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Waverley Borough Council Committee System - Committee Document

Meeting of the Community Overview and Scrutiny Committee held on 03/03/2003
Voids Management




1

ANNEXE 4
BEST VALUE FUNDAMENTAL SERVICE REVIEW

HOUSING: VOIDS MANAGEMENT

IMPROVEMENT PLAN

ACTION PLAN
BY WHOM
BY WHEN
[month = by month end]
BUDGET IMPLICATIONS
PROGRESS
REVISED TIMETABLE
SAVINGS
000
TARGET 1: Service Aims, Objectives and Standards That:
are responsive to customers’ needs and expectations
reflect legal requirements and the intention to provide a good quality service
specify the re-letting standard for Waverley homes
are directed to minimising the time taken to re-let properties and consequent rent loss
include clear target timescales for the different parts of the re-letting process
adhere to Equality of Opportunity and Human Rights principles
maximise Sustainable Development
help to reduce Crime & Disorder and fear of crime
are compatible with corporate objectives
Identify customer profiles and consult them about their overall priorities for the serviceService Review GroupDecember 2001Within existing budgetsDone
Done
0
Develop service aims, objectives and standards in consultation with Tenants’ PanelAssistant Director of Housing/ Head of Housing MaintenanceJune 2002As aboveOngoing – series of workshops held on repairs/maintenance held with Tenants’ Panel during 2002. Further work to be done as part of allocations policy review
February 2003
0
In consultation with the Tenants’ Panel, determine the re-letting standard for all Waverley homes including temporary accommodation taking into consideration the:
‘Decent Homes’ standard
policy of offering decoration vouchers to incoming tenants unless they are elderly and/or disabled when decoration work will be carried out by the Council
Head of Housing MaintenanceApril 2002As aboveDone although reletting standard would not necessarily meet Decent Homes standard
Done
0
Identify Equal Opportunities, Human Rights, Sustainable Development and Crime and Disorder issues to be reflected in service aims and objectives in addition to any other legal requirementsAssistant Director of Housing/ Head of HousingJune 2002Within existing budgetsDone as far as specifically required for repairs. Ongoing as part of allocations policy review.
January 2003
0
Develop criteria for determining action to be taken when properties are identified as needing substantial major repairs to meet re-letting standardAssistant Director of Housing/ Head of HousingMarch 2002As aboveDone
Done
0
In consultation with customers, contractors, staff and other stakeholders agree challenging targets for each element of the voids management process that will deliver the service to the agreed standards and deliver significant reductions in overall void turnaround times and rent loss including reducing the time for applicants to view properties e.g. to 3 days and to accept/reject tenancy offer after viewing e.g. to 24 hoursAssistant Director of Housing/ Head of HousingApril 2002As aboveDone
Done
0
Develop and implement monitoring systems in relation to service standards and targetsAssistant Director of Housing/ Head of HousingApril 2002As aboveDone
Done
0
Agree with Tenants’ Panel feedback arrangements regarding performance in relation to standardsAssistant Director of Housing/ Head of HousingApril 2002As aboveTo agree with Tenants’ Panel PIs for reporting
April 2003
0
        TARGET 2: A Strategy For Dealing With Low Demand Properties Dealt with in Allocations & Nominations Improvement Plan
TARGET 3: Formal Policies And Procedures For Delivery Of Voids Management Service With Particular Emphasis On:
customer service
health and safety
efficiency
Identify customer profile and obtain feedback about their priorities for improving the serviceService Review GroupDecember 2001Within existing budgetsDone
Done
0
Appoint or nominate a single designated manager to have overall responsibility for all aspects of voids management (both re-letting and repairs/maintenance issues) with authority to require relevant service managers to take specified action to minimise void turnaround timesAssistant Director of HousingJanuary 2002As aboveAsst Director of Hsg nominated. Voids reviewed weekly
Done
0
Develop processes for managing voids that provide for as many functions as possible being carried out in parallel rather than consecutivelyAssistant Director of Housing/ Head of Housing MaintenanceJuly 2002Within existing budgetsDone
Done
0
Introduce systems for ensuring a more co-ordinated approach to voids management including mechanisms for regular (weekly) liaison/feedback between operational staff of Housing Needs, Day-to-Day Repairs and Surveying & MaintenanceAssistant Director of Housing/ Head of Housing MaintenanceApril 2002As aboveDone
Done
0
Introduce pre-termination visits to outgoing tenant to:
check condition of property
identify any repairs/damage which the outgoing is responsible for
identify any unauthorised improvements that are likely to have to be removed
give early feedback to repairs service about scale of likely work required to property
Housing Needs Manager/ Head of Housing MaintenanceJuly 2002As aboveInvestigated but not found to be practicable. Repairs required impossible to identify until tenants’ possessions removed from property.
