Self Assessment

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					           Building on Excellence




Self Assessment
       Income Management and
  Tenancy & Estate Management

                      2009
SELF ASSESSMENT 2009




                         Contents
                         Section 1   Setting the Scene………………………………………………..…………                3
                         Section 2   Access, Customer Care and Customer Focus …………………….……… 9
                                     Diversity ………………………………………………………..…………                    13
                                     Housing Income Management ……………………………………………              17
                                     Tenancy and Estate Management ……………………………….………… 23
                                     Value for Money ………………………………………………..…………                 29
                         Section 3   What Is The Evidence For Service Improvements? ……………………… 34
                                     How well do we manage performance? ……………………………….         36
                                     Will Improvements Be Delivered? ………………………………             38
                         Section 4   Summary Action Plan ……………………………………………                    40




Building on Excellence                                                                             1
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    Section 1
Setting the Scene
Section 1 Setting the Scene
SELF ASSESSMENT 2009




Setting the Scene
Background
Brent Housing Partnership (BHP) started operating as an ALMO in October 2002 managing and maintaining 10,792 tenanted and 2,974 leasehold properties following a
successful Round 2 bid for £45 million to carry out Decent Homes works to 5,348 properties. The number of leaseholders managed by BHP has increased by 800 since
October 2002 and currently stands at 3,800 (Feb09). A further 775 tenanted properties in the South Kilburn regeneration area, which were originally intended for demolition and
rebuild, were incorporated into Brent Housing Partnership’s Decent Homes Programme in October 2003 following a successful Round 4 bid for an additional £14 million. BHP
completed its Decent Homes programme at the end of 2006.
BHP’s 3 star inspection report in August 2003 included a number of recommendations and areas for improvement. BHP devised and implemented a “3 star plus action plan’
immediately following the inspection ensuring that we are an organisation committed to continuous improvement, efficiency and value for money. The recommendations
included within the 2003 report have all been completed, including:
     Risk Map reviewed quarterly including early warning arrangements
     Equalities information held on our computer system in terms of age, gender and ethnicity improved and records of ethnicity increased from 44% in 2003 to 89% in 2009.
     Service Excellence plans for each service division implemented
     Code of Conduct updated
     Value for money reviews carried out across all service areas
     Best value reviews carried out on all SLAs resulting in significant efficiency savings and monitoring arrangements for all SLAs implemented
     Performance for vulnerable visits improved including the implementation of a Tunstall Alarm system for vulnerable tenants
     Traffic light performance management system in place
The Communities We Serve
BHP work in one of the most culturally diverse boroughs in the country with nearly 55% of the population from Black and Minority Ethnic groups. The 2001 census confirmed
Brent’s population as 263,464 with an unemployment rate of 34.5%. Brent's population has a relatively young age structure with 62% under the age of 40. Brent's pensioners
make up 14% of the population, lower than the national figure of 18%.
Our Staff
45% (as at February 2009) of BHP’s staff are from Black and Minority Ethnic groups. We have an annual staff appraisal scheme and regular one to one meetings take place
between staff and line managers. In 2005 BHP received Investors in People status which was retained following a re-assessment in 2008. The next Investors in People re-
assessment is due in 2011. In addition to our Communications strategy which is customer focused, we have an internal communications action plan for our staff which
addresses improved communications with staff, enabling staff to be ambassadors for our organisation and involving staff in the improvement of services.
Partnerships
Brent Housing Partnership recognises that although we are an independent organisation we will not achieve all our goals by working in isolation. We need to work with key
partners including the Council through our annual Delivery Plan and other local service providers in a mutually supportive structure. In addition to the extensive range of


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Self Assessment 2009
Section 1 Setting the Scene
SELF ASSESSMENT 2009



partnerships outlined in BHP’s self assessment ‘Position Statement’ which was provided for the Audit Commission inspection in 2003, we have established further partnerships
with the following:
     London Area Procurement Network:
     BHP is one of the founding members of this organisation established in the summer of 2004 by Round 1 and 2 ALMOs working together for the procurement and
     management of planned maintenance works. LAPN awarded ‘trailblazer ‘status by the ODPM for this joint procurement initiative. Joint procurement aims to improve the
     efficiency and value for money of work carried out for the Decent Homes programme and beyond. LAPN has created a series of Framework Agreements with over 25
     works contractors across a range of works including asbestos, cleaning, cyclical redecorations, gas servicing, general contracting, M&E, lifts, responsive maintenance and
     roofing. BHP has facilitated the procurement of Framework Agreements with construction consultants across six work areas on behalf of LAPN members; Building
     surveying, Quantity surveying, M&E engineers, Lift engineers, Employer’s Agent and CDM Co-ordinators. BHP has also facilitated a tender process to set up a
     Framework for LAPN and its members for upgrading and installing new communal TV aerials ready for digital switchover. This Framework should be ready for members
     to use in March/April 2009.
     Joint Venture Company:
     BHP and Kensington & Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation set up a joint venture partnership in August 2005. The new company ‘Grand Union Homes’ was
     primarily established to bid for the Westminster Housing Management Contract. In the last 2 years we have entered into a partnership arrangement with Kensington &
     Chelsea TMO to share a number of key posts which is discussed in more detail below under ‘New Areas of Work’.
     Supporting People:
     BHP’s Housing Support team have developed partnerships with English Churches Housing Group to look at best practice and develop a quality approach to working with
     service users, with Willow Housing & Care who provide a visiting/emergency callout service to our vulnerable tenants and with Brent Social Services to tenants with
     mental health problems, care leavers and children. Officers within our Housing Support team have been trained as qualified trusted assessors and have been able to
     reduce the waiting times for minor adaptations to approximately 6 -8 weeks compared to a previous 9-18 months
     Partnering Contracts
     BHP procured two partners to deliver Responsive Repairs and Voids across the borough ie one Partner for repairs and one for voids. NEC Term Maintenance Partnering
     contracts are being used instead of traditional JCT contracts. These contracts commenced in 2006.
Constitutional Arrangements
Brent Housing Partnership has clear and accountable decision making structures in place which are open and transparent to all our residents. All Board meetings are open to
the public and minutes and non confidential reports of the main Board meetings are posted on our web site. The governing board of Brent Housing Partnership formulates the
strategic direction of the organisation. Information is fed from the Residents Board Scrutiny Panel to our main Board and vice versa. A number of changes to the company’s
constitution have taken place over the last 5 years including some which were implemented following a comprehensive governance review in 2006-7. These included extending
the term of office for independent and tenant members from one year and two years respectively to three years which has assisted in providing stability and experience on the
board; removing the restriction allowing BHP to only operate within the London Borough of Brent; adding an additional clause to give greater flexibility to the Board to review
the scheme of delegation, committee structures, terms of reference and reporting arrangements; reducing the size of the board from 18 to 15 and increasing the number of
resident board members from 6 to 7. These changes were finalised in 2008 have helped to facilitate improvements in the overall governance of the company. The main Board
have given delegated authority to BHP’s 4 Sub-Committees as follows:


SECTION 1 – SETTING THE SCENE                                                                                                                                                     4
6       Building on Excellence
Section 1 Setting the Scene
SELF ASSESSMENT 2009



Finance and Audit Sub-Committee
This Sub-Committee has full delegated powers to monitor and assess BHP’s finances, to approve the budgets and to receive internal and external audit reports. It also has a
role in ensuring the ethics and standards of the organisation is maintained and is therefore responsible for reviewing and monitoring the Board Members Code of Conduct and
for dealing with any complaints or allegations against board members. The Board Members Code of Conduct has been amended since the last Audit Commission inspection
following a recommendation to include provision to deal with complaints or allegations against board members. A comprehensive guide to dealing with complaints or
allegations was approved by the Board in September 2005. The members of this Sub-Committee consists of 2 independent members, 1 councillor and 1 resident. The Director
of Finance attends all meetings in a non-voting capacity.
Service Delivery Sub-Committee
The main role of this Sub-Committee is to monitor key performance targets and business objectives and determine any corrective actions necessary. It is also responsible for
reviewing BHP’s strategy, risk map and capital programme. The membership of this Sub-Committee consists of 2 independent members, 1 councillor and 3 residents. The
Director of Housing Management attends all meetings in a non-voting capacity; the Director of Technical Services attends as required.
Personnel – Remuneration Sub-Committee
This Sub-Committee has delegated authority to approve changes to the terms and conditions of services for BHP staff. It also has a role in reviewing human resources policies
and procedures, staff training plans, staff remuneration and the employee’s relations machinery. The membership of this Sub-Committee consists of 2 independent members, 1
councillor and 1 resident. The Managing Director attends all meetings in a non-voting capacity.
Development Sub-Committee
The main role of this Sub-Committee is to monitor the BHP development strategy and to monitor the implementation of the development plan and related business initiatives.
Aims and Objectives
Our longer term aims and objectives including strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats are set out in BHP’s 5 year Business Plan 2008-2013. Our shorter term
strategic objectives are outlined in our Annual Delivery Plan and Service Excellence Plans and include the following for 2008/2009:
     Provide an excellent service which meets the requirements of the Audit Commission and customer demand.
     Provide an effective, efficient service which contributes to the investment needs of the housing stock and maintains service quality.
     Achieve efficiency savings on operational accounts during 2008-2009.
     Provide a service which is planned around the needs of Brent’s diverse community and ensure BME satisfaction is as high or higher than non-BME.
     Encourage regeneration in priority neighbourhoods.
     Promote community safety and reduce the fear of crime.
     Support the green agenda by improving the quality of the environment and maintain our SAP rating at 69 during 2008-2009.
Financial Resources
BHP is paid a management fee by the Council to manage budgets associated with the provision of housing management services. The budgets amounted to £17.3 million
revenue in 2008//2009 (£17.1m in 207/2008) and £21.4 million capital in 2008/2009 (£19.8m in 2007/2008). Turnover for BHP in 2007/2008 was £33,509,357 including
£8,281,405 paid as a management fee from the council to cover all salaries and staff related supplies and services. BHP made a surplus after tax of £1,019,667 for the
financial year 2007/2008 (£1,128,633 in 2006/2007).

