THE SCOTTISH SOCIAL HOUSING CHARTER

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1 HOUSING CHARTER REPORT THE SCOTTISH SOCIAL HOUSING CHARTER LOOKING BACK AT 2015/16 PLANNING AHEAD 2016/17

2 Chairperson Report A very warm welcome to our Annual Charter Report. As you will be aware, last year heralded significant change for Bellsmyre Housing Association, as tenants and members of Bellsmyre voted to establish a partnership with Caledonia Housing Association. A key driver of the partnership was a desire to improve performance, deliver better services and achieve greater results for tenants and factored owners. Going forward, we want to deliver to tenants and owners continuously improving and value for money services. We want to improve the quality of housing, provide better services and help create a strong and successful community. The Scottish Social Housing Charter provides a framework that supports the delivery of greater results and helps improve services delivered to tenants and owners. The Charter was introduced by the Scottish Government in 2012 and sets out standards and outcomes for all social landlords to achieve in delivering their housing services. The purpose of this report is to highlight how we are performing against the Charter and provide an insight as to what improvement measures we plan to progress to deliver better services to tenants and owners. A significant priority in the next 12 months will be creating the opportunities to improve communication with tenants and owners, so we understand your priorities and you can shape the services we provide. We have appointed a new Community Engagement Officer to improve communication and encourage greater participation with tenants and owners. Meanwhile in early 2017 we will be carrying out an independent tenants and owners survey. We will be asking over 450 tenants and owners to participate in the survey. This will provide excellent feedback as to what improvements you want prioritised. Finally, I hope you find the report interesting and informative. As ever however, please let us know if you would like to discuss or pass on your thoughts about the report or any other aspect of our work. DIANE WILLIAMSON BELLSMYRE CHAIRPERSON Contents Outcome 1 - Equalities...p4 Outcome 2 - Communication... p5 Outcome 3 - Participation...p6 Outcome 4 - Quality of Housing...p6 Outcome 5 Repairs, Maintenance and Improvements... p7 Outcome 6 Estate Management, Anti-Social Behaviour, Neighbour Nuisance and Tenancy Disputes...p8 Outcome 7,8,9 & 10 - Housing Options and Access to Housing..p9 Outcome 11 - Tenancy Sustainment... p10 Outcome 13 - Value for Money... p10 Outcomes 14 and 15 - Rents and Service Charges... p11 2 THE SCOTTISH SOCIAL HOUSING CHARTER REPORT

3 Bellsmyre HA An overview We are a community based housing association operating in Bellsmyre, West Dunbartonshire. We own and manage 592 tenanted properties and are a factor for 485 owners. Our management committee consists of 10 voluntary members and the majority of members are local residents. We have 16 staff members providing a range of housing, estates and factoring services to our tenants and owners. The Association became part of the Caledonia Housing Group in April In September 2015, 92.5% of tenants voted yes to consider a partnership with Caledonia Housing Association. In November 2015, 93.5% of the Bellsmyre members voted to become part of the Caledonia Housing Group. The aim of our new partnership with Caledonia is to: Limit and control rent increases Deliver a 5m stock improvement programme a minimum of 1m a year will be spent over the next 5 years modernising homes Improve the factoring service provided to owners Retain the local Bellsmyre office and improve the quality of local services Improve the management of the environment We are starting a new phase in Bellsmyre s history and we have bold and ambitious plans to deliver significant change and improvement. Our ability to meet the standards and outcomes of the Scottish Government s Scottish Social Housing Charter will be a key measure as to how successful we have been improving the quality of what we do. We recognise that by achieving the Scottish Social Housing Charter we will improve the standard of the housing we provide, enhance the quality of services and help establish a strong and vibrant neighbourhood. THE SCOTTISH SOCIAL HOUSING CHARTER REPORT 3

4 OUTCOME 1 EQUALITIES EVERY TENANT AND OTHER CUSTOMER HAS THEIR INDIVIDUAL NEEDS RECOGNISED, IS TREATED FAIRLY AND WITH RESPECT, AND RECEIVES FAIR ACCESS TO HOUSING AND HOUSING SERVICES. We will develop and implement new equalities guidance for staff and committee. We will introduce a new equalities policy and establish a new equalities action plan for 2017/18. We will provide training on equality and diversity to our staff. 4 THE SCOTTISH SOCIAL HOUSING CHARTER REPORT