No revised timetable required
0
Introduce procedures for early identification and action in cases where repairs required are so extensive as unlikely to be cost-effective to attempt to re-let the propertyAssistant Director of Housing/ Head of Housing MaintenanceMarch 2002As aboveDone
Done
0
Introduce accompanied visits for prospective tenants while previous tenant is still in occupation (subject to their agreement) to enable
early viewing of property
prospective tenant to identify any of the previous tenant’s fixtures that he/she wishes to remain (subject to any health and safety issues)
Housing Needs Manager/ Head of Housing MaintenanceJuly 2002As aboveIntroduced where possible
Done
0
Re-examine any legal requirement to hold properties vacant if offered and refused by homeless applicant and avoid doing so if at all possibleHousing Needs ManagerApril 2002As aboveResolved
Done
0
Introduce requirement for outgoing tenants to hand keys back by 9.30 a.m. instead of midday (on final Monday)Housing Needs ManagerFebruary 2002As aboveDone
Done
0
Arrange for 3 sets of keys to be provided when locks are changed to void properties (instead of 2)Repairs ManagerNovember 2001As aboveDone
Done
0
Investigate potential for and if possible implement the use of universal locks for void properties to reduce problems associated with availability of keysHead of Housing MaintenanceApril 2002As aboveNot required. Additional set of keys and new procedures have resolved problem.
No revised timetable required
0
Investigate potential for and if appropriate implement the carrying out of only essential works to make a property habitable before re-letting, and carrying out all other repairs to meet the re-letting standard following re-occupationHead of Housing MaintenanceSeptember 2002As aboveIntroduction of reletting standard has made this unnecessary i.e. all repairs can be carried out before re-letting
No revised timetable required
0
Develop and adopt recording, monitoring and reporting systems for customer complaints that are compatible with Departmental and corporate proceduresAssistant Director of Housing/ Housing Needs Manager/ Head of Housing MaintenanceSeptember 2002Within existing budgetsDepartmental system implemented for high-level complaints. Low-level complaints about repairs recorded on Orchard against jobs but need to be analysed.
May 2003 (analysis of complaints logged on Orchard)
0
Engage a consultant to ensure the adequacy of Health and Safety arrangements under the repairs Measured Term Contract Action point from Day-to-Day Repairs review Head of Housing MaintenanceMarch 2002As aboveDone
Done
0
Develop and implement a policy for dealing with asbestos and any known other risks that includes a strategy for appropriate Action point from Day-to-Day Repairs review:
action to be taken to determine the nature of the risk
information to be disseminated to tenants, contractors, staff and any other affected parties
action to be taken to make safe
Surveying & Maintenance ManagerApril 2002As abovePolicy agreed by Executive in spring 2002. Implementation plan/strategy being developed
Policy done. Implementation plan/strategy – November 2002
0
Document policies, procedures and guidelines for all aspects of voids management service and introduce arrangements for regular reviewAssistant Director of Housing/Head of Housing MaintenanceSeptember 2002As aboveIn development
April 2003
0
TARGET 4: Improved Information For Customers
In consultation with the Tenants’ Panel, produce leaflet(s) explaining in plain English:
the service aims, objectives and standards
the re-letting standard including repairs carried out before/after re-letting
tenants’ rights and responsibilities including the need to give proper notice (4 weeks) when they are moving out
what happens to the tenancy when a tenant dies
what tenants can expect to happen when they are offered a tenancy
Assistant Director of HousingSeptember 2002Within existing budgetsInformation included in Tenants’ Handbook
February 2003
0
Give the leaflet(s) to prospective tenants and incorporate guidance as appropriate in the Tenants’ HandbookAssistant Director of HousingSeptember 2002As aboveSee above
See above
0
Give incoming tenants as much information as possible about the property they are moving into (in writing if possible) including:
detailed information about the repairs ordered
location of stopcock, gas and electric meters
how to operate door and window locks
how to use heating appliance
general information about the area and amenities (public transport, schools, shops etc)
Assistant Director of Housing/ Head of Housing MaintenanceOngoingWithin existing budgetsVerbal information about property given during accompanied visits.