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Self Assessment 2009
Section 1 Setting the Scene
SELF ASSESSMENT 2009



New Areas of Work
BHP are aware there will be a loss of income as a consequence of a reduction in the number of council houses as a result of council house sales throughout the borough and
demolition and transfer of properties in South Kilburn and Barham Park. In 2007 BHP undertook a voluntary redundancy exercise to help mitigate stock lossess from the right to
buy and imminent transfer of housing stock in South Kilburn. BHP achieved savings of approximately £900,000 on 23 posts as a result of this exercise. BHP is focused on
seeking other sources of income and has followed up new business opportunities. This includes providing procurement services to Kensington and Chelsea TMO and a
shared service arrangement of the Chief Executive post, Human Resources Manager and Communications Manager resulting in savings during 2007-2008 of £73,000;
providing consultancy services to a number of ALMOs, local councils and Housing Associations; bidding and receiving £2.1m from the Government’s Overcrowding Initiative for
house extensions and loft conversions; £5m from the Department of Communities and Local Government under the ‘Settled Homes Initiative’ to spend on a pilot project to
tackle homelessness in the borough; and funding from the Housing Corporation to develop up to 175 new homes during 2008-2011.
In May 2004 BHP was awarded the tender to run the full Brent Direct Leasing scheme (BDL). The BDL scheme generates significant additional income for BHP. At the end of
the financial year 07-08 it had provided a total of £527,000 additional income. Under this scheme BHP provides Housing Management Services for properties leased to the
Council by private landlords.
BHP has also expressed an interest in retaining housing management services within South Kilburn and has been exploring possible ways forward with the Council and other
interested parties. BHP have been managing 20 show homes built in the regeneration area and the Council have recently agreed to the transfer of 124 new build homes to
BHP. Subject to ministerial approval, BHP will be the first ALMO to own as well as manage properties. The management of approximately 1500 homes currently included
within BHP’s stock and part of the regeneration area are likely to transfer to an RSL.
Key issues for BHP can be broadly summarised as follows:
     Continuing to find new areas of business to mitigate stock loss, especially in the South Kilburn area.
     Continuing to provide a demonstrable value for money service and maintain efficiency savings year on year given a reducing resource base for renewal and investment.
     Continuing to improve customer satisfaction levels.




SECTION 1 – SETTING THE SCENE                                                                                                                                                    6
8      Building on Excellence
               Section 2
 Access, Customer Care and
            Customer Focus
                  Diversity
Housing Income Management
         Tenancy and Estate
              Management
           Value for Money
             Section 2
Access, Customer Care and
           Customer Focus
Section 2 Access, Customer Care and Customer Focus
SELF ASSESSMENT 2009




Access, Customer Care and Customer Focus
Communication and Consultation with Our Customers
We pride ourselves on the achievements we have made in the area of consultation and communications with our customers which is not to say we cannot improve further. BHP
received the UK Housing Award in 2004 for Good Practice in Community Involvement and we improved the former BVPI rating in ‘satisfaction with opportunities for
participation in decision making’ from 47% in 02/03 to 70% in 06/07 which was above the top 25% of housing organisations nationally. In an independent survey in February
2009, this figure increased to 81%. Listed below are some of the areas where our residents are consulted and involved in major decisions affecting the service:
     Tender panels
     Annual customer satisfaction surveys
     Extensive consultation with BHP’s procurement process
     A mystery shopping programme, the results of which are fed back to our Divisional Management Team and incorporated into departmental plans to improve services.
The level of customer satisfaction has significantly improved since BHP was set up. In 2002/2003 the satisfaction of tenants with their landlord’s service was 47%. The
November 2008 ‘Status Survey’ reported a figure of 76% compared with 75% in 2006. We are waiting for the status survey results to be published for other housing
organisations so that we can judge how we compare with others. Other ways we communicate, consult and receive feedback from our tenants and leaseholders include:
     Tenants and leaseholders attending contractors monitoring panels
     Estate walkabouts with our staff and contractors
     Repairs Open Day
     Repairs Workshop for tenants
     Post inspection data
     Repairs contractors post inspection data
     Independent customer satisfaction survey data on major works
     Quarterly satisfaction surveys of 1200 residents on cleaning and grounds maintenance
     Focus groups covering specific topics requested by residents
     Local Neighbourhood Compacts discussed at Area Housing Boards
     Performance reports discussed quarterly at Area Housing Boards
     Quarterly residents’ newsletter. Residents are also on our editorial board responsible for the production of the newsletter.
     Rents Roadshows




Our independent survey in February 2009 confirmed that these initiatives are popular with residents;

SECTION 2 – ACCESS, CUSTOMER CARE AND CUSTOMER FOCUS                                                                                                                        9
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     Performance reports discussed quarterly at Area Housing Boards
     Quarterly residents’ newsletter. Residents are also on our editorial board responsible for the production of the newsletter.
     Assessment
Self Rents Roadshows2009
Section 2 Access, Customer Care and Customer Focus
SELF ASSESSMENT 2009



Our independent survey in February 2009 confirmed that these initiatives are popular with residents;
        73% were satisfied that BHP keeps them informed about the service standards customers can expect,
SECTION 2 – ACCESS, CUSTOMER CARE AND CUSTOMER FOCUS                                                                                                                             9
        71% were satisfied that BHP keeps them informed about our performance against the service standards.
         80% agreed that BHP provides a range of opportunities for resident involvement;
        82% rated BHP as good or satisfactory at meeting customer needs
         80% said BHP were good or satisfactory at listening to customer views.

Customer Care
We have a Customer Service Charter in place which was reviewed and updated in 2006 in consultation with our tenants and leaseholders. The Customer Service Charter sets
out the standards all our customers can expect to receive from us. These standards have been agreed with our residents as matters that are important to them. They are
regularly monitored including mystery shopping by residents where residents make unannounced phone calls or visits to our offices.
     Annual customer satisfaction surveys including quarterly satisfaction surveys on cleaning and grounds maintenance.
     Regular staff training takes place on customer care and related issues such as phone answering and letter writing including participation from tenants and leaseholders.
     A 3 tier complaints and compensation scheme is in place. This is available in our One Stop Services and on our web site. In a customer survey in February 2009, 80% of
     recent complainants were satisfied with the final outcome.
     All correspondence from our customers is tracked using our Electronic Data Management System.
     BHP’s telephone answering has improved from 73% in 03/04 to 80% in December 2008.
     Service standards are in place for correspondence handling, complaints and phone handling which are reported to customers through our Area Housing Boards, and
     through our quarterly residents’ newsletter.
     The number of stage 3 complaints upheld have reduced from 32 in 05/06 to 8 in 07/08.
     Vulnerable tenants are monitored and needs are addressed via our Housing Support team


Accessibility to Our Services
All our offices are DDA compliant. Our services are easily accessible and convenient to our customers through our One Stop Service locations, repairs contact centre, and by
phoning direct to each service area. Home visits are also available for our customers and our web site is of a high standard. We provide a Typetalk service and induction
hearing loops in our offices. We also provide an out of hours phone service with recorded information on our phones as well as an out of hours emergency repairs service.
Since the last inspection by the Audit Commission we have also improved branding and external signage to our offices.




Work In Progress

SECTION 2 – ACCESS, CUSTOMER CARE AND CUSTOMER FOCUS                                                                                                                            10
12     Building on Excellence
Section 2 Access, Customer Care and Customer Focus
SELF ASSESSMENT 2009



Work In Progress
We are aware of the need to constantly review and improve our services. We have a 3 star plus action plan in place which addresses access and customer care and listed
below are areas of work currently in progress:


     Plans in place to ensure staff receive feedback on reality checks
     Improvements required to our out of hours phone messages
     Improvement required to service units not achieving high telephone answering stats.
     Our repairs contact centre and South Kilburn estate office are currently being upgraded to new contact centre software that will improve access for customers reporting
     repairs, improve the management information available and improve the technical support arrangements
     An ongoing programme of customer care training is in place, this is available to new and established staff and includes participation of customers to talk with staff about
     their experience and expectations of the service.
     Online access to services is being developed to supplement the online rent payment, repair ordering and online forms already in place. Future online initiatives include a
     kiosk service at our South Kilburn reception to provide customers with the option of a self-service point accessing real-time information online.
     Use of mobile working is already in use by gas servicing contractors and repairs surveyors and is being developed by income collection staff to provide online access to
     customer rent accounts on home visits.




