Every three months we take a look at how we’ve performed against our objectives.
These are set out in ‘quarters’ throughout our financial year, which starts in April and runs until the end of March.
Take a look to see how we’re doing so far…
In the first three months of the new financial year (2023-2024) we’re pleased to report improvements in many areas of our services.
We’ve also taken note of areas that require improvement, and are taking action in a few areas, including our voids – or empty homes. We recorded 90 voids in Q1, 20 over our target. This, coupled with above average re-let times – currently at just over 100 days – has prompted us to develop a Voids Improvement Project to review the process and propose new ways of working to create long-term improvements.
In other areas of the business, we’re pleased to reach our target of completing 10 new homes in the quarter, these included two at Llanmoor and eight at our Brocastle site. In Q1 we also had 76 new build homes under construction, which is above target.
We’re slightly behind where we’d like to be in terms of our investment in existing homes, but we have several projects underway which we aim to complete in Q2. In our day-to-day repairs, we are seeing continued improvements – on average we are completing repairs in nine days, which is ahead of our target and is helping us bring down our repairs backlog, which stood at 5,591 jobs at the end of the quarter.
Ensuring our customers are Safe and Happy is one of our main objectives, and although we’re seeing a similar number of complaints to previous reporting periods, we’re pleased to let you know that we’re responding more quickly and seeing more complaints resolved at the first point of contact. Repairs continue to be the main focus of complaints, accounting for 44% of all complaints.
Our income team has been working hard to support our customers, and we’re delighted to have helped put over £390,000 in customers’ pockets through target support from our Money Matters team. As a result, our rent arrears are sitting at roughly 2.5%, which is on target.
Finally, in terms of health and safety, we continue to face challenges in gaining access to homes to complete vital checks, including gas certification, electrical testing and fire risk assessments. However, we’re making great progress in addressing reports of damp and mould. We completed surveys at 600 homes, and booked follow on works at 466 homes with almost a third completed in the quarter.
In quarter two of the financial year we experienced delays in our planned growth of housing stock, seeing us fall 10 short of our target for new homes. This was partly due to delays in ‘buy back’ homes and required work to bring these up to standard; and delays in progressing with our Malthouse development scheme.
Although we’re still behind target on voids (empty homes) our improvement programme is starting to make a difference and the number of long term voids has reduced, and so it’s not taking us as long to prepare empty homes ready for re-let – the average was 83 days during Q2.
We’re still behind where we would expect to be in terms of major work investment in Q2, but we are three times ahead of where we were in the same reporting period last year, which shows long-term improvement. With several new suppliers now brought on board, we expect to see continued improvement in this area going forward.
We continue to perform over target in delivering repairs and reducing our repairs backlog. It took us on average 14 days to complete a repair (up from nine days in Q1), but at the end of the quarter our backlog had reduced to 3,476 – that’s 2,115 fewer repairs waiting from the previous quarter.
We’re really pleased to see fewer complaints received. This has been supported through targeted intervention with a dedicated complaints officer working to improve repairs. So, whilst it appears we’ve taken slightly longer to respond during this quarter, it’s because we’ve taken time to close down old complaints cases which has slightly skewed the data.
Customer financial gain continues to over perform – we helped 385 customers to improve their income in Q2, with Universal Credit, Housing Benefit and Discretionary Housing Payment support accounting for nearly two thirds of the referrals we received.
In terms of health and safety, although we still have work to do, we are catching up. At the end of the quarter we had 69 homes needing electrical inspection certificates, down from 104 at the end of Q1. And at the end of Q2 we had completed 704 damp and mould surveys, with 569 follow-on works raised – 34% of these completed.