Council to create housing repairs task force to tackle backlog

Brighton and Hove City Council plans to create a housing repairs task force to tackle the growing backlog.

The council is expected to take on 11 new contractors to deal with about 9,000 outstanding repair jobs, blaming the coronavirus lockdowns and related measures for the problem.

The task force plan was shared with tenant and leaseholder reps when the council’s four housing management area panels met on Tuesday (16 August) and yesterday (Wednesday 17 August).

The meetings were told that the repairs service currently completed about 2,000 to 3,000 repairs a month which only addressed the demand for day-to-day repairs and made little dent in the backlog.

The council’s head of repairs Grant Ritchie said: “The repairs service has undertaken a large recruitment programme and is also currently mobilising 11 new specialist contractors across all workstreams.

“This will allow us to address the older jobs and bring us back to a position where repairs progress much more efficiently and in line with our targets.”

The repairs service answered 7,000 to 8,000 phone calls a quarter, reps were told, and customer satisfaction with the work undertaken had improved since the previous quarter to 96 per cent.

The average call waiting time for the repairs help desk is three minutes, with some busy periods when wait times are longer.

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