SECTION 2 – ACCESS, CUSTOMER CARE AND CUSTOMER FOCUS                                                                                                                               11
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Section 2
  Diversity
Section 2 Diversity
SELF ASSESSMENT 2009




Diversity
Equalities Data for BHP Tenants
BHP has made significant progress in the exercise to improve record keeping of the ethnicity, age and gender of our tenants. Tenancy records on BHP’s Northgate Housing
database now include ethnicity data on 89% of households, compared to only 44% in 2003-04. The information we currently hold on our database shows:

 Total tenancies                             9174          %
 Ethnicity data known                        8138       89.0%
 Gender known                                9146       98.0%
 D.O.B. known                                8906       97.0%
 Tenancies where all 3 are known             8025       88.0%


Data collection on vulnerable residents
We have enhanced our data collection databases which assist us in purposely targeting services to marginalised groups. For example we have partnered with a specialist
housing provider in the Somali community to assist in identifying service gaps attributed to language barriers. Our tenancy database can produce robust information on
ethnicity and disability which is used in developing and improving services. Our improved tenancy database also flags up all vulnerable residents so that staff and contractors
are aware that some residents with special needs require additional support with service delivery. In addition we have a separate flagging system for those residents who pose
a risk to staff and contractors and this is regularly updated.
Equalities Scheme
BHP’s Equalities Scheme was introduced in 2003 in response to the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000 which introduced a new duty on public sector organisations to
promote equality of opportunity and to prepare and publish a Race Equality Scheme. BHP’s scheme covers a range of equalities issues including age, gender and ethnicity.
The Code of Practice for implementing the scheme recommends that the Equalities Scheme be supported by an action plan setting out the key services covered and actions to
be taken. BHP’s action plan was agreed in August 2003 and implemented over the following 3 years and a detailed progress report was provided to the Service Delivery Sub-
Committee. In addition BHP has also implemented a Disabilities Equality Scheme which is listed separately below.
In November 2007 a review report of the entire action plan for years 1, 2 and 3 of the Equalities Action Plan was presented to the Service Delivery Sub Committee. The review
found that of the 99 actions documented, 54 were completed, 38 were ongoing and 7 were awaiting completion. Of the 7 outstanding actions, 5 were completed in 2008 and 2
have been taken forward into 2009. These include developing and implementing a training programme for all staff and this is currently being implemented. The second key
area is the training of all BHP contractors and sub contractors. A specification for the programme of training has been developed and it is anticipated that diversity training for
contractors and sub contractors will be fully completed in 2009.


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Self Assessment 2009
Section 2 Diversity
SELF ASSESSMENT 2009



Equalities Legislation 2006
As can be seen, BHP took a proactive approach in planning for the introduction of new Equalities legislation which came into force in 2006. A review of BHP’s Equalities
Scheme in 2004 by the Housing Quality Network (HQN) found that BHP had made significant progress in implementing year 1 of the scheme relating to repairs, human
resources, governance, neighbour relations management, tenancy management, right to buy, procurement and customer satisfaction. Following the training provided for
managers in Dec 2004, the year 2 and year 3 action plans were developed, implemented and completed in 2006 covering the following service areas:
     Board – Strategy and Policy
     Tenant and Resident Participation
     Services to Leaseholders
     Building Cleaning Services
     Customer Services
     Rent collection and recovery
     Management development
     IT
     Learning and development
     Complaints
     Estate services
     Major works

During the implementation of the Equalities Plan, regular update reports were provided to BHP’s Equalities & Diversity Sub-Committee. This sub-committee was merged into
the existing sub committee structure in 2007.
Disability Equalities Scheme
BHP has also developed a Disability Equalities Scheme in consultation with disabled residents to meet the requirements of the Disability Discrimination Act 2005. Our
successes include achieving the ‘Positive about Disabled People’ standard in 2006. BHP already had an established Disabled Forum for residents and the Disabled Forum
had a significant input into the development of the Disability Equalities Scheme. The Disabled Forum continues to monitor the targets set out in the Disability Equalities
Scheme.
Aids and Adaptations
Specialist staff within the Housing Support Team have been trained as ‘Trusted Assessors’ which means they are able to assess the needs of vulnerable residents who require
a minor adaptation facility to enhance independent living. Following the consultation forums held with disabled residents, it became apparent that the previous procedure
where referral to an Occupational Therapist was made for minor adaptations was complicated and lengthy. The new Trusted Assessor scheme has cut down the waiting time
from 18 months to 6-8 weeks for such adaptations to be completed. In the last 12 months we have offered a streamlined service to 85 residents which is a 70% service
improvement on the previous year when the minor adaptation scheme was delivered by Occupational Therapists via the Primary Care Trust. In April 2009 responsibility for
carrying out work on aids and adaptations is transferring from the Council’s Private Housing Service to BHP’s Housing Support Team and a value for money assessment on
this function will be carried out later in the year.
Training

SECTION 2 – DIVERSITY                                                                                                                                                         14
16      Building on Excellence
Section 2 Diversity
SELF ASSESSMENT 2009



Training
Equalities Impact Assessment training was carried out for BHP in 2004 and 2005 for members of the Board. All staff and board members have also received training from an
external consultant on equalities and diversity issues including disability awareness training. This training is ongoing as new members of staff and new board members join our
organisation. In addition, BHP’s equal opportunities policy has been promoted and will continue to be promoted through training of our Board members, staff, disability focus
group and our BME focus group
Translation Facilities
BHP provide access to translation on all key documents in our seven main community languages which are Albanian, Farsi, Hindi, Gujurati, Somali, Tamil and Urdu. In addition
our letter headed paper is pre-printed with translation information so that any resident receiving a letter from us can have the letter translated if required. Information on
translation is also promoted on BHP’s website where we also publish our Translations Policy, and through our residents’ quarterly newsletter. We have a list of staff held on our
web site who are bi lingual and able to assist with translations when required. Tenants are able to report online non emergency repairs in 5 languages via a series of diagrams.
Work In progress
Although we have made significant improvements in data collection, training and service improvements targeted at our BME residents, we are aware that there is still plenty of
room for improvement and plans are in place to address the following:
     Equal opportunities training for our contractors.
     A programme specification for further disability awareness training is being developed following issues raised by an autistic tenant.
     Work needed to assess viability and identify good practice elsewhere of providing preferred method of communication for all residents
     Need to provide information on our arrangements for disabled access to communal areas of estates and homes
     Need to determine that our front line staff have all been trained on Talktype and text phones.




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              Section 2
Housing Income Management
Section 2 Housing Income Management
SELF ASSESSMENT 2009




Housing Income Management
Rent Strategy
BHP has an Income Management Strategy (2006 – 2009) in place. In 2007/08 our rent collection figure stood at 98.03%. Our strategy includes the following:
     A publicity campaign and competition to further promote direct debit payments which is more cost effective than standing orders
     Standard letters sent to tenants thanking them for their payments
     A pre-tenancy guide highlighting rent payments for prospective tenants
     Protocol/Contract with the Citizen Advice Bureau for Debt Counselling
     Weekly income management meetings
     Staff focusing on monetary amounts rather than percentages
In addition to the above BHP Officers now attend annual Court users meetings and the use of laptops by Housing Officers whilst visiting tenants in their homes has been
implemented. This enables officers to view and download information to the system whilst out on their visits thus resulting in a more efficient management of the officer’s time.
Welfare Benefit Advice and Assessments
Our Housing Officers assist residents with basic welfare benefit advice. A benefits calculator is available for their use on our computer system. We have an HB Audit Team,
comprising of two welfare benefits officers, based within the Income Management Teams in General Needs. We also have a Welfare Benefits Adviser who is based in our
Housing Support Team. Welfare Benefit surgeries are held twice a month by our recently appointed Welfare Benefits Adviser and a contract for money advice is in place with
the Citizens Advice Bureau. Since July 2008 the Welfare Benefits Adviser has recouped £48,530.45 in housing benefit payments for 65 vulnerable tenants.
In December 2006, officers contacted 1237 tenants in arrears between 5 and 8pm which resulted in 38 (3%) on-line payments totalling £15,000; 98 rent payment agreements
were made and 10 payments totalling £817 received. This represented 30.32% of the total number of on-line payments processed. Again, in December 2008, officers worked
between 5 and 8pm, contacting tenants in arrears between £200 and £1000. 1880 tenants were contacted in total, and they made additional payments totalling £24,000 which
represented 50% of their arrears. A further 67 tenants made arrangements to clear their arrears.
Housing Benefits Audits
The Housing Benefits Audit Team (HBAT) within our General Needs Section spend a fair amount of their time auditing rent accounts looking for lost benefits in the system or
gaps in housing benefit.. This has resulted in additional rental income of £281,734.82 for 2004/5 and £285,727.39 for 2005/6; £388,727 for 2006/7, £196,527 for 2007/8 and
£148,788 2008/9 to date. The HBAT’s role is to monitor and maintain the amount of monies received from Housing Benefit to BHP, to assist tenants writing appeals for
backdated benefit, to liaise with tenants where the Housing Benefit Department have not paid, and to assist tenants to maximise their income. An exercise in 2005/6 where
127 senior citizens were visited resulted in £79k of additional income being paid to 27 households. These payments included pensions credit and HB and council tax benefit.
One tenant received additional income of £7,547.

The rules regarding this type of work have changed and the DWP has a remit for maximising income for residents. As a result, the Welfare Benefit officers have, since 2007,
been making referrals to the DWP for anyone who it appears may be entitled to other benefits. Since this new way of working 183 tenants have been referred and £65,145.49
of extra income has been generated for them.

