure that the service within each area can be sustained. Working across planned and responsive work streams will mean that overhead costs are better value and staffing resources can be management across work streams to maximise productive time. The annual spend profile for cyclical works is around £320,000 per year. The cyclical and minor planned work budget will also be subject to an ongoing review in light of the work completed as part of the major investment programme. For example, where major investment is being carried out to bathrooms, any adaptations required for level access showers will be installed. The spend profile and type of work completed for cyclical works will be reviewed to determine changes to the profile of the budget in light of the impact of the major investment programme. 3.7 The level and type of repair spend will be monitored as the housing investment programme is delivered, with the aim of decreasing responsive and void spend as the level of capital spend increases. The key spend target for responsive and cyclical and minor planned work is responsive at 30% of the total cost and planned work at 70%. Housing Division Asset Management Plan – 2008-2009 Version 5 Page 24 of 39
  25. 25. 3.8 The capital spend for the years after 2010 have been estimated on the current stock condition survey information. This equates to £2.1 million for 2011/12 to 2013/14 and £2.7 million for 2014/15 to 2017/18. However this will be reviewed in when as the stock condition survey is undertaken during 2008. 4 Review of Asset Management 4.1 This Asset Management Plan sets out the Council’s current position with regard to the management of its stock. The Plan also looks forward to the development of a 10 year Plan which will be in place from April 2009. There are a number of steps which need to be undertaken to ensure the sound development of that 10 year plan. A broad outline of the work required to progress our Asset Management Plan is set out below and more specifically in the action plan that is appended to this report. 4.2 Customer Profiling 4.2.1 It is crucial to the soundness of the Asset Management Plan that our profile of our customers is comprehensive and accurate. We have made progress to develop our customer profile – both for Tenants and Housing Register Applicants but recognise that much more needs to be done. We have refreshed our customer profile questionnaire and our procedures for collecting information. We will be carrying out some intensive work on this from February to May 2008 with the aim of having key information on most of our customers that is sufficient to inform what services we need to develop and change over the next 10 years. 4.2.2 It is likely that the impact of an aging population will figure significantly in future plans. This will reflect information provided in our own customer profiling and that provided by the Housing Market Assessment 2007. We are already exploring how we can work closer with Warwickshire County Council and the Primary Care Trust to provide better services for older people in partnership. We will also use this information and combine it with feedback we receive from customers in the lettings process to consider which of our properties are designated for older people in the future and what facilities those properties require. In addition we will be carrying out a review of the use and accessibility of our sheltered scheme communal rooms to ensure that they are fully utilised and contribute to the ability of older people to remain independent in the community. Housing Division Asset Management Plan – 2008-2009 Version 5 Page 25 of 39
  26. 26. 4.2.3 The information on the needs of individual customers due to disability will be used to inform repair and major investment services. Information is readily available to all staff on our housing management systems and with the Tenant’s permission, the information will be made available to external contractors procured for the delivery of planned and major improvement works. 4.2.4 We will also be working in 2008 to better understand how we can meet the needs of our younger tenants. The most recent Tenant Satisfaction survey indicated that the older Tenants were happier with the Division’s services than younger people. We will use our customer risk assessments to assess what services Tenants need from us. This will enable us to help younger Tenants as well as older residents. Looking to assist younger tenants, for example, who could need help to settle into their property. This will include support from named Tenancy Services Officers, providing additional support services if required and assistance from the Housing Direct Works Team to understand basic maintenance. During 2008 we will be introducing a repairs handbook for tenants with diagrams, pro-active offers to show them how to get the most from their heating systems, clear indication of basics with regard to looking after the property and assisting them to be able to act to meet their own repairing responsibilities. 4.3 Engaging With Tenants 4.3.1 Ensuring our services are focussed will also depend on how we are able to engage with Tenants in future years and to enable them to tell us what services they need. We will be building on the work we currently do in a number of ways. As well as a menu of different ways Tenants can participate in directing the services the Housing Division provides set out in our Tenant Partnership Agreement we are developing services in such a way that they are closer to Tenants who can then more readily tell us about issues relevant to them – these include annual tenancy visits, developing neighbourhood services and increasing the capacity of our in-house Housing Direct Works team. During 2008 we will be working to mature current systems so that we improve how we capture and use the information Tenants give us on an informal and formal basis. This will include how we deal with and use complaints and compliments. 4.4 Meeting Housing Needs 4.4.1 We want to provide homes on estates where people choose to live. During 2008 we will be developing a Choice Based Lettings system with our sub regional partners. As part of this work we will monitor and analyse very closely in which areas and Housing Division Asset Management Plan – 2008-2009 Version 5 Page 26 of 39