5 OUTCOME 2 COMMUNICATION TENANTS AND OTHER CUSTOMERS FIND IT EASY TO COMMUNICATE WITH THEIR LANDLORD AND GET THE INFORMATION THEY NEED ABOUT THEIR LANDLORD, HOW AND WHY IT MAKES DECISIONS AND THE SERVICES THAT THE LANDLORD PROVIDES. 82.7% of tenants felt we were good at keeping them informed about our services and decisions. 13 complaints We received 13 stage 1 complaints and 11 were responded to on time. 82.7% 30.77% 30.77% of stage 1 complaints made were upheld. In April, we introduced a new staff structure, with new Customer Service Assistant posts and a Community Engagement Officer. This new structure will help improve how we communicate with tenants and owners. It will provide opportunities for local residents to shape our services, as well as improve how we manage complaints. By March 2017, we will review our website and introduce social media channels. By March 2017, we will have completed a comprehensive tenants and owners satisfaction survey. This will provide good information as to the service needs of tenants and owners, and what improvements need to be prioritised. THE SCOTTISH SOCIAL HOUSING CHARTER REPORT 5

6 OUTCOME 3 - PARTICIPATION TENANTS AND OTHER CUSTOMERS FIND IT EASY TO PARTICIPATE IN AND INFLUENCE THEIR LANDLORDS DECISIONS AT A LEVEL THEY FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH. 71.6% 71.6% of our tenants were satisfied with the opportunities to participate in our decision making. By December 2016, we will produce a new participation strategy and action plan for 2017/18. This will set out how we will communicate with tenants and owners, detailing how we will provide opportunities for local residents to inform our decision making. OUTCOME 4 QUALITY OF HOUSING TENANTS HOMES, AS A MINIMUM, MEET THE SCOTTISH HOUSING QUALITY STANDARD BY APRIL 2015, AND CONTINUE TO MEET IT THEREAFTER, AND WHEN THEY ARE ALLOCATED, ARE ALWAYS CLEAN, TIDY AND IN A GOOD STATE OF REPAIR % 69.96% of tenants were satisfied with the quality of our homes. 64.7% 64.7% of properties meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard % 89.39% of new tenants were satisfied with the standard of their home. 71.6% 71.6% of properties meet the Energy Efficiency Standard in Social Housing. By November, we will start to deliver a 5 year, 5m major repair programme. We have introduced a new letting standard to improve the quality of properties that become available to let. 6 THE SCOTTISH SOCIAL HOUSING CHARTER REPORT

7 OUTCOME 5 REPAIRS, MAINTENANCE AND IMPROVEMENTS TENANTS HOMES ARE WELL MAINTAINED; WITH REPAIRS AND MAINTENANCE CARRIED OUT WHEN REQUIRED, AND TENANTS ARE GIVEN REASONABLE CHOICE ABOUT WHEN THE WORK IS DONE. 3.3 days 100% 3.3 days was the average time to complete a non-emergency repair. 92.4% 92.4 % of repairs completed right first time. 100% of properties have current gas safety certificate. We recognise day-to-day repairs for many tenants is our most visible and important service. By April 2017, we will introduce a new day-to-day repair service. In 2016/17, we will carry out significant modernisation and improvement work to the housing stock. We will spend 1m on major repairs (kitchens, bathrooms, windows, boilers, door entry systems) and over 280,000 on day-to-day repairs. THE SCOTTISH SOCIAL HOUSING CHARTER REPORT 7

8 OUTCOME 6 ESTATE MANAGEMENT, ANTI-SOCIAL BEHAVIOUR, NEIGHBOUR NUISANCE AND TENANCY DISPUTES TENANTS AND OTHER CUSTOMERS LIVE IN WELL MAINTAINED NEIGHBOURHOODS WHERE THEY FEEL SAFE % of tenants satisfied with neighbourhood management % 41.22% of tenancy offers refused % 89.1% 89.1% of anti-social behaviour cases resolved within target. By December 2016, we will review the Bellsmyre estates services to increase the focus on maintaining rear courts and raising the standard for common ground maintenance. By April 2017, we will carry out consultation with tenants and owners regarding the introduction of a close cleaning service. By March 2017, we will review our anti-social behaviour and neighbour dispute service. 8 THE SCOTTISH SOCIAL HOUSING CHARTER REPORT