SECTION 2 – HOUSING INCOME MANAGEMENT                                                                                                                                               17
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Self Assessment 2009
Section 2 Housing Income Management
SELF ASSESSMENT 2009



 In 07/08 an exercise looking at arrears cases of 13 weeks or more was undertaken with Brent’s Revenue and Benefit Services netted over £60,000 of additional HB payments.
Since October 2008, we have had a housing benefit assessment officer working in BHP three days per week. She works closely wit the Vacant Property Team to do
assessments for new tenants either during the sign up process or very soon thereafter. She also assesses cases identified by income management and Welfare Benefits
officers where cases have been suspended or for dealing with backdating requests. To date of the 201 claims assessed, 62% of these have resulted in additional payments
totalling £74,961.
Rent Arrears Write-Offs
BHP carried out a full review of our write-off criteria and considered issues such as divorce, bereavement, ill health, domestic violence and relationship breakdowns which are
all now considered within our Write-Off policy. Arrears written off during 03-05 were approximately £19,500.00 per annum. In 05/06 BHP wrote off £38,323.06; in 2006/7 we
wrote off £74,111; £22,193 in 2007/8 and £14,198 in 2008/9 to date.
We also have a set aside policy whereby we will set aside from the rent account any arrears which are not repayable within five years. If the tenant then clears the amount left
on the account and maintains a clear rent account for 12 months (tenants on welfare benefits) or 18 months (tenants in full time employment), then the amount originally set
aside will be written off. Amounts set aside are as follows:

     06-07 - £14,354
     07-08 - £5,132
     08-09 - £6,365 (to Jan 09)
Incentives Scheme
An analysis of the Monthly Prize Draw scheme for ‘clear’ rent accounts undertaken in 2006 showed no significant increase in rent collection. In light of this the scheme was
changed to 2 prize draws per year, each paying five £100 prizes and a separate monthly prize draw of £150 for those who switch to Direct Debit rent payments. 16% of
tenants are now paying by Direct Debit.
Payment Methods
We are proactive in ensuring a means of payment is supplied to new tenants before tenancies commence. We have held discussions with the Council’s Housing Resource
Centre to discuss the type of information which should be given to prospective tenants prior to allocation and at allocation and viewing stage. We have in place a pre-tenancy
guide which gives information on rent and other charges. We have the following methods of payment available to our tenants that are frequently advertised in ‘Partnership
News’ our quarterly newsletter to residents:
     At any Post Office branch by cash, cheque, debit card or Pay Point card Online at www.bhphousing.co.uk
     Direct Debit – forms obtained from any One Stop Service, Rent Accounting Team or from an Income Management Officer
     Pay Point in any area that displays the Paypoint sign in garages or shops
     Standing Order
     By telephone using the credit card hotline




SECTION 2 – HOUSING INCOME MANAGEMENT                                                                                                                                              18
20      Building on Excellence
Section 2 Housing Income Management
SELF ASSESSMENT 2009



Involving Our Customers
In 2004 we carried out a ‘preferred option of paying rent’ survey. Although the response rate was very low, of those who responded, the majority said they preferred payment
through the Post Office. This method of payment was not considered the most cost effective, particularly in light of the many post office closures, so we have been actively
promoting other forms of payment through our newsletters and through letters to tenants.
We currently have weekly Income Management monitoring meetings to discuss strategies and campaigns for improvements to our rent collection rate. These meetings are
attended by a Senior Officer from the Council’s Housing Benefit Services as and when invited. We offer a prize draw of £100 twice yearly to tenants in credit and £150 monthly
for signing up to Direct Debit.
In 06/07, 110 tenants attended three rents road-shows. Of those tenants who attended, 58 were in arrears and within a few months 12 (21%) had gone into credit, 30 (52%)
had reduced their arrears, 15 (26%) had increased their arrears and 1was evicted. Overall 73% of tenants attending the road-show had either reduced or cleared their arrears.
An analysis of the road-show showed an increase of over £10,000 in rent collection amongst those attending.
Income Management for Leaseholders
The following are some of the key points from our Leasehold Services strategy relating to leaseholder arrears:
     Standing Order
     By telephone using the credit card hotline
     When arrangement to pay outstanding arrears is being made, the leaseholder has to sign an agreement which sets out the terms of the arrears payment.
     When an arrangement to pay is set up, this is monitored and if there is a default on the payments the case is immediately referred to the lender.
     Monthly Income Management monitoring meetings.
     Quarterly monitoring meetings with Legal Services to review arrears cases.
     Quarterly service charge statements of account sent to all leaseholders.
     Six monthly major works statements of account sent to all leaseholders.
Debt Advice and assessment
Our Senior Leaseholder Collection Officers assist the leaseholders with basic debt advice. They provide advice to pensioners about whom they should contact regarding
getting assistance with their service charge payments. They also give advice on various incentive schemes which BHP offers for payment of service charge bills.
The Senior Leaseholder Collection Officers also advise leaseholders about setting up a loan account with BHP for large major works bills. A ‘major works loans calculator’ is
available on our computer system which calculates the monthly repayment depending on the terms of the loan. It also calculates the total interest which will be applied during
the course of the loan. We currently have 8 leaseholders that have set up a loan account with BHP to cover their major works bill
Collection performance and incentives
The Leasehold services team have exceeded the performance target of 105% set in 2006/07 and 2007/08 for service charges collection. In 2006/07 – 109% income was
collected and in 2007/08 – 111% was collected. We have set up an Arrears spreadsheet in order to monitor arrears. A team electronic diary is also accessible for the Senior
Collection Officers to input cases with a bought forward date for monitoring purposes.



SECTION 2 – HOUSING INCOME MANAGEMENT                                                                                                                                            19
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Self Assessment 2009
Section 2 Housing Income Management
SELF ASSESSMENT 2009



A number of leaseholders have been faced with large bills due to the Decent Homes programme from 2003/04 – 2007/08. BHP has various options in order to make their
payments affordable. BHP offers the following incentives for major works bills:
     5% discount on bills paid in full within 28 days
     Bills under £1,000 we offer 12 months instalment payments interest free
     Bills over £1,000 we offer 24 months instalment payments interest free

BHP offers the following incentives for service charge bills
     5% discount on bills paid in full within 28 days
     10 monthly instalment on annual bills

In 2006/07 – 122 leaseholders paid their major works bill in full and in 2007/08 – 169 leaseholders paid their major works bill in full and claimed the 5% discount.
In 2006/07 – 1011 leaseholders paid their service charge bill in full and in 2007/08 – 972 leaseholders paid their service charge bills in full.
Payment Methods
We have the following methods of payments available to our leaseholders, details of which can be found on BHP’s web page for service charges and major works. The various
methods we offer are direct debit, standing order, credit or debit card payment via the phone, cheque by post, pay-point, and online at www.bhphousing.co.uk
Work In Progress
We are continuously looking at ways of improving our rent collection performance and the following projects are in progress:
     Survey and analysis of reasons for non payment
     Profiling of tenants in arrears according to age, ethnicity and gender
     Officers to undertake continuous Welfare Rights training
     Annual analysis of evictions
     Escalation Procedure currently being tested to allow for more efficient working and better monitoring
     Repairs contact centre staff refer rent arrears cases to Income Management Officers at the time of a repair being raised.
     Review/Update Income Management Strategy
     Development of Credit Union
     BHP Leasehold Collection Officers to attend court cases with our Legal Team
     BHP Leasehold Collections Officers will prepare documents for the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal cases and attend cases with our Legal Team
     Officers attending yearly Home Ownership seminars and debt recovery seminars
     To undertake another profiling of leaseholders and update our leasehold database
     Review leaseholders handbook
     Contacting leaseholders by phone for those in debt of £500.00 or less to make an arrangement to pay as these debts cannot be pursued via the mortgage lender

SECTION 2 – HOUSING INCOME MANAGEMENT                                                                                                                                       20
22      Building on Excellence
Section 2 Housing Income Management
SELF ASSESSMENT 2009



    Where Reminder 3 arrears letter have already been issued instead of referring case to our Legal Team, send out a standard letter prepared by our Legal Team which
    prevents costs being incurred.
    To produce a welcome pack, this will be sent out to all new leaseholders when Notice of Transfer is acknowledged.

 Other projects which we are currently working on include the following

    As part of the Government’s Worklessness Initiative Brent Council’s Regeneration Policy & Projects Team will be funding for a year a BHP Community Employment
    Officer to work closely with Brentin2 Work in assisting tenants into employment.




SECTION 2 – HOUSING INCOME MANAGEMENT                                                                                                                                   21
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      Section 2
Tenancy and Estate
     Management
Section 2 Tenancy and Estate Management
SELF ASSESSMENT 2009




Tenancy and Estate Management
Management of Void Properties
We have recently completed a Value for Money review of our voids processes. Our residents were involved in a review of the voids standard which was discussed at our
former Residents Consultative Advisory Committee (now called Residents Board Scrutiny Panel) and the agreed standard was built into our voids procedure. The works
contracts for voids was re-tendered and a 10 year partnering contract was awarded to BHP’s in house direct labour team known as the Repairs and Voids team. A pool car
was leased to enable Vacant Property Officers to undertake accompanied viewings resulting in a faster turnaround time from viewing to letting. BHP’s IT system was amended
to enable tenancies to be let on any weekday rather than a Monday saving time on the number of days to re-let.
All these initiatives have helped to reduce the void turnaround times from 33 in 2005-2006 to 27 at the end of March 2008.
BHP’s Voids performance is within or close to the top quartile figures as shown below:
                                                                                     TOP QUARTILE     2005//2006     TOP QUARTILE     2006/2007     TOP QUARTILE      2007/2008
 Average number of days to re-let council housing                                                                                                        29              27
                                                                                           29              33                29           31

Information Given To Residents Prior To Sign-up
In terms of providing information to residents about the property and neighbourhood in advance of any viewings, we have held discussions with the Council’s Housing
Resource Centre HRC to discuss information given through Locata which was felt by us to be insufficient. When prospective residents are taken to view properties they are
given a Pre-Tenancy Guide providing them with general information about BHP and facilities available in the local area. At the Sign-up stage we provide new residents with an
eco-friendly ‘Welcome Pack’ which contains cleaning cloths, washing up liquid and energy efficient light bulbs contained within a re-useable bag. In addition, an information
pack is given containing a Tenants Guide, Payment Options, Home Insurance, How to join a Residents Association, Direct Debit form, Change of Circumstances/Housing
Benefit form, copies of gas and electrical certificates, One Stop Service information, and information on How to Report repairs. Any voids occurring in the South Kilburn
regeneration area on properties due for demolition are not being re-let. We have entered into a contract with the Council in February 2009 to let these empty properties as
temporary accommodation for homeless households. All documentation sent to residents includes contact details.
Cleaner, Safer, Greener Neighbourhoods
Brent Housing Partnership is committed to making our neighbourhoods cleaner, greener and safer places for our residents to live. In 2007 we restructured our Estates
Monitoring and Resident Involvement Teams merging the two into a new Neighbourhood Services Team. The purpose of the restructure was to increase participation by
residents in estates monitoring, reduce the number of complaints about cleaning and grounds maintenance and improve performance generally in estates management which
had reached a plateau.
Since June 2007 we have set up improved monitoring systems for cleaning and grounds maintenance including local environmental quality checks; and an on-line estate
grading scheme for residents and a comprehensive residents training programme. In addition we have improved turnaround times for graffiti removal; implemented a
combined cleaning/grounds maintenance contract; complied a comprehensive database of all 5000 trees on housing estate land which is GIS indexed; established robust
partnership working with internal and external agencies such as the Council’s ‘Graffiti Board’, the Council’s Streecare department, BHP’s Anti Social Behaviour and


