repairs & maintenance
Customer Annual Report 2021 – 22
Each year, we take a snapshot of our work in the previous 12 months. We report on how we have spent the rent that you pay, the services we have delivered and how we have performed.
This annual report covers the financial year from 1 April 2021 to 31 March 2022, the final year when we measure our achievements against targets in the corporate plan following our merger.
Les Clarke, Executive director of housing and care
This year, one of our customers, Julia, has played a big part in this report. Julia is part of our Scrutiny Group and this year was appointed to the Housing Ombudsman’s national Resident Panel. We are very grateful for all her input.”
Julia, involved customer
Just like any household, we have to budget carefully. Because the majority of our income comes from the rent paid by customers, we have a duty to get the best possible value for money when we reinvest that income into homes and services.
This year, we spent £22.8m with local suppliers, supporting 266 businesses providing employment in the areas where we work.
With the support of customers, we launched Homes Plus. As one landlord, we delivered savings of £1.4m.
And when energy costs were very low, we fixed gas and electric contracts until October 2024. This has meant that our offices and the communal areas for which customers pay service charges, are receiving energy bills significantly below current rates. Fixing at a time of low cost saved £900,000 this year.
Negotiating a new contract for the materials used in our home repairs and improvements has also made savings. We cut the cost of boiler and heating components by £123,000 this year too and achieved a saving of £10,000 on electrical materials. (Savings are reinvested in homes and communities.)
•Investment in new homes: 6p
•Staff cost and overheads: 29p
•Interest on our loans: 18p
•Repairs and maintenance: 19p
•Building safety & compliance: 11p
•Improvements to your home: 10p
•Services to your home and communal areas: 7p
repairs & maintenance
Value For Money (VFM)
Top award for homes and maintenance
“Despite supply chain issues relating to COVID-19, we successfully delivered 99.5% of home improvements planned this year. Skilled teams were able to switch between work streams when shortages of materials meant that our schedules needed to change. That flexibility helped us to win a national award.”
Steve Hall, Group planned programme manager
•Partially upheld: 26%
•Not upheld: 17%
at stage 1
Nature of complaints
You told us that you were unhappy with the way we handle complaints.
We have increased the number of dedicated officers, to reduce the time taken to respond to complaints and to improve communication.
Satisfaction with complaint handling rose to 67%, compared to 43% for 2020/21.
Our new corporate plan underlines the responsibility we have, to be careful with our resources and achieve value for money so that we can do more to make a positive difference.
This year we made a positive difference by maintaining and improving homes. We developed new homes to help meet the need for affordable housing. And our Plus services helped customers experiencing financial difficulties to keep a secure home.
We also provided the peace of mind of safe homes with a wide-ranging programme of safety checks and enhancements.
Plus services help customers save £2.78m
“Our Plus services supported customers who were finding it hard to make ends meet.”
Richard Potter, Head of income
Keeping you safe
That we do not provide help with trees that are causing problems within customers’ gardens.
We are developing a new process for managing problem trees in a customer’s garden, where they pose a risk to the property and/or the people living at the property.
We will introduce a new Tree management policy in August 2022.
Working closely with Shropshire Council, Stafford Borough Council and South Staffordshire District Council, we have been awarded a share of the £179m fund set up by the government’s Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy. The investment will support wall and loft insulation, draught proofing, underfloor insulation, and improved heating systems.
Continued restrictions imposed during the pandemic meant that we were not able to spend as much time in our retirement living communities as usual. When we couldn’t be there in person though, we kept in touch with residents through regular telephone calls. We were also able to carry out repairs and safety checks.
We changed the lives of people and families by supporting customers into employment and applauded some of our amazing residents with our Local Hero celebrations.
Our care and support services change lives
“At The Sandford Nursing Home, 100 per cent of residents feel that they are treated with the dignity and respect that is so important to all of us.”
Tracy Smith, Registered manager at The Sandford Nursing Home
The Sandford Nursing Home
That customers are not given enough time to decide on the home being offered to them.
We are developing new processes to inform customers of decision deadlines, with confirmation in writing – either by text message or email.
We will make it easier for customers to access support into employment and training.
We will work to ensure our customers are not digitally excluded.
Our Homes Plus My Community Fund supported great projects run by charities, voluntary groups and our own customers. Grants were awarded to initiatives benefitting communities right across Staffordshire and Shropshire.
We support communities in other ways, too. As one of the area’s leading employers we are proud to employ 63 of our tenants.
As part of our Early Careers programme, we developed stronger relationships with schools and colleges. We employed 17 apprentices during 2021-22 and used apprenticeships to upskill our workforce. Some of those completing their training during this year, attended an Apprenticeship Graduation event in Stafford.
Our commitment to supporting safer communities was recognised with a national award from Resolve ASB, the UK’s leading organisation specialising in effective solutions to antisocial behaviour. In surveys carried out during this year, we were pleased to see increased satisfaction with this part of our work.
in our communities
Involving and empowering our customers
Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB)
The Homes Plus My Community Fund
The Homes Plus My Community Fund
“We see so much enthusiasm, energy and commitment from volunteers, charities and local organisations. My Community Fund means we can back great projects making a positive difference in the neighbourhoods where our customers live.”
Sam Allcott, Director of housingWatch now
You told us that you want safe, clean and tidy communal areas.
We are reviewing which communal areas are cleaned and where there is no cleaning in place, we will consult with customers to implement the service from April 2022.
Our new corporate plan introduces our “making a positive difference” fund, which will help to bring about improvements that you want to see, in your neighbourhoods.
This plan will ensure that we are a resilient organisation, responding to customer needs and continuing to make a positive difference.
We’re doing more, we’re growing, but our values stay the same.