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Annual report for tenants - Plain Text Version

ANNUAL REPORT 2017 – 2018

Total number of homes – 5919
Total number of garages – 1553

73 properties have been bought through the Right to Buy scheme

Facebook page now has 618 Likes

Number of housing enquiries dealt with by our Customer Services team – 44,327
Number of housing enquiries that we received via our website – 639

My Tenancy App

Report repairs or pay your rent 24/7 and much, much more
So far 639 customers have subscribed
426 rent statements reviewed
247 repairs reported
Simply visit the App store or Google play and search for the ‘My Tenancy’ app.

Letting our Homes

We helped 566 households move into their new home
Costing us on average £2077 to prepare each property
In an average time of 44 days which is an improvement on least year

We received 2905 enquiries through the homefinder website about moving house

48 furnished tenancies were created to support new tenants set up their home

195 tenants in total moved through a transfer or a mutual exchange
2 tenants qualified for our downsizing scheme

69% of offers of accommodation were accepted first time
93% of housing applications are made online

558 tenancies were ended with an average tenancy lasting for 6.4 years

Top 3 reasons why tenants left their property
• Transferred to another Council property
• Moved into private accommodation
• Deceased
Other reasons include abandoned, lodging, going into care and bought a property

Your Rent

£25.1M the amount of rent collected during 2017/18

1392 people accessed our money advice service, accessing an additional £248K of benefits

304 Families were helped to move onto Universal Credit and to manage their money more efficiently. We now have a Universal Credit Support Assistant who is here to help anyone moving onto Universal Credit. If you would like some budgeting advice call Paul on 07909000202

£107K the amount of rent arrears collected from former tenants. This is £11k more than last year due to improvements in how we contact our former tenants.
446 tenants were prevented from facing court proceedings following help from our money advice service. 28 tenants were evicted from their homes due to rents arrears.

We are continuing to provide digital support for tenants and residents who are digitally vulnerable and claiming Universal Credit.

We are using Twitter to provide support and advice regarding welfare benefit changes.

We provide drop in money advice sessions in the Customer Service points, The Zone and Family Centre and job centres to assist customers moving onto Universal Credit.

For every pound we received in rent this is how we spent it.
28p on investment in major repairs and new homes
29p on staff and service running costs
14p on day to day repairs and planned maintenance
13p on loan interest payments
15p deferred to support works in 18/19

Improvements and Repairs

Repairs reported online – 865
Repairs reported by telephone – 27,700

99.96% of our homes had a valid Gas Safety Certificate. Our aim is to achieve 100% and we ask that you work with us to ensure we reach this, by providing access to your home when we contact you to arrange an appointment.

We spent £1.67m carrying out 22,035 repairs to your homes

97% of customers were satisfied with the repairs service

£5.3m the amount we invested on your homes by completing our investment programme
1657 homes benefited from our investment programme

415 rewiring works costing £698k
112 Reroofing works costing £695k
98 New doors/windows costing £176k
523 new bathrooms costing £1.99m
509 new heating systems costing £872k

£200k spent on repairing/rebuilding walls to ensure homes are warm and dry

To improve our communal blocks we have spent £122k on heating upgrades and £320k on fire safety works

£200k spent on improving garages

Your Neighbourhood

300 tonnes of rubbish was collected over 12 community action days from across the borough with approximately 400 residents using the skips provided

175 hours of support were provided from the community payback offenders

We handled 234 anti-social behaviour (ASB) cases with 100% of closed cases being resolved.

39 cases were passed to our dedicated anti-social behaviour team, this resulted in 8 evictions being carried out.

We aim to provide support for victims of ASB and where possible put the necessary steps in place to prevent any further problems.
As part of this process we have issued a number of legal warning notices to tenants as well as agreeing 2 Agreed Behaviour Contracts and gained 1 civil injunction.
We continue to work closely with partners to more effectively tackle ASB and help provide support. Partners include Lancashire County Council, the Police and Lancashire Wellbeing Service.