  27. 27. properties customers are expressing an interest. We will analyse this by area and property type and use it to inform our view on the demand for our stock. 4.4.2 The Council has always been keen to work with Housing Association partners to bring additional funding into the Borough to refurbish properties and re-generate properties where there is a clear benefit for Tenants. However, transferring stock to Housing Associations in addition to stock lost through Right to Buy sales, does mean a reduction in our assets and as we do our scheme by scheme option appraisals we do have an eye to the continued viability of the size of our stock. We have noted with interest the Government’s encouragement to Local Authorities to consider whether they can develop homes themselves. The Council is not currently in a position to develop new homes itself but to do so will be a consideration in future Asset Management Plans. In the meantime we will continue, as part of our Housing Strategy, to work closely with the Housing Corporation and Housing Associations to develop additional affordable homes in the Borough to meet needs which compliment what its own stock provides. In addition we will consider information available to us as part of our household profiling to consider how we can ensure that we are able to make the best use of our own stock by considering the possibility of using incentive schemes – including support to move - to encourage single people who are currently under occupying family homes to move to smaller properties. This will, of course, be balanced against respecting a Tenants right to remain in their current home if that is their wish. 4.5 Garage Sites 4.5.1 During 2007 we carried out a desk top review of garage sites. This revealed that the Council’s stock of garages is in good condition but vacancies are an issue. During 2008 we will continue with the review of the garage sites with a significant number of vacancies with a view to carrying out options appraisals to inform decisions on the viability of the sites and whether they would be better utilised as land to develop small schemes for affordable homes. Limited parking is an issue on many of our estates so, as well as undertaking options appraisals to understand the viability of sites we will also be considering our lettings policy for garages and also our marketing of the availability of Council garages to rent to encourage car owners to park their vehicles off the street. 4.6 Stock Condition 4.6.1 A further stock condition survey will be carried out during 2008 and the information on the stock updated further. This will be used as the base line to determine the spend Housing Division Asset Management Plan – 2008-2009 Version 5 Page 27 of 39
  28. 28. profile of capital investment work over 10 years. This programme will be reviewed and developed in light of service needs and customer profile as well as resources available to carry out works to keep the stock in good condition. 4.6.2 There is a process of continual updating of the information contained on the asbestos register. This will be assisted by the Type 2 survey that will be undertaken in 2008. The results of this survey will be used to update our stock condition information and will also influence the development of the Asset Management Plan in the future. 4.6.3 The Affordable Warmth Strategy is now coming to fruition with workshops undertaken to ensure actions are addressed and a conference arranged for March 2008 to raise the profile of this work. The outcomes from the workshops and conference will influence the content of the Asset Management Plan from 2009. In addition the work which is progressing to install gas mains to Council estates which do not currently have them to enable different choices in heating systems will make a serious impact on the Council’s ability to ensure its Tenants have warm and energy efficient homes in the future. The capital investment programme also addresses the replacement of elements to improve the thermal efficiency of the Council’s housing stock. The benchmark information on consumption levels of gas and electricity and SAP ratings will be used to monitor the effect of the investment programme 4.6.4 Progress against our plans to re-generate the Council’s estates at Piccadilly and Hill Top will have a considerable impact on our Asset Management Plan because these are the areas which currently require the most significant capital investment and work with Tenants to improve them and ensure they are sustainable communities beyond the requirement for Decent Homes Standard work. Tenant consultation in both areas will continue through to April 2008 as improvement plans are developed and finalised. It is hoped that the option to develop Hill Top in partnership with Waterloo Housing Association and therefore include extensive environmental works and a different mix of tenures on the estate will be progressed positively. The Council’s partnering contractor will refurbish the properties at Piccadilly. Work is likely to begin in Hill Top and Piccadilly from April 2008 and will certainly be complete by December 2010. 4.6.5 As part of the stock condition survey the Housing Division will also carry out options appraisals on the Council’s stock of shops which it leases. The appraisal will consider the condition of the buildings and funding commitments to keep them in good condition, demand for the premises and whether, if they are part of a site that is being Housing Division Asset Management Plan – 2008-2009 Version 5 Page 28 of 39