SECTION 2 – TENANCY AND ESTATE MANAGEMENT                                                                                                                                       23
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Self Assessment 2009
Section 2 Tenancy and Estate Management
SELF ASSESSMENT 2009



Neighbourhood Wardens team and Tenancy Management team; implemented an annual programme of environmental improvements; implemented local neighbourhood
compacts in consultation with residents; reviewed the borough wide Compact in consultation with residents and increased monitoring of communal repairs.
 In November 2008 BHP submitted an application for an ENCAMS Kitemark for our East Brent and Wembley neighbourhoods which offers housing providers a structure to
drive improvements in specified neighbourhoods and also recognises their cleaner, safer, greener achievements at a national level.
In February 2009 BHP were informed we had achieved the Kitemark ‘exemplar’ standard. The exemplar standard recognises specified neighbourhoods as places where the
housing provider and its partners are achieving the residents' vision for a cleaner, safer and greener environment which is respected by those who live, work and visit the
neighbourhood. It also recognises that a high performing partnership exists which seeks to sustain and continually improve the quality of life within the neighbourhood through
a demonstrable track record of innovation and best practice. In the next few months we intend submitting ‘Kitemark’ applications for our other two neighbourhood areas South
Kilburn and Harlesden & Brentfield/St. Raphaels.
The November 2008 Status survey showed that 76% of tenants were satisfied with their neighbourhood as a place to live compared to 70% in 2006. In addition a further
survey carried out by an Independent company of 500 residents in February 2009 showed that 80% of residents were satisfied that BHP provided a range of opportunities for
resident involvement and 81% were satisfied with opportunities for involvement in participation and decision making.
Anti Social Behaviour and Wardens Teams
A survey of our Neighbourhood Wardens service in 2007/08 showed a high level of customer satisfaction, increasing from 69% in 2005 to 86%. A further independent survey
in South Kilburn showed that 93% of people are satisfied with the Service. This is a 35% increase since 2005.
Brent Housing Partnership has signed up to the Respect Standard and has in place a number of publications which have been sent to all residents and can be viewed on our
website i.e. Respect Booklet, Hate Crime leaflet, Good Neighbour Agreement/Compact, Victim and Witness Support Pack.
From June 2007 to July 2008 our officers dealt with 304 ASB cases of which 94 (30.92%) were considered quite serious and required intensive comprehensive casework
management. Of these 15% were served with an NSP and 2% evicted. Diversionary activities play a large part in our efforts to combat anti-social behaviour and in the summer
of 2007 some 25-40 youths from our St Raphaels estate, identified as a hot spot, attended a Futsal project organised in conjunction with St Raphael’s Youth Football and
Sports Club.
We work with a number of partners in combating anti-social behaviour and this is evidenced by our success in winning Brent Council’s Award in 2007 for ‘Delivering the
Corporate Strategy’ and theNational Federation of ALMO’s Award in 2008 for the ‘Most Effective Partnership Project’ for our partnership work with Brent’s Neighbourhood
Renewal Team in tackling crime and Anti social behaviour on the St Raphael’s Estate.

Residents in Brent’s Neighbourhood Renewal Area are offered security upgrades. We have provided, as part of the Telecare Solution, security alarms in 240 homes supporting
older and vulnerable people. BHP has also distributed crime prevention material on our St Raphael’s estate which came under the neighbourhood renewal area. Crime Advice
Surgeries took place from August 2004 to December 2005 and there is an ongoing programme with the Police, Wardens and Neighbourhood Watch to continue Crime
Prevention Advice events. In addition, BHP successfully bid for additional funding from the Brent Community Safety team to improve security (target hardening) in 169
properties in East Brent and Wembley during 2006-2007. CCTV cameras have been installed on the St Raphael’s estate and in partnership with the police two further mobile
cctv cameras will be installed in March 2009 to target an area of anti social behaviour and drug dealing.



SECTION 2 – TENANCY AND ESTATE MANAGEMENT                                                                                                                                         24
26      Building on Excellence
Section 2 Tenancy and Estate Management
SELF ASSESSMENT 2009



BHP has numerous options for residents to report anti-social behaviour. Residents can report by telephone, on-line, in writing or in person. In line with BHP’s complaints
procedure, all complaints about nuisance and anti social behaviour receive an acknowledgement of their complaint with details of who is responding to the complaint together
with a deadline for the response. All complainants are contacted either by letter or telephone every two weeks advising on the progress of the case. BHP has developed a
Witness & Victim Support Scheme. Witnesses can be taken to Court prior to the case being heard with Officers giving assurances to the witnesses. BHP can provide referral
to the National Witness Mobility Scheme for re-housing in another borough/district Council. Depending on the seriousness of the case we are able to provide additional
security through our Wardens if required. Our victim support scheme is tailored to individual needs and circumstances and offers various forms of assistance including
personal panic alarms, extra warden patrols, and support and transportation to and from Court. In 2007-2008 BHP provided support to 16 residents.
Environmental Improvements
Following borough-wide consultation with tenants and leaseholders, BHP carried out a total of 46 environmental improvement projects across Council estates during 2007-
2008. These included various landscaping schemes, additional external lighting in areas identified by residents, improvements to existing playgrounds and new playgrounds,
new fencing and gates and the demolition of derelict garages. The total spend on these projects including 50% joint funding for projects in the South Kilburn area totalled
£462,000. During 2008-2009 we have again carried out borough-wide consultation with our residents including consultation with young people on playground improvements,
and a comprehensive programme of environmental improvements is under-way including the installation of cctv cameras in an area designated as a hot spot for crime and
vandalism, further landscaping and improvements to roads and pavements on council estates.
Supporting People
BHP set up its own Housing Support Team in June 2004. The team have been responsible for many initiatives including the Tunstall Security Alarm Project mentioned above.
In addition the Housing Support Team works closely with other organisations and agencies to improve the quality of life of our vulnerable residents, a few examples of which
are mentioned below:
         Community Outreach & Support Service (COSS)
         This is a partnership agreement between English Churches Housing group and Brent Housing Partnership. The Agreement provides a framework to develop existing
         liaison between COSS and BHP, to ensure an effective and coherent partnership at a local level. It clarifies working practice and procedures to provide a partnership
         and quality approach to working with service users. The agreement covers referrals, monitoring, review and tracking processes, staff development and partnership
         work. It is expected that this agreement will be reviewed annually. The Partnership Agreement establishes clear roles and responsibilities for COSS in relation to BHP,
         for service users who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
         Emergency Call-Out Service
         BHP has developed a partnership with Willow Housing Trust to provide us with a visiting and emergency callout service to a number of our most vulnerable tenants.
         The scope of the partnership is to benefit our tenants by employing the expertise of Willow in the areas of their specialisation – Care & Housing.
         Brent Social Services
         We have a direct partnership with the various sections of the Social Services – Mental Health, Older people, Care leavers and children’s services.
         Because Supporting People provides housing related support services, there are often cases that have an element of care needs. We therefore utilize
         the partnership routes to provide a holistic service – care and housing; to the service users.




SECTION 2 – TENANCY AND ESTATE MANAGEMENT                                                                                                                                          25
                                                                                                                                                                                        27
Self Assessment 2009
Section 2 Tenancy
SELF ASSESSMENT 2009             and Estate Management


         Gardening Service for vulnerable residents
         In 2004 Brent Housing Partnership implemented a gardening scheme providing a one off needs-led gardening service to vulnerable tenants who meet
         an eligibility criteria. For example residents must be over 60 years. Living alone and have a disability. To date we have provided 361 qualifying
         vulnerable tenants with a range of gardening services. There is a huge demand for routine gardening services for our most vulnerable residents and as
         such we are exploring ways to extend or develop the scheme to meet the increasing demand.
Our vulnerable list has been comprehensively reviewed, incorporating a revised criteria which led to 78% vulnerable visits achieved 04/05, 99% in 05/06, 97.8% in 06/07 and
99.4% in 07/08. In addition we have reviewed and implemented a structured tenancy verification programme and new tenants visits which has resulted in improved
performance -100% new tenant visits achieved in 2007-2008.
Garages and Parking
We are committed to ensuring the most efficient use of our garages and parking areas. A report in 2006 was presented to our Directorate Management Team to
consider various options i.e. whether repairs should be funded to a number of garages or whether it is more cost effective to consider demolition, having
considered the current usesage of the garage and parking spaces. Having looked at all the options available, the Directorate Management Team agreed to a
mapping exercise to determine the feasibility of building on sites where it would be more cost effective to demolish the garages and we obtained planning
permission for the building of three properties in December 2008. It is anticipated that we will start work on site in April 2009 with completion by March 2010.
Service Improvements
A Service Improvement Team set up in 2005 to review and progress projects in development resulted in the review of our Tenancy Team to consider more clearly
defined lines of responsibility for Housing Officers. Local performance indicators were developed and these are now reported quarterly to the Service Delivery Sub-
Committee.
In 2004 Brent Housing Partnership implemented a gardening scheme providing a one off needs-led gardening service to vulnerable tenants’ and to date has
provided 221 tenants with this service.