Home Care Link
Home Care Link Service has delivered Telecare and Assistive Technology, installing equipment to 1154 properties
We received approximately 68,232 emergency calls.
Our target for call-handling is that 90% of alarm calls should be answered within 60 seconds, and 99% within 3 minutes. We achieved 97.8% answered within 60 seconds, and 99.8% within 3 minutes


Customer Engagement

Our Tenant Scrutiny Group continues to work hard to identify areas for improvement has recently looked at what is like to become a tenant, from completing an application form right through to bidding on a property and moving in.

19 new tenants signed up to our 'Your Voice' survey group. This is a group of tenants who give us their views through regular surveys and this helps us to see what is working well or where changes need to be made.
If you are interested in joining 'Your Voice' please contact customerengagement@westlancs.gov.uk for more information. Alternatively you can get involved through our MyTenancy App.

Compliments and complaints
24 formal complaints were received and investigated, in an average time of 11 days.
6 of these complaints were escalated and reviewed by the Chief Executive.
We identified that a number of complaints resulted from poor communication on our behalf. We will continue to improve our communication by reviewing our messages and the training that staff receive.

20 compliments were received with the majority being about repairs and improvements. Thank you!

Housing Advice

We received 93 homeless applications
32 families accepted as being unintentionally homeless and in priority need. 24 of those were housed by the Council and 14 provided with temporary accommodation.
51 housing advice cases were opened
We prevented 11 families from becoming homeless, 6 families were moved into Council housing and we supported the remaining 5 families to remain in their current home.
We will continue to address homelessness and work with our partners to help to try to prevent it from happening


Other Achievements

36 new energy efficient semi-detached housing are being built for rent in Beechtrees, Skelmersdale. These will be available to tenants from March 2019.

A new housing development is happening close to Ormskirk town centre.
There will be 8 new one bedroom apartments for rent and 1 two bedroom house for shared ownership available from the Council. These will be ready March 2019.
We introduced Wi-Fi in our older person's schemes to encourage and support tenants to be more digital engaged and reduce financial exclusion. Training was provided which gave customers the skills they need and this has been a great success.

We have introduced text message reminders for money advice appointments. This has proved to be a success by reducing missed appointments.
Our surveyors went mobile! This meant that less paper work needs to be completed and it saves time as the job can be ordered straight away for you from their mobile device.
Our new digital direct debit sign up service gives customers more choice to pay weekly, fortnightly or monthly and on any payment date. Direct debit is an easy way to pay your rent and is now quick and simple to set up. For more details contact incometeam@westlancs.gov.uk

We improved waste management to our flats by introducing new communal street units for refuse and recycling.

Our Home Care Link gained a Telecare Services Association accreditation showing what an excellent service is delivered through this scheme. Working with our partners, we have introduced the latest equipment that’s currently available on the market, such as Amazon Echo, Robotic Cats and Voice Activated Telecare devices to help people live independent lives.

We converted 4 empty properties to create new sheltered accommodation for older people.


Investing in the Future

We are always looking at ways of improving the service we offer to our customers and feel it is important to tell you our plans and ideas for the future. Over the next 12 months we aim to deliver the following projects.

We are improving the MyTenancy app so that you will be able to pay your rent easily at any time.

We are helping tenants to get digital. The courses on offer range from getting an email address, being safe on line, using Skype or Facebook, through to applying for jobs and completing Universal Credit applications.
If you would like to improve your digital skills then contact the customer engagement team getdigital@westlancs.gov.uk

We are looking to introduce text messaging to improve the ways in which you can give us feedback about repairs to your home and other services.

Home Care Link will be working with partners to look at how we can use alternative technologies that will allow individuals to live independently, as well as improving our systems to make more improvements to our service.


What do you think?

We would like to know what you think about this report. Please contact customerengagement@westlancs.gov.uk and let us know your views.