  29. 29. developed for affordable housing, they should be re-built and kept in Council ownership. 4.7 Housing Direct Works 4.7.1 The decision to keep an in-house work force is a key platform in the Council’s strategy to manage it property assets not just in the short term but into the future. Work is well underway to change how we deliver response repairs and planned programmes of work through the enhanced Housing Direct Works team. The scope of works that the Housing Direct Works will team will undertake will be broadened to include all of the work included in the Housing Repairs Fund include planned revenue and cyclical works and will allow the introduction of new trades into the business, namely:  Pre paint repairs  Disabled adaptations  Gas servicing and central heating repairs  Electrical testing and remedial works  Concessionary decorations  Solid fuel servicing  Minor planned works The success of this endeavour over the next 12 months will have a major influence on how we work on a daily basis to keep the Council’s housing stock in good repair, work with vulnerable Tenants and work to meet customers’ needs for adaptations. 4.7.2 We are in the process of analysing responsive repairs and voids. The analysis model allows for the cost of responsive repairs by estate to be monitored against the delivery of improvements by area. We will use this information to inform and identify our work to reduce the proportion of responsive to planned work to 70% planned and 30% responsive. In addition the model will assist with monitoring sustainability with an on-going review of housing management measures by estate outlined in a ‘Red, Amber, Green’ model will provide the basis for review of the Asset Management Plan to ensure investment is targeted at supporting the maintenance of a sustainable stock 4.7.3 There will be an impact on cyclical and planned maintenance because of the installation of low maintenance elements replaced as part of the major investment programme the level and type of work completed on the cyclical programme is likely to reduce. However, requirements for servicing of new products introduced as part of the major investment programme may neutralise any potential savings. The Asset Management Plan therefore determines the need for the cyclical maintenance budget to be held at the same level as before the major investment programme. Housing Division Asset Management Plan – 2008-2009 Version 5 Page 29 of 39
  30. 30. 4.8 Standards 4.8.1 During 2007 we have worked extensively with Tenants to develop service standards. During 2008 we will build on this and develop them further – for example to ensure that cyclical and minor planned works will be subject to the same service and consultation standards as major investment work. This will include:  Responding to ethnicity, age, disability  Information  Choice  Code of conduct  Satisfaction 4.8.2 We recognise that carrying out improvement works to their home is a significant event for our Tenants. Tenants have been involved in the selection of the contractor partner for the delivery of the major investment programme and will be involved in the delivery structure for the major investment programme. However our work with Tenants will not stop there. During 2008 Tenant representatives will be represented on the Partnering Core Group and Task Teams and in addition representatives of areas where the major investment programme is being delivered will be part of the work package delivery team meetings. 4.9 Estates and Tenancy Management 4.9.1 Our Forward Work Plan makes a commitment to work towards signing up to the Government’s Respect standard for Housing Management in 2008. We will use this process as a vehicle to build on the positive work undertaken to improve the capacity of the Post Tenancy Team and therefore their ability to be pro-actively engaging with Tenants to ensure estates are in good condition, support services are available for those who need them and nuisance behaviour is curtailed. 4.10 Leaseholders The Council has 97 leaseholders. Their wish to participate in the Housing Services has been limited in the past. However we do undertake an annual survey and during 2008 as well as being consulted about our major improvement programmes they were also invited to participate in the process. We will use the feedback leaseholders have given us to review and improve our consultation processes in the future. Housing Division Asset Management Plan – 2008-2009 Version 5 Page 30 of 39
  31. 31. 4.11 Other Stakeholders As we develop a more extensive Asset Management Plan we will involve other stakeholders to help us shape its content. This will include external partners - our contractors, Housing Associations, the County Council - as well as internal partners – Streetscape, Community Development, Community Support. Housing Division Asset Management Plan – 2008-2009 Version 5 Page 31 of 39
