The Cabinet Member for Housing and Homelessness, Councillor Maria Kay, Neil Euesden, Director for Housing; and Andrew Jacques, Assistant Director for Repairs and Maintenance introduced the report.
The Sub-Committee next heard from Risq Animasaun, leaseholder and previous Tenants and Residents Association (TRA) Chair, who stated:
· Her estate had a WhatsApp group which kept participants informed on the state of repairs. A common theme of this group was that outsourced contractors were letting residents and the Council down, with frequent changes of contractors and works not undertaken.
· Many residents were not having repairs undertaken in a suitable period of time and the quality of service received was very poor.
· One elderly leaseholder was in dire need of help, with a leak in the above tenanted property not fixed for four years and he now had crumbling kitchen and bathroom ceilings.
The Chair requested that officers review the above noted case further with Ms Animasaun, Councillor Masters, and the affected leaseholder outside the meeting.
The Sub-Committee next heard from Councillor Jackie Meldrum, who stated:
· The Price per Property Model should be reviewed for responsive repairs and other housing contracts.
· Residents were concerned about repair appointments no shows, and it was essential they be informed when this was going to happen and received apologies when it occurred.
· Under the old Mears contract, tenants could apply for a £20 voucher for missed appointments.
· Councillors generally only received notice of the most complex repairs and it would be useful if there were statistics on long-term repairs.
· Lambeth’s housing stock was old and its infrastructure was now suspect, requiring multiple trades to fix issues, and surveyors needed to carry out a full investigation of stock.
· It was requested to introduce a better system to protect tenants from cancelled appointments and provide analysis of overdue repairs.
The Sub-Committee next heard from Councillor Adrian Garden, on behalf of Antony Wynn – Chair of the Lambeth Homeowners Association, who stated:
· There was no mention of resident involvement in monitoring contractors’ performance and it was queried whether there would be a formal residents’ panel to do so.
· It was also queried whether there was a penalty clause for under-performance; and what were the targets, how were they monitored, at which point contractors were fined for failing to meet these and who monitored targets.
In response to the above and Member’s questions, the Cabinet Member and officers stated the following:
· The Cabinet Member had spoken to leaseholders on Ms Animasaun’s estate and remained available to discuss issues with residents and continue to work together.
· Officers would review a price per property model.
· The early performance of Wates on appointments was poor and the Council, and Wates, had apologised. However, since the report was published, data from February showed that appointments had increased to 76% for Wates.
· Measures had been put in place so that as soon as contractors were aware they were running over time on previous jobs, they would alert residents via call or text. The technology now in place ... view the full minutes text for item 4