Written information included in Tenants’ Handbook
Done
0
Consult the Tenants’ Panel on the performance information to be provided about the voids management service including the possibility of publishing details of empty properties i.e. area in which located and the reasons why they are empty and when they should be re-letAssistant Director of HousingAugust 2002 and ongoingAs aboveOngoing discussions with Tenants’ Panel. General information about empty properties and the areas they are situated in to be included in spring issue of Waverley Homes
April 2003
0
Include regular articles in Tenants’ Extra on those aspects of voids management performance identified as priorities by Tenants’ PanelAssistant Director of HousingOngoingAs aboveSee above
See above
0
TARGET 5: Value For Money Maximised
Develop and implement procedures to ensure that recharges are made for:
repairs/damage that are the responsibility of the previous tenant Common action point with Day-to-Day Repairs review
the cost of removing unauthorised improvements, if necessary
Examine possibility of refusing transfers to tenants in these circumstances unless tenant carries out work required or recharges are paid in full Action point for Allocations & Nominations review
Examine possibility of using debt collection agencies to recover debts
Head of Housing Maintenance/ Repairs ManagerDecember 2002Within existing budgetsDone as part of sundry debtors recovery arrangements
Done
0
Develop procedures to ensure that repairs carried out by the Council to leased homes used as temporary accommodation for the homeless are recharged to the owners Common action point with Day-to-Day Repairs review Head of Housing Maintenance/ Repairs ManagerDecember 2002As aboveDone
Done
Not yet quantifiable
Develop a strategy to increase the balance of expenditure on void repairs in favour of planned maintenance Common action point with Day-to-Day Repairs and Programmed & Cyclical Maintenance reviewsHead of Housing MaintenanceDecember 2002As aboveDone
Done
As above
Re-examine and clarify roles and responsibilities of Day-to-Day Repairs staff and Surveying and Maintenance staff with a view to further streamlining and generalisation of functions where possible and appropriate Action point from Day-to-Day Repairs and Programmed & Cyclical Maintenance reviewsHead of Housing Maintenance/ Surveying & Maintenance ManagerSeptember 2002As aboveRelocation of S&M to Godalming has improved liaison & co-operation. Structure to be reviewed when MTC due for renewal
Done in part. Structure to be reviewed in 2004/05
As above
Make the best use of existing staff resources including more generalist ways of working where possible e.g. same Housing Needs staff dealing with new and transfer applications Action point from Allocations & Nominations reviewAssistant Director of Housing/ Housing Needs ManagerSeptember 2002Within existing budgetsPiloted on experimental basis. Experience to be evaluated.
