Maintaining our Properties
In the last financial year, Mid-Wales Housing Association carried out a range of planned programmes of work to ensure our properties are maintained in accordance with Welsh Housing Quality Standards (WHQS) and to provide our tenants with homes that are comfortable, modern and secure.
In total, the Association invested in excess of £1.2 million in planned improvement works, where our residents benefitted from:
- 103 replacement kitchens.
- 22 homes receiving new doors and windows.
- 31 new bathroom suites.
- 85 new boilers.
- Replacement of storage heating systems in eight properties with a modern heating system.
176 properties were redecorated externally as well as various internal communal areas, costing £104,000. Similar redecoration works and remedial works were carried out to our leasehold properties at Gerddi Rheiddol and Llys Hen Ysgol.
A further £32,000 was spent on works over and above the usual component replacement programmes; these included:
- Remedial roof and chimney repairs to three properties at Hyfrydle, Llanfyllin;
- Extensive repairs to the ground source and underfloor heating systems to 18 properties at Plas Maldwyn, Caersws;
- Garden and drainage improvements to various properties at Heol Rhedyn, Newtown and Burgess Road, Welshpool;
- Level access and external lift replacement at our leasehold scheme in Llys Hen Ysgol, Aberystwyth;
- Renewal of fencing to various properties.
Welsh Housing Quality Standard
146 properties required WHQS improvement works at an additional cost of £132,000. The works ranged from the remodelling of bathrooms and the fitting of 44 showers. In addition, a further 43 properties became fully WHQS compliant as a result of the component replacement programme.
We are now in process of tendering the 2018/19 major component programme in accordance with the Undod framework selection procedure.
The Association fully supports older and disabled people to live independently in their own homes in accordance with our Lifetime Homes strategy. We have invested just over £194,000 in carrying out major adaptation works to properties to assist residents to remain independent in this way. Works included the installation of hoists, level access showers and stair lifts plus 57 minor adaptations ranging from installation of lever taps to access ramps. A further £10,000 was spent to provide for these small adaptation works.
We take our regulatory responsibilities seriously and ensure that our properties and equipment in play areas are safe for our residents and visitors. We have a comprehensive inspection, service and maintenance regime to cover key health and safety areas such as gas and electrical safety, fire control systems, lifts, specialist equipment and asbestos management and we are committed to maintaining our very high level of compliancy in these areas. Last year we spent £213,000 to ensure these compliancy measures were delivered.
We regularly audit our contractors who complete heating services and electrical safety checks. For these audits we use Corgi and NICEIC the respective governing bodies.
This year our contractors achieved:
- Corgi (Heating Services) scored 96% against a national average 93% for satisfactory work;
- NICEIC – electrical safety checks scored 90% for technical and overall 80% against a national average 77.6% for satisfactory work.
The Association takes seriously resident choice and overall tenant satisfaction with the quality of the works they receive. We try to be as flexible as possible in the way in which we deliver our planned programmes of work and the range of associated choices and finishes on offer. The overall level of tenant satisfaction with planned maintenance for the last financial year was 95.7%, an increase of 0.7% over the previous year. Whilst this is a respectable level of attainment, we want to improve on this by increasing tenant feedback to give us a better understanding of what our tenants want. This is a core business plan objective for 2018/19.
Director of New Business
In 2017/18, the Association dealt with 4,298 reactive repairs, an increase of over 13.6% on the volume of repairs completed in 2016/17 and at a total cost of £536,000. There were over 620 emergency repairs, 96.18% of which were completed within the 24-hours target set.
We are pleased that the level of tenant satisfaction overall with the responsive maintenance service increased in 2017/18 to 93.53%, representing an upper quartile level of satisfaction for this service when compared to similar organisations within this sector.
The number of empty properties remained consistent at 170 for the year, excluding mutual exchanges and transfers, and the cost of works to bring these properties up to a lettable standard and completion of the statutory checks required came to £172,000.
Our small in-house void maintenance team completed works to 92 of these empty properties and the rest were completed by our main responsive repairs contractor, EOM. Our re-let time was longer than our target timescale of 15 days, and averaged 25 days for the year; the Association is working hard to reduce this period by bringing in extra resources to the team and streamlining our processes where necessary.
The Maintenance Team increased the emphasis on pre-tenancy termination inspections to advise outgoing tenants of their responsibilities in respect of the condition in which they should leave the property and the charges that they may incur if the property is not left in a reasonable standard. This supportive approach helped to reduce costs recharged to tenants and further work is ongoing to make our end of tenancy processes more user friendly and transparent in this regard.
Alongside this volume of core responsive repair work, the team continued to complete the usual cycle of condition surveys and safety checks required to help ensure our properties are safe and continue to meet the Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS).
“Services are excellent, I’ve recently had my flat converted because I’m in a wheelchair, and they’ve done a fantastic job.”
“Absolutely thrilled with my new wet room, what a difference it has made to my life.”
“I have always found Mid-Wales Housing staff to be polite and helpful whenever I contact them. I rarely have to chase anyone about a repair.”