Housing annual report
2022 to 2023
This information is supplementary to the annual report information sent to all Ashfield District Council tenants, in the format of a hard copy magazine during October 2023.
During the 2022 to 2023 financial year we continued our new homes development programme, by building an ambitious number of new properties on existing council land, along with purchasing a number of other new build and pre-built properties across the district. These properties have subsequently been let to tenants via the social housing waiting list.
We are pleased to report that our performance and delivery as a team has remained strong when compared to others.
We have continued to support tenants who are experiencing difficulties with finding their finances stretched, due to the current financial climate. We have assisted a large number of tenants with support to help manage their budgets and maximise their income, as well as accessing charity grants.
We have continued our work to improve the thermal efficiency of our homes and continued work to install over £10 million worth of external wall insulation and solar panels over the next few years, to reduce household bills and carbon emissions.
Our Housing Operations Team have successfully installed Carbon Monoxide detectors in a significant proportion of our stock, over a short period of time, following the introduction of new requirements.
Through the year 2022 to 2023 we:
- Continued to adapt and change service delivery to a more agile model across all aspects of the Housing Service to meet the needs of tenants and employees
- Progressed an action plan to deliver against the Social Housing White Paper
- Continued delivery of new properties. We have added a total of 108 additional units to the social housing stock (63 purchases and 45 new build) to work towards the target of building 100 new homes over a 5-year period
- Undertook works to some existing housing stock to improve the energy efficiency and reduce the energy consumption of the tenant
- Reviewed our Tenancy Agreement, introducing a new version that is up to date and meets operational/legal requirements, protecting both tenants and the Council as landlord
- Undertook works to install Carbon Monoxide monitors in all tenants’ homes, where required and continued to work with tenants who have refused installation.
- Undertaken a pilot survey against the tenant perception element of the Tenant Satisfaction Measures
- Updated the Corporate Complaints and Compliments Policy, to comply with the Housing Ombudsman Service’s Complaint Handling Code and published a self-assessment on our website to demonstrate compliance.
We already have plans in place for the future to:
- Review our Tenants Handbook
- Employ a dedicated Tenant Engagement Officer
- Recruit, train and implement a Tenant Scrutiny Panel
- Deliver against our action plan to meet the requirements set out in the Social Housing (regulation) Act and continue to monitor the key risks and regulatory standards
- Continue to increase the housing stock including new-build developments
- Continue to bid for Government funding to assist with improve the energy efficiency of the Council’s Housing stock and the wider district, where possible.
- Complete the first collection of the Tenant Satisfaction Measures, including completing the tenant perception survey, ensuring the data is ready for submission to the Regulator of Social Housing in line with the required deadlines
- Prepare for the implementation of the Regulator of Social Housing’s inspection regime
- Update our complaints and compliments policy/procedure to ensure compliance with the new joint complaint handling code between the Housing Ombudsman Service and the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman
- Procure a new major works contractor
Our Lettings Service is responsible for the allocation of our Housing stock. We have 6623 properties and have 4257 people on our waiting list. With around 500 properties available during the year, demand is high in comparison to supply. Vacant properties are advertised on a weekly basis for applicants to express an interest in. The shortlisted applicants for each property are prioritised in order of their priority banding. We do this through our online Choice Based Lettings scheme called Homefinder, available at www.amhomefinder.co.uk
Properties let in 2022 to 2023
489 properties were let in 2022 to 2023 at an average of 23.78 days for standard voids.
Of the properties let to the waiting list:
- 268 applicants were in Band 1 ‘emergency’ need
- 109 in Band 2 ‘urgent’ need
- 90 in Band 3 ‘low’ need
- 4 in Band 4 ‘demoted’ applicants
- 18 in Band 5 ‘no’ housing need.
The 489 properties let to applicants from the waiting list included:
- 205 flats
- 135 houses
- 121 bungalows
- 21 studio flats
- 3 maisonettes
In 2022 to 2023, 40 tenants moved home by way of mutual exchange.
Tenants can register and search for a suitable exchanges for free by visiting:
- website: HomeSwapper
During 2022 to 2023 37 new additions were made to the Council’s housing stock - 26 new build properties and 11 acquisitions.
The projection is that a further 70 new homes will be added to the stock during 2023/2024 (61 new builds and 9 acquisitions).
Rent is our main source of income to the Housing Revenue Account. If we don’t collect rent, we have less money to spend on the upkeep and management of our properties.
Despite the financial climate which has presented many challenges to tenants, our rent collection levels are above average and we have performed at a top quartile level against other similar organisations as benchmarked by Housemark.
|rent collection type
|Percentage of rent collected as a percentage of rent due (excluding arrears brought forward)
|Percentage of rent collected from total rent due
Current tenant arrears
|Housemark Quartile Position
|2022 to 2023
|Top quartile performance in this area (based on the annual pulse report) for LA &ALMOs with less than 10k stock was 1.84%
|2021 to 2022
|Top quartile performance in this area (based on the annual pulse report) for LA &ALMOs with less than 10k stock was 1.75%
Our target for current tenant rent arrears as a proportion of the rent roll for 2023 to 2024 is 1.6%.
In 2022 to 2023:
- 295 Notice of Seeking Possession were issued to tenants due to rent arrears and tenancy issues
- 19 tenants were evicted for non-payment of rent.