BHP signed up to a scheme called ‘Homeswapper’ in January 2009 which is a national on-line mutual exchange register. BHP have subscribed to this scheme and
to allow tenants to get free access to properties available for a mutual exchange giving tenants much greater flexibility in their choice of home. On the first day of
going ‘live’ with this scheme 58 tenants expressed an interest in registering.
Work In Progress
     Establishing Young People Focus Group - pilot meeting held 14th Oct in partnership with BHUG –Developing Independent Living Workshop. Will spend third Friday of
     month at Cottrel House in partnership with the Care Leavers Team (Social services) to further enhance partnership working and making our services more accessible to
     users.
     Considering ways to extend gardening service to vulnerable residents
SELF Implementation of Pictorial Guide for cleaning and grounds maintenance for staff, contractors and residents
     ASSESSMENT 2009
     Awaiting outcome of funding bid to the London Development Agency for recycling chutes in blocks of flats
     Further improve monitoring of communal repairs to reduce leaseholder complaints
     Implementation of hand held computers for ‘live’ online monitoring of estates and communal repairs
     Housing Management Division Performance Digest for managers, staff and residents
SECTION 2 – TENANCY AND ESTATE MANAGEMENT                                                                                                                                     26
28      Building on Excellence
   Section 2
Value for Money
Self Assessment 2009
Section 2 Value for Money
SELF ASSESSMENT 2009




Value for Money
Competitiveness of Internal Service Provision
In setting up service level agreements with the Council, BHP made a commitment that a review would be carried out of each service to ensure that the arrangement was
providing good value for our organisation. The programme of service reviews commenced in July 2003 and was completed in 2005.
A lead officer was appointed to chair each review and guidelines for the review process are documented in BHP’s “Service Review Toolkit”, which sets out the process to be
followed to ensure that the principles of best value are met. In particular, each review was required to consider the 4”C”s of consult, compare, challenge and compete in
assessing the service provided by the council and assessing the options for future service delivery. The review chair was supported by a review team, usually of 5 to 7 officers,
and was responsible for writing a final report with recommendations and obtaining the views of the service under review. On completion of the review process, the chair was
required to produce an action plan setting out how the recommendations from the review will be implemented, with a time scale and lead officer against each action.
The review process resulted in services for Pest Control, Human Resources, Committee Services and Community Safety being terminated with the Council. Pest Control is
now delivered by an external provider following a competitive tendering exercise; Human Resources was brought in house to BHP, Committee Services was brought in house
to BHP and Community Safety was renegotiated from a fixed fee per annum to an hourly rate for work as required by us. All other services remain with the council but all with
recommendations for increased efficiency. The overall net financial gain to BHP having carried out these reviews is in excess of £200,000 per annum.
Value for Money Review of Staffing across the whole organisation
BHP has undertaken a value for money review of staff across the whole organisation and carried out benchmarking with similar organisations. This Value for Money review has
increased the understanding of all levels of staff of BHP’s value for money and procurement principles. Our first value for money review was carried out as a pilot scheme in
2005 on our Tenancy Services Department. An analysis of this review was checked by the Housing Quality Network who were happy with the criteria being applied. Following
the pilot, a planned programme of value for money reviews covering all services within BHP was drawn up and completed at the end of 2007. The last review was that of our
Wardens Service where, following an analysis of service take-up, we reduced the operating times from 3pm- 3am Monday to Friday to 3pm to Midnight. The efficiency savings
as a result of these value for money reviews were significant – 11% in Housing Management and 9% in Technical Services. This has meant a reduction in staff-related
expenditure of £600,000. The value for money reviews helped BHP focus on some critical areas such as:
     Identifying services that were expensive without being better.
     Identifying where we were paying high prices for low output or low priorities.
     Learning from others in areas where we believe they were performing better than us for less cost.
     Identifying and eliminating waste and duplication.
     Delivering more from current resources.

The first four bullet points were embraced within the value for money reviews and resulted in the significant efficiency savings mentioned above. In terms of ‘delivering more
from current resources’ we introduced measures such as an innovative contract extension mechanism based on performance, developed partnering contracts for mechanical
and electrical repairs and decent homes works.



SECTION 2 – VALUE FOR MONEY                                                                                                                                                         29
30     Building on Excellence
Section 2 Value for Money
SELF ASSESSMENT 2009



Other successful value for money initiatives has been the in-house provision of building services related activities which yielded £250,000 worth of savings in operational fees
and £270,000 for the Brent Council Services Account.

We also awarded a new repairs contract in 2007 which offered our tenants extended appointment times for minor works from 8am to 8pm (previously 6pm) and Saturdays from
8am to 12pm (previously only for emergency repairs). In 2008 we carried out a Lean Fundamental Review of our Repairs Service and have now moved away from Schedule of
Rates payments to an hourly rate where multi-trade repairs contractors complete the job on the first appointment which we believe provides a more efficient and cost effective
method of carrying out repairs.
Value for Money Review of Office Accommodation
In 2006-2007 BHP moved to new office accommodation which, due to lower leasehold rental rates and a reduction in overheads from three sites to one site, resulted in
operational savings in excess of £200,000 per annum.
Procurement and Value for Money
We have a procurement strategy in place whereby specialist contracts have been let for 10 years built on partnering principles e.g. gas, electrical contractors, day to day
repairs etc. We have let long term contracts built on partnering principles e.g. monthly fee. The South Kilburn Major works project involved feasibility study with costed options
for external works discussed with residents steering group and individual block residents.
BHP is able to demonstrate significant cost savings and quality improvements by employing partnering methods and incentives such as standardisation, partnering down the
chain and discounts for long contract periods in the following ways:
     Procurement partnering for major works
     Procurement partnering for repairs and MD voids contracts
     Long term contracts for M&E services
     Procurement Team selling expertise and undertaking procurement on behalf of Kensington & Chelsea
     Founding member of the London ALMO Procurement Network
     Undertaken pilot PPC2000 contract. NEC partnering on major works and developing partnering for voids and responsive repairs.
     BHP have effective arrangements for advising and recovering appropriate costs for communal services and improvements from leaseholders
A materials panel made up of tenant reps researched materials for inclusion in DH programme, involving presentations from suppliers and visits to other authorities and
materials were evaluated and agreed based on value for money.
All savings achieved as a result of value for money reviews are re-invested into services for our residents. For example, having moved to new office accommodation BHP took
on additional accommodation space to provide a Tenants’ Resource Centre at a cost of £50,000 per annum. BHP is continuously examining additional ways to produce value
for money savings so that the expected pressure of the HRA and HRA Business Plan can be effectively managed in 2009-2010 and beyond.
How Well Do We Manage Value For Money?
We are committed to working with the Council, our residents and our partners to ensure that we are an efficient and productive organisation adhering at all times to value for
money principles. BHP follows positive practice in procurement and understands where the greatest potential benefits can be gained, including reconfiguring service delivery
mechanisms and contract packaging. We have many examples of positive practice, i.e. BHP’s Procurement team has wide experience and promotes positive practice, and our

SECTION 2 – VALUE FOR MONEY                                                                                                                                                          30
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Self Assessment 2009
Section 2 Value for Money
SELF ASSESSMENT 2009



services have been reviewed as required, e.g. South Kilburn security contract, Travellers site contract, new Repair/Voids contracts. We have introduced Direct Debit payments
for our tenants resulting in savings of £15,000 due to decreased bank charges.
All of our procurement decisions are taken on an objective basis, using a transparent procurement framework which includes a comprehensive dialogue with potential service
providers i.e. in our ‘Expression of Interest’ tender documents, in our tenderers seminars and in our feedback to unsuccessful tenderers.
Involvement of Our Residents in Securing Value for Money
BHP’s services are focused on the needs of our residents based upon an informed choice of cost and quality. Our tender process includes consultation with residents and we
carry out statutory leaseholder consultation. We ensure our services are designed to best meet the needs and aspirations of our residents by obtaining feedback from residents
on tender panels and from our resident board members.
Work In Progress
    To develop a strategy for the recycling of aids and adaptations
    To carry out a value for money review on the management of aids and adaptation work
    Peer review of KLOEs including value for money




SECTION 2 – VALUE FOR MONEY                                                                                                                                                      31
32     Building on Excellence
             Section 3
     What is the Evidence
for Service Improvements?
        How well do we
    Manage Performance?
       Will Improvements
             be delivered?
             Section 3
     What is the Evidence
for Service Improvements?
Section 3 What is the Evidence for Service Improvements?
SELF ASSESSMENT 2009




