Watchdog praises Brighton and Hove housing partnership

Posted On 11 Nov 2010 at 7:09 am

An independent watchdog has praised a housing partnership for completing repairs more quickly.

The Audit Commission inspected the partnership between Brighton and Hove City Council and contractor Mears which started in April.

It found that the partnership is completing repairs faster and has cut the time taken to complete non-urgent repairs to nine days from a target of fifteen.

Emergency repairs are also happening promptly, with 98.5 per cent being completed within 24 hours.

Residents have supported the partnership with mystery shoppers indicating that there has been a greater improvement in customers getting through to the repairs desk at the first attempt.

The partnership will also bring other benefits to Brighton and Hove including 200 apprenticeships over ten years, a variety of work experience opportunities and a training academy.

Councillor Maria Caulfield, the council’s cabinet member for housing said: “This positive report is good news for tenants in the city.

“As the partnership continues to develop we want to ensure that we carry on providing and maintaining a good level of performance by delivering a high-quality repairs service to residents.”

The council is using its partnership with Mears to try to improve the 12,500 homes that it manages, bringing more of them up to the “decent homes standard”.

So far just over 8,000 have reached this standard.

The council aims to bring the rest up to the same standard by 2013.

Although the partnership’s performance on urgent repairs was below target in the first month, it took steps to rectify this.

As a result more than 97 per cent of urgent repairs were completed within three days during June, July and August.

The council said: “The findings from the inspection are positive and recognise that good progress has been made.”

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