Tenant Satisfaction Survey 2006/7 Executive summary Introduction Consultants CWA were appointed to carry out the Tenant Satisfaction survey 2006/7 on behalf of Wycombe District Council. It is a requirement for local authorities to undertake this survey once every 3 years to collect and report on Best Value Performance indicators that reflect users perceptions of the Housing Service. The findings of the survey will be used to help the Council establish it’s priorities for the future and in improving services. Method The National Housing Federations prescribed STATUS survey was used as a basis for questions however additional questions were added to provide additional feedback relevant to Wycombe. A postal survey was undertaken between January and March 2007 with 6101 questionnaires initially being sent out to all of Wycombe District Councils tenants. Up to 2 further reminders were sent out to non respondents. As a result 3288 people returned the questionnaire which represented an excellent response rate of 54%. Results (1) Profile of tenants returning the questionnaire The majority of respondents were elderly long established tenants who were largely economically inactive and whose activities were limited by illness or disability. (64% of respondents were aged 60 or over and 47% had been a tenant of WDC for 11 years or more). 92 % of those who responded were white and 8% were from a black and minority ethnic background. 59% of respondents were female. (2) Housing and neighbourhood The overall picture is one of comparatively high levels of satisfaction amongst tenants with their homes and their neighbourhood. 8 in 10 (84%) say they are satisfied with the overall service provided 8 in 10 (79%) say they feel the rent they pay is good value for money 9 in 10 (86%) say they are happy with their accommodation 8 in 10 (78%) say the number of rooms is about right 8 in 10 (80%) say the general condition of their property is good 9 in 10 (85%) say they are satisfied with their neighbourhood as a place to live in The 3 nuisances that affect people most are:- Litter and rubbish in the street (62%) Vandalism (56%) Dogs (44%) Other crime, noise from people and traffic, drug dealing and graffiti were also a concern with around 40% commenting about each of these. 62% say that Wycombe District Council has been good at improving their neighbourhood over the last 3 years. (3) Contact with Wycombe District Council 73% of tenants are likely to contact the Housing Service over the course of a year primarily by phone and mainly to do with repairs. The overall picture is again one of comparatively high levels of satisfaction with different aspects of their contact:- 7 in 10 (74%) said getting hold of the right person was easy 9 in 10 (85%) found staff helpful 8 in 10 (80%) said the staff were able to deal with their problem 7 in 10 (69%) were satisfied with the outcome More respondents regarded the staff dealing with their contact as being helpful (85%) than were satisfied with the outcome of their contact (69%). This may be an indicator of the quality of - customer service skills. (4) Repairs service 60% of tenants are likely to have a repair carried out at their home over the course of a year. The overall picture is one of a comparatively high level of satisfaction with different aspects of the repairs service. 8 in 10 (81%) are satisfied with the way the Council deals with repairs and maintenance. Of those that have had a repair completed within the last 12 months:- Being told when the workers would start – 83% say it’s good Time taken before work started – 81% say it’s good Speed with which work was completed – 88% say it’s good Attitude of workers - 93% say it’s good Overall quality of repair work – 85% say it’s good Keeping dirt to a minimum – 90% say it’s good. (5) Communication with the Councils Housing Services Most tenants are happy with the way Wycombe District Council keeps them informed and takes account of their views when making decisions. There are however significantly lower levels of satisfaction with opportunities for participation in management and decision making. 9 in 10 (86%) feel Wycombe District Council is good at keeping them informed about things that affect them as a tenant 9 in 10 (89%) feel WDC takes a lot of account of tenants views when making decisions 7 in 10 (68%) are satisfied with the opportunities for participation in management and decision making 8 in 10 (77%) are satisfied with their locally agreed tenant participation compact 6 in 10 (64%) say it is important for them to be personally more involved in participating in management and decision making concerning matters that affect them as tenants When asked to rate how much each of 8 statements applies to WDC the proportion that say either a great deal or to some extent is:- Is making the local area a better place to live – 87% Is efficient and well run – 90% Provides good value for money – 88% Spends it’s money in a way that reflects local priorities – 81% Does what it says it will do – 87% Listens to the concerns of local people – 83% Acts on the results of consultation – 83% Has reduced anti-social behaviour in my local area – 79% When asked which of 4 alternative options tenants would prefer for the Council to present its Housing Services Plan 44% chose an Open Day at the Housing Offices or Community Centre 41% chose local Area meetings When asked which 5 alternative options for giving their views to WDC they would be most interested in:- 42% chose in a survey/by filling in a questionnaire 12% chose at a public meeting 12% chose at a meeting with a Councillor 43% chose none of these or don’t know It is interesting to note that although 41% said they would prefer local area meetings only 12% said that they would be most interested in attending a public meeting to give their views to the Council compared to 42% who would prefer to complete a questionnaire. (6) Improving Services The 3 things that rated as most important from a list of 6 are Repairs and Maintenance (80%) Overall quality of your home (60%) Value for money for your rent (54%) The 3 services considered in need of improvement from a list of 6 were Overall quality of your home (73%) Taking tenants views into account (72%) Repairs and maintenance (64%) 8 in 10 (78%) say the handling of telephone calls to the Councils Housing Services has improved either a great deal or to some extent over the past 12 months 8 in 10 (78%) do not have access to the internet (this figure was 87% in the 2003/4 survey) Conclusion The survey has clearly found that the vast majority of tenants are satisfied with Wycombe District Councils Housing service. The repairs service is one which tenants come into contact most frequently and has consistently high levels of satisfaction. Wycombe District Council as a whole is also rated very highly in respect of the way it is run and the services it is providing. An Open Day is very popular as a way of Wycombe District Council communicating with tenants since for 42% of tenants, said this was their preferred method. The most popular way for tenants to tell Wycombe District Council what their views are is in a questionnaire. 42% stated that this was the option they would most prefer. The 3 services that were considered in need of improvement despite the high levels of satisfaction were the overall quality of homes, taking tenants views into account and repairs and maintenance. The numbers of tenants communicating by email and having access to the internet is increasing and will undoubtedly continue to do so in the future and this trend needs to be taken into account when planning for the future. Despite the high levels of satisfaction, there is however room for improvement in a number of areas and the action plan highlights these specifically and suggests actions that can be taken to address the issues for the future.