9 OUTCOME 7, 8, 9 and 10 HOUSING OPTIONS AND ACCESS TO HOUSING PEOPLE LOOKING FOR HOUSING GET INFORMATION THAT HELPS THEM MAKE INFORMED CHOICES AND DECISIONS ABOUT THE RANGE OF HOUSING OPTIONS AVAILABLE TO THEM. TENANTS AND PEOPLE ON HOUSING LISTS CAN REVIEW THEIR HOUSING OPTIONS. PEOPLE AT RISK OF LOSING THEIR HOMES GET ADVICE ON PREVENTING HOMELESSNESS. PEOPLE LOOKING FOR HOUSING FIND IT EASY TO APPLY FOR THE WIDEST CHOICE OF SOCIAL HOUSING AVAILABLE AND GET THE INFORMATION THEY NEED ON HOW THE LANDLORD ALLOCATES HOMES AND THEIR PROSPECTS OF BEING HOUSED % properties became available for let in 2015/ % of our properties became available for let in 2015/16. We let 78 properties in 2015/16. By March 2017, we will review our allocation policy and practice. We want to provide good information, advice and support to tenants and people on the housing list, helping people access the property that meets their housing need. THE SCOTTISH SOCIAL HOUSING CHARTER REPORT 9

10 OUTCOME 11 TENANCY SUSTAINMENT TENANTS GET THE INFORMATION THEY NEED ON HOW TO OBTAIN SUPPORT TO REMAIN IN THEIR HOME; AND ENSURE SUITABLE SUPPORT IS AVAILABLE, INCLUDING SERVICES PROVIDED DIRECTLY BY THE LANDLORD AND BY OTHER ORGANISATIONS. 83.4% 78.95% % of tenancies sustained for a year % of approved medical adaptations completed days average time to complete medical adaptations. By March 2017, we will review our tenancy sustainment services. We want to make sure that we provide the tailored and personalised support that helps tenants have a successful tenancy. OUTCOME 13 VALUE FOR MONEY TENANTS, OWNERS AND OTHER CUSTOMERS RECEIVE SERVICES THAT PROVIDE CONTINUALLY IMPROVING VALUE FOR THE RENT AND OTHER CHARGES THEY PAY. 52% of tenants thought their rent provided value for money. 73.3% 73.3% of tenants satisfied with the overall services. 52% 7.7% 29.9 days 7.7% gross arrears this amounted to 184,000 in current tenant and former tenant arrears. On average we re-let empty properties in 29.9 days. By March 2017, we will develop a value for money strategy. This strategy will detail that going forward our aim is to limit and control rent and service charges increases, whilst at the same time investing more money improving the housing stock and quality of our services. 10 THE SCOTTISH SOCIAL HOUSING CHARTER REPORT

11 OUTCOME 14 AND 15 RENTS AND SERVICE CHARGES A BALANCE IS STRUCK BETWEEN LEVELS OF SERVICE PROVIDED, THE COSTS OF THE SERVICE, AND HOW FAR CURRENT AND PROSPECTIVE TENANTS AND SERVICE USERS CAN AFFORD THEM. TENANTS GET CLEAR INFORMATION ON HOW RENTS AND OTHER MONEY IS SPENT, INCLUDING ANY DETAILS OF INDIVIDUAL ITEMS OF EXPENDITURE ABOVE THRESHOLDS AGREED BETWEEN LANDLORDS AND TENANTS. In 2015/16, we increased our rents by 2.3%. In 2016/17, we applied a rent freeze and did not increase any rent or service charge. In 2017/18 and 2019/20 rents will not increase above the prevailing rate of inflation. In previous years, rents had generally increased each year above the rate of inflation. THE SCOTTISH SOCIAL HOUSING CHARTER REPORT 11

12 Contact us Office 16 Merkins Avenue, Bellsmyre, Dumbarton, G82 3EB Telephone Website The Scottish Housing Regulator Reg. No: HCB 235; FSA Reg. No: 2380R(S); Registered Scottish Charity No: SC038496; Property Factor Registered Number PF000266

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