  32. 32. Housing Division Asset Management Plan 2008-2009 Relevant Actions from Forward Work Plan that will assist to progress the Asset Management Plan & Supplementary Objectives Vision for the Service The provision of a customer focussed service by well-trained knowledgeable staff with tenants fully involved at a level suitable for them at both strategic and operational levels. Action Community Plan, Lead Officer Start End Priority Measurement of Success Resources – including Corporate, Date Date Value for Money (VFM) Divisional Objective Implications or Policy the task relates to Improve Quality Services Performance Feb April High Undertake a telephone Staff time to input and Customer Profile Customer Access and Quality 2008 2009 questionnaire with Tenants to collate information. information and Strategy Officer ascertain information to inform keep up to date service provision by April 2008 Better information will ensure we can improve Procedures in place to ensure how we manage our information continues to be information to Tenants updated and collected Clear evidence of use of information to change and improve services Progress action Community Life Housing May March High Progression of actions will include: Staff Time plan for older Health and Well Strategy & 2008 2009 • Work with County to persons strategy Being Development Working in partnership to Officer provide extra care scheme pool resources in the Borough • Provide low level support schemes to assist with independent living • Improve adaptations processes Progress Community Life Housing March April High Progression of actions will include: Staff Time. Affordable Health and Well Strategy & 2008 2010 • Operate an affordable Information in the strategy Warmth Strategy Being Development warmth work group will be used to better direct Action Plan Customer Access Officer • Hold a conference in Council funds and to Page 32 of 39
  33. 33. Action Community Plan, Lead Officer Start End Priority Measurement of Success Resources – including Corporate, Date Date Value for Money (VFM) Divisional Objective Implications or Policy the task relates to Improve Quality Services Performance Feb April High Undertake a telephone Staff time to input and Customer Profile Customer Access and Quality 2008 2009 questionnaire with Tenants to collate information. information and Strategy Officer ascertain information to inform keep up to date service provision by April 2008 Better information will ensure we can improve Procedures in place to ensure how we manage our information continues to be information to Tenants updated and collected Clear evidence of use of information to change and improve services Strategy March 2008 to raise access external funding awareness and partners to further the • Improve heating & aims of the Strategy. insulation in Council stock Progress Community Life Principal January March High • Set up Divisional equalities Staff time Equalities Policy Health and Well Housing 2008 2009 group Being Management • Progress work to have Social Inclusion Officer comprehensive customer Customer Access & Housing profile base Strategy Policy and • Improve monitoring on Strategy equalities Officer • Ensure new staff have equalities training • Increase numbers of staff who have equalities impact assessment training Work with sub Quality Services Principal Feb June High Progress against the project plan Government grant for the regional Social Inclusion Housing 2007 2008 for the sub regional partnership partnership is £108,000. partnership to Customer Access Management North Warwickshire’s introduce Choice Strategy Officer Progress against the project plan contribution is around Based Lettings for the delivery of the scheme £10,000 and is included in Scheme locally. the 07-08 budgets Page 33 of 39
  34. 34. Action Community Plan, Lead Officer Start End Priority Measurement of Success Resources – including Corporate, Date Date Value for Money (VFM) Divisional Objective Implications or Policy the task relates to Improve Quality Services Performance Feb April High Undertake a telephone Staff time to input and Customer Profile Customer Access and Quality 2008 2009 questionnaire with Tenants to collate information. information and Strategy Officer ascertain information to inform keep up to date service provision by April 2008 Better information will ensure we can improve Procedures in place to ensure how we manage our information continues to be information to Tenants updated and collected Clear evidence of use of information to change and improve services Working in partnership has Events to raise the profile of the attracted Government scheme with customers and grant and resources and partners. expertise will be shared. Choice Based Lettings Scheme in place by June 2008. Progress work Community Safety Principal April March High Improved procedures for New staffing arrangements against Respect Quality Services Housing 2008 2009 monitoring anti social behaviour are in place which provide Standard for Management improved capacity Housing Officer Improved engagement with Management residents about anti social £20,000 is available to behaviour in their area Community Panels to tackle estate issues Improved performance management arrangements with Tenants and Councillors Continue to work Health and Well Principal March March High Achievement of level ‘B’ against Funding of £44,000 from with Supporting Being Housing 2008 2009 the Supporting People Quality Supporting People is in People to Quality Services Management Assessment Framework place until April 2009. progress support Officer Page 34 of 39

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