In 2022 to 2023, the Housing Service has worked to deliver outcomes for our customers with:
- Over £108,000 has been accessed in welfare benefits, housing and council tax benefits and grants and white goods from charitable trusts for tenants
- 955 Council Tenants assisted with welfare and money management advice
- 406 Council Tenants provided with tenancy support of which:
- 100% of tenants in their tenancy after 6 months, following the completion of the support package provided by the Tenancy Sustainment Officers.
Housing repairs and maintenance
Property repairs is our busiest service, we appreciate that having something go wrong or break in your home can be frustrating and so we aim to offer a service which is both easy to get through to and prompt in attending to the property at your convenience.
During 2022/2023 our Repairs Service performed as follows:
- 37,176 repairs completed
- Including 4915 emergency repairs
- 34,493 repairs completed
- Including 4915 emergency repairs
Average time taken to complete responsive repairs
- 5 calendar days
Repairs completed on time
- Repairs completed on time - All repairs – 94.96%
- Repairs completed on time - Responsive only – 95.15% ()
Repairs call handling centre
- Total calls received – 46,011
- Total calls answered – 42,198
- 91.70% calls answered
- Average call ring time 102 seconds
A range of planned works was completed in 2022 to 2023, which made improvements to our homes and surrounding areas including, but not limited to, boiler replacements, pre-painting and painting works, window replacement, external doors, roof coverings, fencing, pathways, aids and adaptations and general site maintenance works.
- 77 stage one complaints received.
- Only 8 stage one complaints escalated to stage two of the process – which equates to 10%
- 3 complaints referred to the Housing Ombudsman by tenants
- Average time to respond to stage one complaints 9.32 days
- Average time to respond to stage two complaints 11.3 days
- 100% of complaints received were responded to within the timescale, as defined by the tenant satisfaction measures
- Only 6.5% of all stage one complainants returned satisfaction survey following their complaint response
Stage one complaints by type - Pie chart figures
|Attitude or conduct of employee
|Length of time taken
|State of property
|Unhappy with decision
|Accuracy of information
|Conduct of neighbour
Learning from feedback
There were 94 learning outcomes from complaints received, 91% of which have been implemented – examples include:
- Officers have been reminded of the importance of keeping files notes – a customer relations management system has recently been implemented to log interactions with tenants
- Officers have been reminded of the procedure for sending personal information to professionals and that all correspondence is accessible through subject access requests
- Officers have been reminded not to mark emails as complete, until contact has been made with the sender
- The approach for handling reports of pests has been outlined and shared with officers in a Pest Policy
- Officers have been reminded that tenants should be notified in advance of planned visits
- Officers have been reminded that case updates should not be provided to third parties without the relevant consent from the subject. Measures have been implemented to ensure that all relevant departments are notified when a tenant withdraws authority to disclose matters relating to their tenancy with third parties
- Contractors have been reminded not to take photos inside tenant’s homes, without first seeking their consent
- Wherever possible, tenants will be present during major works handover inspections
- Regular discussions have taken place to facilitate better communication between us and our major works contractor
- Officers have been reminded about data protection obligations when undertaking home visits and to refrain from discussing personal information on the doorstep/via smart door bells
- Officers have been reminded about the different methods available to tenants and leaseholders to make a complaint, ensuring that the process is accessible to all
- Additional training has been provided to call centre officers around repairs priority timescales
- New processes have been implemented to ensure that out of hours repairs are prioritised, without delay, once the service re-opens
- Resident Liaison Officers are to ensure tenants are reminded of the post-handover defects process
- Major works contractors have received additional guidance around cleanliness standards
- Officers have been reminded of the permission process including ensuring that responses are provided within timescales, tenancy files are checked/site inspected before making a decision and that decision letters are adapted to reflect the individual case
- Officers have been reminded to ensure messages to contact tenants are passed to the relevant officer and where a tenant advises that they have left multiple messages, but not received a response, this should be raised with the relevant Team Leader/Manager
- Officers have been reminded of the requirements set out in the succession procedure
- Officers have been reminded to minimise the number of officers attending the same visit, in order to be as efficient as possible and to minimise the impact on the tenant
- Officers have been reminded to ensure that allegations are investigated prior to issuing warning letters to tenants
- Officers have been reminded that a multi-agency approach should be adopted, where possible, and any considerations/adjustments made due a tenant’s vulnerabilities should be documented
- Officers have been reminded to ensure that communication is maintained with colleagues to ensure that joint inspections are arranged within target/deadline timescales
- Officers have been reminded to have a consistent approach when offering support to tenants
- The major works contractor has been reminded to ensure that works are completed in line with specifications to prevent defects
- Procedures have been implemented to ensure that discussions and assessments are to be had with new tenants to ensure that they are capable of maintaining hedges/trees at the time of being offered a new tenancy, ensuring that every new tenant receives a garden plan highlighting their area of responsibility
- Operatives have been reminded that if they need to use an occupied electrical socket in a tenant’s home, they should seek permission from the tenant before unplugging any equipment
Last year, the rent you paid funded:
- £8.8 million of repairs and home improvements
- Over £462,000 of adaptations to make homes easier and safer for people to live in
- £0.9 million investment in acquiring new homes.
Finances cost breakdown per £1 spent in 2022 to 2023 graphic shows:
- Service and support costs - £0.06
- Repairs - £0.29
- New homes - £0.20
- Loan interest - £0.13
- Major improvements - £0.15
- Management costs - £0.17
Further information regarding the Council’s finances can be found on the Financal information page.
Finances pie chart figures:
|Cost - 2022 to 2023
|Cost - 2021 - 2022
|Service and support costs