What is the Evidence for Service Improvements?
Our Track Record in Delivering Improvement
Brent Housing Partnership is an organisation committed to delivering improvements in service. Following the Audit Commission’s last inspection report we combined all the
recommendations and comments from that report into a ‘3 star plus action plan’ with timescales for action. All recommendations and comments from this report have been
taken on board by us and have been implemented.
In addition we have made some significant changes and improvements in our service since the last inspection in 2003 which has led to demonstrable benefits for service users:
Service improvements during 2003-2005
     Our electronic document management system now includes all repair files and the system was upgraded so that all letters sent to customers could be automatically linked
     to the file rather than have to be downloaded and scanned.
     BHP initiated a project to update the Council’s terms and conditions of tenancy. and we therefore embarked on a consultation exercise with all tenants across the borough
     including over 40 evening meetings at various locations across the borough. At the same time we changed the format of the tenancy agreement to include a digital
     photograph of the tenant(s) on the front page which will assist Officers in the detection of sub-letting and housing fraud. The Council’s Scrutiny and Executive Committees
     took on board the views expressed by tenants, the majority of whom were very much in favour of the changes, and the new Tenancy Agreement was implemented by us
     in April 2004. Cameras connected to the computerised tenancy agreement were installed in our offices and tenants are provided with a computer printed Tenancy
     Agreement with their colour photograph on the front page. This was the first of its kind amongst any Arms Length Management Organisation.
     The new tenancy terms and conditions were placed on our website in 2004 enabling customers to read their terms and conditions online and the document was translated
     into the 7 main community languages all of which are also available online.
     Our Tenancy Guide was redesigned and reprinted in 2004 into a more user friendly format including reference to the new changes in terms and conditions.
     In 2003 a computerised on-line payment system was introduced by BHP called ‘Bill Pay Giro Bank’. Also in 2003 a scheme called Paypoint was introduced by BHP giving
     tenants the ability to pay their rent by cash in any service stations, shops or newsagents who supply the Paypoint facility. This service has beeen extended further
     enabling tenants to use Paypoint at the Post Office using either cash, credit card, debit card or cheque. On 7th June 2004 BHP introduced a Direct Debit system for its
     customers and currently has 16% of tenants paying by this method.
     In 2004 BHP set up a Repairs Call Centre to replace area repairs teams. The call centre has introduced new telephone management soft ware, new working practices
     and a comprehensive training programme for its staff which is focused entirely on the ethos of customer care. This will ensure call waiting times are reduced and that
     customers are dealt with by highly trained specialist staff. This scheme works in conjunction with our computerised on-line ‘Repairs Finder’ system which enables tenants
     to look up the relevant repair item either on-line or in a hard copy booklet. There has been a dramatic significant improvement in telephone statistics since the
     establishment of the Call Centre.
     In February 2004 BHP introduced a scheme with our responsive repairs contractor covering half the borough allowing the responsive repairs contractor to carry out all
     aspects of pre inspections following completion of works freeing up more time for BHP Surveyors to concentrate on post inspection of works. The scheme was further
     reviewed in January 2005 and due to its success was implemented borough wide.




SECTION 3 – PROSPECTS FOR IMPROVEMENT                                                                                                                                              34
                                                                                                                                                                                        35
Self Assessment 2009
Section 3 What is the Evidence for Service Improvements?
SELF ASSESSMENT 2009



Service Improvements during 2006-2008

     In 2006 BHP developed a comprehensive Anti-Poverty Strategy in consultation with residents
     BHP planned and implemented a programme of loft and cavity wall insulation in 2007
     Our vulnerable register was comprehensively reviewed to reflect more realistic eligibility criterion of vulnerable tenants living alone with no support network during 2007
     In 2006 BHP completed its Decent Homes programme 3 years ahead of the Governments target
     Rent Road Shows were introduced in 2006-07
     BHP signed up to the Respect Standard and our Respect Standard booklet is available online
     BHP introduced our own Mediation Services with trained Officers.
     Officers were trained as Trusted Assessors which has dramatically reduced the time taken to assess minor adaptations
     BHP have amended our Succession Procedure to cater for same sex partners
     A value for money review of all teams within BHP was carried out resulting in significant cost savings during 2007
     Following a review of our Area Housing Board structure we merged 6 Area Housing Boards into 4 during 2007
     Following a review of our Residents Advisory Consultative Committee we created a Residents Board Scrutiny Panel giving residents more of a voice in decision making at
     the highest level within BHP during 2008
     We increased the number of resident board members from 6 to 7 during 2008
     Wardens were trained on Domestic Violence in order that they might gain further knowledge around this issue and be better able to advise those suffering domestic
     violence on services available to them
     A Lean Fundamental Review of our Repairs service during 2008 was carried out resulting in service improvements for residents
     We introduced a Burglary Reduction Project where initiatives such as spy holes, vandal proof letterboxes, sensor lights, additional locks and fencing were installed in
     homes which had been identified as hot spots for crime and vandalism.
     BHP introduced text messaging for rent collection
     BHP published a Pre-Tenancy Guide providing prospective tenants with information about BHP
     BHP published an annual Training Booklet for residents in 2008 providing them with a comprehensive choice of training courses delivered from our Residents Resource
     Centre at Chancel House free of charge
     During 2007-2008 over 5000 estate trees were surveyed and we now have a comprehensive tree database, where every tree is mapped on the Council’s GIS system and
     a contractor appointed to carry out a planned programme of works.
     A new combined cleaning and grounds maintenance contract was let in 2008
     BHP’s 3 year Equalities Scheme was implemented and completed in 2007-08
     BHP’s Disability Equality scheme was published in 2007




SECTION 3 – PROSPECTS FOR IMPROVEMENT                                                                                                                                              35
36     Building on Excellence
        Section 3
    How well do we
Manage Performance?
Self Assessment
SELF ASSESSMENT 20092009
Section 3 How well do we manage performance?



How Well Do We Manage Performance?
Since 2003 BHP has produced an annual Delivery Plan setting out key performance targets agreed with the Board and the Council. The Delivery Plan also sets out the
Landlord strategic objectives for the year to come and gives a summary of performance against the strategic objectives for the previous year. Each year since BHP was set up
we have demonstrated our ability to successfully manage performance, and remain within the top 25% of similar organisations on key performance indicators. For example a
few of the key achievements against landlord and strategic objectives most of which are detailed in our 2008-09 Delivery Plan are:
Customer Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction levels remain high in all areas of the service
BHP’s full STATUS survey in sSeptember 2008 showed 76% of residents were satisfied with the overall service, an increase from 75% in the previous STATUS survey in
2006. A survey of leaseholders in March 2008 resulted in a satisfaction rate of 72%. Both surveys showed that satisfaction levels are consistent for all residents, with
responses for BME and non BME residents also at 70% and 72%. A further survey of 500 residents was carried out by an independent company in February 2009 to cover
questions not required as part of the STATUS survey. This showed that 89% of residents were satisfied that BHP is committed to dealing with incidents of Anti Social
behaviour; 80% were satisfied that BHP provides a range of opportunities for resident involvement; and 81% were satisfied the BHP provides them with opportunities for
involvement in participation and decision-making.
Resident involvement
The number of registered residents associations increased from 46 in 2006-2007 to 49 during 2007-2008 and BHP now has 143 active resident representatives. An annual
review of BHP’s borough-wide Resident Involvement Compact was undertaken with residents, the results of which were published in Partnership News in the Autumn of 2008.
The Editorial Board which is responsible for agreeing the content of all articles published in Partnership News saw an increase in the number of resident members from 13 to
20 during 2007-2008.
Rent collection
BHP achieved top 25% in rent collection with an outturn figure of 98% during 2007-2008.
Tenancy and Estate Management
During 2007-2008 the Tenancy Management team achieved 97% tenancy verifications. BHP’s Housing Support team established a new Housing Support Forum during 2007-
2008 chaired by residents to afford them the opportunity to have a say in the services they receive. In addition staff from the Housing Support team developed an in-house
mediation pilot with 12 BHP staff trained. To-date officers have received 14 referrals and successfully mediated in 9 cases. Between June 2007 to the end March 2008, the
Neighbourhood Services team carried out quarterly inspections on 283 estates in Brent representing a total of 890 separate inspections. The inspection results are available
online and residents are encouraged to take part in grading their own estate by completing online forms. The Neighbourhood Services team responsible for estate
management has instigated a ‘Lean Fundamentals System Review’ of estate services in February 2009 and this is currently ongoing.
Repairs and Maintenance
In order to maintain continuous improvement of the responsive repairs service, BHP arranged for its contractor Linbrook Services Limited to co-locate its contract management
staff with BHP’s repairs contact centre in our offices at Chancel House. This has enabled BHP and Linbrook Services to improve communications and partnership working.
BHP and Linbrook has instigated a ‘Lean Fundamentals System Review’ of the repairs service. This helped to identify both the value work and waste within repairs processes.

SECTION 3 – PROSPECTS FOR IMPROVEMENT                                                                                                                                           36


38      Building on Excellence
Section 3 How well do we manage performance?
SELF ASSESSMENT 2009



Alternative ways of working were identified and following a successful pilot of these systems in the South Kilburn area in April 2008, the new way of working went ‘live’ across
the borough in the autumn of 2008.
Leasehold Management
The leasehold management team saw a reduction in the number of stage 1 complaints from 37 in 2006-2007 to 25 in 2007-2008. There was also a reduction in Stage 2
complaints from 14 in 2006-2007 to 9 in 2007-2008.
Procurement and value for money
During 2007-2008 contracts were let for building cleaning and grounds maintenance, tree maintenance, publications, design and print and the security and warden services
were reviewed in preparation for tenders during 2008-2009. An initiative was introduced to review contractor processes and their compliance with equalities requirements and
the results reported regularly to BHP board members. Savings on Service Level Agreements with the Council, as well as external providers increased from £136,000 in 2005-
2006 to £189,000 in 2007-2008.
Major Works
BHP has reviewed its Asset Management strategy and has supplied the Council in May 2007 with its detailed view of the investment requirements of the housing stock over the
next 30 years to both maintain it to the Decent Homes Standard and meet its statutory and legal responsibilities.
The contract for the first phase of external works in South Kilburn was completed in March 2008. These works included converting existing flats into 15 four bedroom houses
and the external facades of properties in Kilburn Lane and Allington Road have been improved.
Partnership Working
BHP is very active in South Kilburn where we work very closely with the NDC and other partners in the area. BHP is represented on the Neighbourhood Management Project
Committee and the Community Safety Committee. During 2007-2008 our Neighbourhood Services Team jointly funded 10 environmental improvements projects with the NDC
totalling £112,000. A number of actions were taken by BHP’s Anti Social Behaviour Team in partnership with Brent Council and the Police in addressing anti social behaviour.
This included two crack house closures, an injunction with the power of arrest (the tenant was subsequently committed to prison) for racial harassment and acceptable
behaviour contracts.
Sustainability
BHP received additional funding from Scottish and South Energy during 2007-2008 who award grants to ALMOs who are carrying out energy efficiency improvements. BHP
has been able to demonstrate energy efficiency with the type of heating systems provided in tenants’ homes, for example thermostatic radiator valves, changing from less
efficient fuels like electricity to gas and the installation of condensing boilers which are more energy efficient. From 2006 to end March 2008 BHP has cut the average fuel bill of
833 residents by an estimated 20%. During 2007-2008 the total grant received from Scottish & Southern Energy was £29,000. In addition BHP delivered 4000 low energy light
bulbs to our tenants in 2007-2008. BHP in partnership with British Gas undertook a programme of cavity wall insulation and loft insulation works with 50% of the costs being
grant funded. 650 lofts were insulated and 192 cavity walls were insulated during 2007-2008. By the end of 2009 BHP expect to have provided insulation to a further 1000
properties.