March 2003
Not yet quantifiable
        TARGET 6: Maximising Use Of IT And Working Towards E-Government Targets Common target with Programmed & Cyclical Maintenance and Day-to-Day Repairs reviews – see Improvement Plan relevant to All Housing Services
Address and resolve inefficiencies associated with current use of Orchard (integrated housing management system):
Identify and resolve problems/anomalies reported by users of the Orchard repairs module
Develop plan/timetable for all relevant data held by Surveying & Maintenance to be available on Orchard Common target with Programmed & Cyclical Maintenance review
Authorise access to the repairs module of Orchard to other Housing Department staff on a read-only basis Action point from Day-to-Day Repairs review
Head of Housing MaintenanceAugust 2002Within existing budgets Done
Ongoing. Implementation of Orchard by S&M in 2002/03
Done
March 2003
0
Investigate and if practicable implement computerised voids inspections sheets and providing Repairs Inspectors with hand-held or laptop style PCs to enable direct inputting of data during void inspectionsHead of Housing MaintenanceAugust 2002As aboveResources being investigated to gather data
December 2002
0
Investigate and if practicable implement inputting all property information gathered during void inspections onto Orchard including room measurements etc.Head of Housing MaintenanceAugust 2002As aboveAs above
As above
0
Use void inspections as means of gathering stock condition information and inputting it onto Orchard Action point for Programmed & Cyclical Maintenance reviewHead of Housing MaintenanceApril 2003As aboveAs above
As above
0
        TARGET 7: Robust Systems Improved Performance Management Systems For Monitoring Quality, Value For Money And Efficiency Of Service
Rectify weaknesses in data collection, analysis and reporting methods currently used for BVPIs as identified during BV reviewAssistant Director of HousingSeptember 2002Within existing budgetsDone
Done
0
Introduce local Performance Indicators to support the BVPIs, in particular to measure the time taken to:
repair voids
re-let properties once repairs have been completed
and report reasons for not achieving targets
Head of Housing Maintenance/ Housing Needs ManagerSeptember 2001As aboveDone
Done
0
Re-examine targets set on Orchard for the different elements of the voids management process including allocations and repairs and revise as necessary to ensure their compatibility with each other including start dates and categorisationAssistant Director of Housing/ Head of Housing Maintenance/ Housing Needs ManagerSeptember 2002Within existing budgetsDone
Done
0
Carry out comprehensive customer satisfaction monitoring, analysis and reporting in relation to the letting process and condition of the propertyAssistant Director of Housing/ Head of Housing Maintenance/ Housing Needs ManagerSeptember 2002As aboveSurvey of new tenants to be carried out each year from 2003/04
September 2003 and annually
0
Introduce systems for monitoring, analysing and reporting type and cost of void repairsHead of Housing MaintenanceSeptember 2002As aboveDone as required. Introduction of voids standard has reduced need.
Done
0
Introduce improved systems for regular monitoring, analysis and reporting of expenditure on voids compared to budget and previous years’ expenditureHead of Housing MaintenanceSeptember 2002As aboveDone
Done
0
Introduce systems for identifying trends in the type of works being carried out to inform the development of planned maintenance programmes Action point from Day-to-Day Repairs review Head of Housing MaintenanceSeptember 2002As aboveDone as required. Introduction of voids standard has reduced need.
Done
0
Introduce systems for monitoring, analysing and reporting refusals of tenancy offers including reasonsHousing Needs ManagerSeptember 2002As aboveIntroduced as local PI from April 2002
Done
0
Introduce systems for monitoring, analysing and reporting reasons for tenancy terminationsHousing needs ManagerSeptember 2002As aboveInformation available but not yet analysed
March 2003
0
Introduce systems for monitoring, analysing and reporting incidence of vandalism and squattingHead of Housing Maintenance/ Housing Needs ManagerSeptember 2002As aboveExpenditure code being set up. Implementation from Nov 2002
November 2002
0
Develop systems to analyse information provided through complaints to identify issues and trends relating to the quality of the serviceAssistant Director of Housing/ Head of Housing Maintenance/ Housing Needs ManagerSeptember 2002Within existing budgetsAnalysis of all complaints report to be produced for 2002/03. Results of satisfaction monitoring also to be used to identify trends.
April 2003
0
        TARGET 8: Contract Arrangements For Repairs That Ensure Quality Of Service And Value For Money
Consider and, if appropriate, implement alternative contract arrangements for void works including:
separate Schedule of Rates from day-to-day repairs works
continuous improvement target timescales for contractors with penalty clauses for failure to achieve them
separate contract from day-to-day repairs on ‘partnering’ basis (in accordance with Egan/”Rethinking Construction” principles)
Head of Housing MaintenanceFebruary 2005Within existing budgetsWill be investigated in 2004/05 when existing MTC contract is due for renewal
No revised timetable required
0
(housing/mwrigh/hsg/bv review voids/voidsactionplan5progress1)