Improving the repairs service

Our four priorities for managing our properties and your homes are:
• to provide better repairs
• safer homes
• improved homes
• to cut out waste.
Better repairs
Over the last two months, Helen McGregor, director of asset management, has been meeting with
residents at our local forums and scrutiny panels to discuss how we are improving the repairs and planned maintenance service.
You have told us that you want repairs to be done as quickly and efficiently as possible, that we keep you updated on progress and that the work is done to a good standard.  To make it easier for you to report and track repairs we are introducing a new online service and you can read more about this on page 8.
Our current arrangements for day to day repairs are: Wates (responsible for former Notting Hill Housing properties); Notting Hill Genesis Direct (NHGD – our in house direct labour organisation) (responsible for former Genesis properties in regions 2, 3 and 4); and for former Genesis properties in region one we are trialling a new approach where repairs are booked using local contractors via a web portal (Plentific). Contractors (who have all have been vetted and screened) bid and compete for individual jobs.  So far, this system has been very successful, driving down the average time it takes to get a repair completed and increasing customer satisfaction. 
Our next steps are to review all of our current contracts and to work with residents to agree a new NHG repair standard.  We want to reduce the number of contractors and subcontractors that we use so that we have more control over the end to end process and quality of work.
Safer homes
You have told us what matters to you – repairs and safety – and we are working to ensure that our properties are fully compliant with current and future health and safety standards.
Following the Grenfell fire, like most housing organisations, NHG has reviewed the fire risk assessments (FRAs) on all properties of six stories or more.  By March 2019, we had carried out fire risk assessments (FRAs) on every one of our blocks and completed 99.4% of high risk actions resulting from them. You are now able to request a copy of the FRA for your block (see page 11).   
Improved homes
We now manage 66,000 homes and have a total annual investment budget of £107m. In the past we have sometimes struggled to achieve the right balance between carrying out day to day repairs and making longer-term investment decisions to replace fixtures that are coming to the end of their useful life. Up until now, we have tried to plan major repair works on an annual basis with the result that works start later in the year than we would have liked with the risk that the
programme is cut back as we approach the end of the financial year. Therefore, we are now moving to a three-year cycle for our planned maintenance work.
Cutting out waste
Currently 34p in every £1 is spent on overheads including administration, dealing with complaints, re-booking jobs, following up missed appointments and so on. We want to significantly reduce this spend so that we have more money to invest in your homes. As we move to more online services, you’ll be able to choose appointment times that are convenient to you. This will reduce waste from missed appointments and give you more control. We also want to make sure that as many repairs as possible are done at the first time of asking.
We will be reviewing the costs and successes of each of these approaches over the next year. If we carry out a repair for you, please give us feedback when we carry out follow up satisfaction surveys as this will help inform our approach going forward.