SECTION 3 – PROSPECTS FOR IMPROVEMENT                                                                                                                                                  37
                                                                                                                                                                                            39
      Section 3
Will Improvements
      be delivered?
SELF ASSESSMENT 2009
Section 3 Will Improvements be delivered?



Will Improvements be delivered?
We pride ourselves on being a forward thinking organisation and one that does not rest on its laurels. We were determined not to become complacent with the successful
outcome of the previous inspection and fully embraced the Inspectors comments ensuring that they were all included within an improvement plan, all of which have been
successfully completed. Throughout this Self Assessment we have mentioned a number of new developments and achievements within our service over the last two years and
listed below are other improvements that have taken place or are in the process of development:
Human Resources
Since the last inspection, BHP has achieved Investors in People award and retained recognition. All human resources policies and procedures are reviewed and approved via
the Personnel & Remuneration Sub Committee.
Financial and Business Planning
Since the last inspection, BHP has undertaken a value for money review of staff across the whole organisation and carried out benchmarking with other similar organisations.
The recommendations from the review were implemented during 2007-2008 resulting in savings of £600,000. BHP has produced business plans since its inception and has
recently reviewed its long terms business plan producing an updated business plan for 2008-2013.
Information Technology
Since the last inspection, BHP has developed its own IT strategy, which includes the key objectives of supporting business needs and achieving value for money. Major IT
projects in development include an initiative on remote working – following a successful pilot we have implemented this in the Tenancy Team and are piloting it in other
departments. Anticipated benefits include:
     greater productivity through staff spending less time travelling between office and appointments - they will have data and appointment schedules on their handhelds
     more queries can be resolved face to face or on site - no need to come back to the office to check records
     reduction in admin overheads, as data will be saved once in real time direct to the database instead of being written on a paper form then taken back to the office for data
     input
Performance Management
Since the last inspection, a Performance and Best Value Officer has been recruited whose main responsibility is to collect and collate performance information / statistics for
BHP. Comprehensive monthly, quarterly and annual reports are produced based on a traffic light system and relevant Performance Indicators and local targets monitored for
service improvements. This information is distributed to all managers, is available on the intranet and given out at the Area Housing Board Meetings.
BME Contractors
Since the last inspection, BHP’s Procurement Team in conjunction with Business Links for London organised a workshop for local BME Contractors who were small or medium
enterprises. The idea behind this was to encourage and raise awareness on how to tender with BHP / a public service. In total, 40 BME Contractors turned out and 22
organisations completed feedback forms. After going through the criteria process 16 organisations (mainly building) made it onto the mini pre-approved list of contractors
whose value of contracts would range from £5,000 - £150,000.

SECTION 3 – PROSPECTS FOR IMPROVEMENT                                                                                                                                               38


                                                                                                                                                                                         41
        Section 4
Summary Action Plan
Section 4 Summary Action Plan
SELF ASSESSMENT 2009




Summary action plan for service areas being inspected
 SUMMARY      ACTIONS                                                           COST BENEFIT ANALYSIS                                                     TIMESCALES
 ACTION
 PLAN
 Access and        Plans in place to ensure staff receive feedback on reality       Nil cost – this will highlight weaknesses in performance which will       Ongoing
 customer          checks                                                           be addressed by departmental managers.
 care              Improvement required to service units not achieving high         Nil cost – Stats being reviewed overall at Business Management            Ongoing
                   telephone answering stats.                                       Group meetings.
                   Our repairs contact centre and South Kilburn estate office       £52,000 - will improve access for customers reporting repairs,            April 2009
                   are currently being upgraded to new contact centre               improve the management information available and improve the
                   software                                                         technical support arrangements
                   Online access to services is being developed to                  £25,000 – tenants being canvassed to assess the demand for                Aug 2009
                   supplement the online rent payment, repair ordering and          online access to rent accounts. Will benefit residents by providing
                   online forms already in place. Future online initiatives         them with the option of a self-service point accessing real-time
                   include a kiosk service at our South Kilburn reception.          information online.
                                                                                                                                                              April 2009
                                                                                    Nil Cost – hardware/software already available. Will provide a
                   Use of mobile working is already in use by gas servicing         more efficient and cost effective method of working, reducing
                   contractors and repairs surveyors and is being developed         duplication of work from written notes and then inputting onto
                   by income collection staff to provide online access to           computers and reducing travel time between home visits and
                   customer rent accounts on home visits.                           office.
 Diversity         Equal opportunities training for our contractors.                £500 – will ensure compliance with Equalities Scheme.                     Dec 2009
                   Work needed to assess viability and identify good practice       £10000 – staff time in collating information, benchmarking with           March 2010
                   elsewhere of providing preferred method of                       other organisations and postal survey/telephone survey. Will
                   communication for all residents                                  provide improved levels of contact with residents.
                   Need to provide information on our arrangements for              Disabled access work already carried out to meeting rooms on              Dec 2010
                   disabled access to communal areas of estates and                 estates 06-07. Compile data on disabled access to be undertaken
                   homes                                                            as part of routine estate visits.
                   Need to determine that our front line staff have all been        Nil Cost – Free training provided for 18 staff in Jan 09 by               Sept 2009
                   trained on Talktype and text phones.                             RNID/Typetalk – 2 sessions at Chancel House. Essential to
                                                                                    comply with Equalities Plan.




SECTION 4 – SUMMARY ACTION PLAN                                                                                                                                            41
                                                                                                                                                                                43
Self Assessment 2009
Section 4 Summary Action Plan
SELF ASSESSMENT 2009



 Housing           Survey and analysis of reasons for non payment                Nil cost – more effective targeting and collection of arrears.         Feb 2009
 Income            Profiling of tenants in arrears according to age, ethnicity   Nil cost – will help to identify reasons for arrears and assist with   Feb 2009
 Management        and gender                                                    providing appropriate support eg translations, home visits
                   Escalation Procedure currently being tested                   Nil cost - to allow for more efficient working and better monitoring   Mar 2009
                                                                                                                                                        Nov 2009
                   Review/Update Income Management Strategy                      £4,000 – provides long term plan for income management
                                                                                                                                                        April 2010
                   Development of Credit Union                                   Within budget – provides flexible method of savings for tenants on
                   Officers attending yearly Home Ownership seminars and         low incomes.
                   debt recovery seminars                                        Within budget – enhances skill base of staff                           Ongoing
                   To undertake another profiling of leaseholders and update     Nil cost – will assist with recovery of leasehold service charges      April 2010
                   our leasehold database
                   Review leaseholders handbook                                  £5,000 – provides essential information for leaseholders               Dec 2010
                   Contacting leaseholders by phone for those in debt of         Nil cost – more effective way of collecting low level debts where      Ongoing
                   £500.00 or less to make an arrangement to pay as these        letters have proved ineffective.
                   debts cannot be pursued via the mortgage lender
                   To produce a welcome pack, this will be sent out to all       £4,000 – will ensure a smooth transition from being a tenant to a      Sept 2009
                   new leaseholders when Notice of Transfer is                   leaseholder and making sure leaseholders are aware of their
                   acknowledged.                                                 obligations and the obligations of BHP from day one.
 Tenancy and       Establishing Young People Focus Group                         Within budget – important to get views of young people in order to     Dec 2010
 Estate             Extend gardening service to vulnerable residents             improve facilities on estate and to reduce incidents of
 Management                                                                      crime/vandalism
                   Implementation of Pictorial Guide for cleaning and                                                                                   April 2009
                   grounds maintenance for staff, contractors and residents      £6,500 – will enable contractors, residents and staff to have a
                   Awaiting outcome of funding bid to the London                 visual guide to improving standards on estates.
                   Development Agency for recycling chutes in blocks of          Nil cost – Will help to meet the council’s corporate ‘green’ agenda    Feb 2009
                   flats
                   Implementation of mobile computers for ‘live’ online
                   monitoring of estates and communal repairs                    £6,000 – Will provide more efficient methods of working, reducing      Aug 2009
                                                                                 duplication of work and travelling time between estates and office

 Value for         To develop a strategy for the recycling of aids and           Cost saving – will reduce expenditure overall and save time on         Mar 2010
 Money             adaptations                                                   ordering of equipment for aids/adaptations.
                   Peer review of KLOEs including value for money                Nil cost – assist in identifying weaknesses within service areas.      April 2009




SECTION 4 – SUMMARY ACTION PLAN                                                                                                                                      42
44     Building on Excellence
Building on Excellence




www.bhphousing.co.uk


Linda Footer
Head of Governance,       Brent Housing Partnership




                                                      March 2009/BHP/48670/Sterling
Communications and        Chancel House
Neighbourhood Services
                          Neasden Lane
T 020 8937 2356           Neasden
F 020 8937 2021           London
E info@bhphousing.co.uk   NW10 2UF

				
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