This consultation has now closed. Your feedback and views are important – thank you to all tenants who took part.
When Michael Newey wrote to all tenants in April he said we would be following Government guidelines to ensure both tenants and staff were safe, and that we would undertake emergency and urgent repairs only. Some restrictions have now been relaxed, but we are still not in a position to resume a full repairs service. We are hoping, however, that we will be able to do this from the start of July, depending on Government and health and safety guidelines.
The lockdown has caused a backlog of repairs, which we estimate to be around 5,500. It may take us until 2021 to catch up.
This consultation is to seek your views on how we should prioritise the backlog of repairs. We are proposing to divide all repairs into 8 categories, according to priority:
- Emergency – 4 hour target
- Emergency – 24 hour target
- Urgent – 5 day target
- Category A
- Category B
- Category C
- Category D
- Category E
Please see the video below from Michael, our Chief Executive.
Details of the survey questions
Retaining our emergency repair targets
Throughout lockdown we have kept our emergency repair targets as 4 hours and 24 hours, depending on the nature of the repair. We have completed around 20-30 emergency repairs each week, with an average of 4 at weekends. We know that when something goes wrong in your home, it matters, and we want to keep these targets.
Prioritising urgent jobs
There are a small number of repairs (see examples below) that are neither routine nor emergency. We propose these urgent repairs are carried out within 5 days.
- flooring/floor covering is damaged/uneven and is dangerous
- heating system failure; temporary heaters delivered on first visit; additional works required
- a drain cover is loose or damaged
Suspending 28 days as a target for routine repairs
We want to catch up with our backlog of repairs as quickly as possible. We are committed to providing the best service we can, but we need to be realistic if the backlog is as large as we expect it to be, with 3 months’ worth of repairs to catch up on.
We are therefore proposing to suspend the 28-day target for routine repairs until the backlog is cleared. We propose to work through the order of repairs based on their impact and your ability to live comfortably in your home, rather than trying to stick to a target.
Introducing 5 routine repair categories, prioritised by importance
We proposed to divide routine repairs into 5 categories (see link to categories document above).
We propose to prioritise category A repairs first and then move through the other categories. If we are unable to gain access to a tenant’s home for any reason, we would come back to this repair at a later date when we are again in the area. This approach would give us an opportunity to do a job from another category while in that postcode area, and use our repairs team as efficiently as possible.
Pausing 2-person jobs
Under existing Government guidelines, we will be unable to complete repairs that need 2 operatives, because they would need to remain 2 metres apart at all times to remain safe.
We propose to delay these repairs until we are allowed to have 2 staff working alongside each other to carry out the repair safely.
Scheduling repairs based on postcode and trade
When we re-start our full repairs service we want to get as many jobs done as possible in a day. To do this we want to minimise the number of miles our operatives have to drive. On average they can spend about 25% of their working day driving from job to job.
Most of our operatives are multi-skilled and we normally schedule repairs so that they are as convenient for our tenants as possible. We are proposing to change this so that we schedule jobs by postcode and trade to get as many jobs done as possible each day. For example, a plumber will do all the plumbing jobs in one area so that their travel time between jobs is reduced.
Each year we carry out improvements to our tenants’ homes. This could be replacement kitchens, bathrooms or windows, for example.
We think we should delay these improvements while we catch up on the backlog of jobs. This would free up more operatives to carry out the repair works so that we can clear the backlog as quickly as possible. We aim to do this by March 2021, but we cannot guarantee this.