Overview of Active Housing Repairs Diagnostic System
The Assistant Director (Housing Assets) gave an overview of the changes that the DSO Building Management Team had been through over the last 3 years including fundamental changes to processes, procedures and IT systems which had enabled significant efficiency savings to be made. The new diagnostic system would further enhance the service and allow tenants to report problems online, book appointments and to reschedule an appointment if required. The new system will ensure consistency and efficiency for both the in house team and tenants.
The Service Delivery Manager advised Members that the repairs work of the team had been analysed over three years and a system had been devised that would allow the correct information to be collected from tenants to initiate an efficient repair process. A number of systems had been considered and Active Housing had been chosen as it was able to be fully integrated into the Council’s website and the in-house repairs system. This would enable the system to pick appointment times and allocate the correct priority to the job. Once the appointment date and time was selected by the tenant a text would be sent to them confirming the appointment. The system would also highlight when officers were in the area in an effort to reduce the Council’s carbon footprint. At present, 65% of repairs were reported by telephone. The system had been designed to make it as easy as possible for tenants to report problems including pictures in an effort to collect accurate information on what was required. It was not intended to scale back the Council’s telephone offering and tenants would be asked to report emergency repairs in this way.
The Committee was shown a presentation on the use of the new system.
The following points were made during discussion on this item:
· Following a question on water meters, Members were informed that Southern Water used to reimburse customers for water wasted during leaks that had been recorded by water meters. However, they were now more challenging with regards to compensation claims. The Committee was asked to inform their constituents who were Council tenants to report water leaks as emergencies via the telephone number and could be dealt with by the out of hours service which could not be accessed via the website booking system.
· Officers undertook to give some thought to making stopcocks more accessible.
· Following a concern with regard to the reduction of availability of the telephone reporting service, Members were assured that this was not the case. The introduction of the online system was simply to make it as easy as possible for tenants to report issues. In addition, 20% of issues were reported to the team by Council officers.
The Assistant Director (Housing Assets) advised that the team was keen to get residents involved in shaping the new system and asked Councillors to contact the Service Delivery Manager with any comments.
The Chair gave her thanks to all three officers for the excellent progress made and savings achieved and noted the savings had enabled carbon monoxide detectors to be installed in Council properties. She also expressed her gratitude to the officers who had talked contractors into contributing works and materials to the Gravesham Sanctuary.