Agenda item

Corporate Performance Report: Quarter 3 2019/20

To present the Members of Housing Services Cabinet Committee with an update against the Performance Management Framework, as introduced within the Council’s Corporate Plan, for Quarter Three 2019/20 (October to December 2019).


The Committee was presented with an update against the Performance Management Framework, as introduced within the Council’s Corporate Plan, for Quarter 3 2019/20 (October to December 2019). It was noted that this was the first report since the adoption of the new Corporate Plan.

The Assistant Director (Housing Policy & Management) went through each of the Policy Commitments contained in the appendix to the report and the following points were raised:

1.            Enforce a high quality of private housing: work with landlords to tackle property standards, empty homes and homes in multiple occupation (HMOs).


·           A few properties had been closed by the Council, approximately five that the Assistant Director (Housing Policy & Management) was aware of, because they had been deemed as being unsafe.  Officers also worked with the Community Safety Unit, the Police and the Border Force UK on this issue as the residents that lived in such properties tended to be very vulnerable.

·           As a result of a successful bid for Government funding, an additional officer had been bought in to join the team. The Assistant Director (Housing Policy & Management) undertook to bring a report on this subject to the next meeting of the Cabinet Committee.

·           Following a question raised on a report on empty homes, Members were advised that the number of empty homes brought back into use were now lower than previously given the good performance of the Council over the last couple of years and a report would come to this Cabinet Committee if and when there was anything to report.


2.            Provide a proactive, supportive and financially efficient housing service: High quality tenant management experienced through a service making full use of its assets.


·           Members noted the good results achieved by the Council and the sheltered housing challenges. The Committee was advised the sheltered housing client group often had needs unique to each individual and often required Occupational Therapy (OT) recommendations to be sought which in turn meant it took time to make the dwelling habitable. The OT Service was the responsibility of the Kent County Council. Sheltered housing was not as popular as it used to be and was difficult to let and the Council would continue to market these properties as effectively as possible. The officer undertook to bring a report on sheltered housing to a future meeting of the Committee.

·           The Committee was advised that the Private Sector Disabled Facilities Grant assessments were funded via a central government grant and a was a means tested grant.


3.            Safeguard Residents: put in place a package of housing measures and creative interventions that support the most vulnerable.


·                     The Assistant Director (Housing Policy & Management) advised that the process of administering Disabled Facilities Grants within the Council had undergone some changes over the last three years and that the applications were undertaken quickly and efficiently by the Borough Council. Whilst delays could sometimes occur, these were not on the parts of the process within the remit of the Council and were sometimes due to applicants not providing the required information or the manufacturing timeframe of equipment.


4.            Deliver a skilled in-house building management team: progressively improve the standard and efficiency of local housing.


·                     The Committee noted that a great deal of good work had been undertaken by the Direct Services Organisation (DSO) especially in relation to responsive repairs. The Council had worked towards an award in this area of work and had been selected as finalists. The workforce had also been increased to bring services in house to reduce the reliance on external sub-contractors which resulted in £119k savings as the Council was now able to complete more work for less money.

·                     The Director (Housing & Operations) advised that many Members had visited Brookvale and that the Assistant Director (Housing Assets), the Service Delivery Manager and the team had worked to introduce cutting edge innovations within the operation. It was also highlighted that the Council was performing at 100% on the two performance indicators in this section.

·                     Members commended the work of the DSO.

·                     The Chair noted that the Council was ahead of the recommendations contained in the Hackitt Report on the independent review of building regulations and fire safety in relation the installation of fire sprinkler systems within the Council’s blocks of flats.


Resolved that the report be noted.

Supporting documents: