Published 11 November 2021

A report assessing the Council’s housing service has highlighted a number of positive improvements in the past year.

The Scottish Social Housing Charter Performance report shows the service continues to perform well in a number of areas, despite facing significant resource and logistical challenges during the pandemic.

The report detailed how the homelessness team were able to offer temporary accommodation to every single homeless household who presented over the past 12 months, with an increase in the satisfaction with the quality of accommodation provided.

In addition, 99% of homelessness applicants received a decision within the target time of 28 days.

Improvements were also seen in the time taken to assess housing applications, which went from 27 days to just 3 days.

The report also shows that the percentage of new tenants remaining in their homes for at least 12 months increased from 89.8% to 91.5%.

Councillor Diane Docherty, Convener of Housing and Communities, said: “This report covers the period when housing services were responding to the challenges and impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic which affected the everyday lives of individuals and communities across West Dunbartonshire and posed significant challenges to the delivery of our services.

“I am proud to see that despite these challenges, we have been able to make improvements to ensure our tenants’ experiences are as positive as possible, and this hard work will continue in priority areas throughout the coming year.”

A comprehensive assessment of the 2020/21 performance has already been carried out and has informed a Charter Improvement Plan. This is being implemented across all areas of the housing service with the objective of continuing to improve services for tenants and residents.

Priority areas to drive improvements following the impacts of Covid-19 restrictions include the length of time taken to carry out repairs and medical adaptations, the length of time taken to re-let empty properties and catching up on works to ensure compliance with the Scottish Housing Quality Standard.

Councillor Ian Dickson, Vice Convener of Housing and Communities, said: “We are committed to providing a service that tenants are happy with and this report is encouraging because it shows we are continuing to move in the right direction. One of the service’s key achievements this year was providing a full emergency response throughout the pandemic and managing the significant increase in demand for support.

We thank tenants for their patience and understanding and hope the action plan shows our ambitions for the priority areas for improvement over the coming year.”