Harry McCormack (tenant volunteer), Frances McGonagle (tenant volunteer), June Todd ( tenant volunteer), Nicola Pettigrew (Housing Operations Manager), Laura Ann Paton ( HRA Accountant), Alan Young (Housing Asset Manager), Jane Mack (Snr Housing Dev Officer), Councillor Gurpreet Johal (Housing Convener) and John Kerr ( Homelessness & Housing Development Manager).
Gurpreet welcomed everyone to the meeting. Jane advised that apologies been received from Janice Rainey (Finance Business partner), Martin Feeney (Building Services Manager) and Cllr Sorrell.
Jane shared document on screen and the updates on actions discussed.
JRG053 Make more use of Revenue Budget Matrix – Laura Ann confirmed that is being looked ahead of this year’s budget setting so that it can be made use of.
JRG055 – been confirmed that no access cards are still left when a tradesperson calls and no one in. Text process still to be implemented via IHMS team.
JRG067 –current rent model based on size. Main change is new builds and introduction of new house types like town houses. John suggested that he re-issue the briefing note previously done on the current model and JRG can then decide if a review is necessary.
JRG068 – Gurpreet disappointed that dates for Additional Capital Investment short life working group still to be confirmed – initial proposed date clashed with TPAS conference that number of tenants are attending. Discussed possible dates and agreed on Monday 19 June, 10am and any further meeting dates can be agreed then.
John will send out invites and a terms of reference for the group and Jane will arrange transport for those attending.
Void performance shared on screen – quarter 4 financial updates been added since last meeting though void rent loss figure is for the whole year. Nicola also advised that operational voids now down to 194 and also have 86 voids classed as needing major work. Satisfaction with the relet standard has gone down and is an area being looked into and want to link in with TP and tenants to increase the number of surveys completed. Been a change in how the surveys are gathered and returns are lower so not very representative.
Nicola confirmed that the Budget overspend is due to the volume and amount of work being needed is high. Have been looking at the voids needing extensive work and meeting with Building Services and also looking at background of void – how it was terminated, was a pre-inspection done etc.
Been using additional contractors to help reduce numbers so that has increased costs but looking at cost variances across areas. Have regular meetings about the void budget and it is closely monitored.
Harry asked about the extensive work needed in some properties and how much of that is in the void figures. Nicola confirmed that they do categorise voids to identify major work, fire damage, structural issues so can account for the different levels of work needed – can also be a combination of factors.
Frances raised continued concern about decants and them not being looked at but is still rent loss. Nicola advised that staff are working on them and working with Building services to get them worked on.
Ongoing meter issues too - now have Help to Move assisting to clear meters and deal with faulty meter but still challenges as there is a national lack of engineers to repair meters which causes delays. Have recruited 2 new officers to help with these issues.
Quarter 4 figures seen at last meeting apart from appointments kept figure been updated. Quarter 1 for 2023 not available yet. No further questions on Q4.
Late circulation of updated Capital programme so shared on screen and Alan talked through the update. Roof completions lower than predicted due to protracted communications with owners to get them on board. Been an underspend for most of year in window programme but now getting more done with new contractor and making good progress.
Been a spike in the heating budget as costs have increased but also more are being referred for renewals as increase in parts being obsolete. Has been an increase in costs across all programmes same as inflation affecting everyday costs.
Tenant JRG, 17 August, 10 am on zoom
Full JRG 28 September, 10am on zoom
Should also be some pre- rent setting discussion dates announced
Harry McCormack (tenant volunteer), Frances McGonagle (tenant volunteer), June Todd ( tenant volunteer), John Kerr ( Homelessness & Housing Development Manager), Janice Rainey (Finance Business partner), Martin Feeney (Building Services Manager), Alan Young (Housing Asset Manager), Suzanne Marshall (Housing Area Co-ordinator), Jane Mack (Snr Housing Dev Officer) and Councillor Gurpreet Johal (Housing Convener).
Gurpreet welcomed everyone to the meeting. Jane advised that apologies been received from Nicola Pettigrew (Housing Operations Manager), Laura Ann Paton ( HRA Accountant) and Cllr Sorrell.
Jane shared screen and the updates on actions discussed.
JRG053 – Janice advised that matrix is cumbersome and time consuming to use – wants to discuss internally how to do easier. Committed to doing draft budgets early and make process more transparent so hoping for draft budget in August.
JRG055- Martin advised that is still being progressed and apologised for the delay. Existing process is still being followed and jobs get cancelled down after 2 no accesses. Couldn’t give a definite date when texting process will be in place but is being prioritised.
JRG060-Frances raised concern about the delay in identifying that these recharges hadn’t been made and that will be difficult to pursue people for recharges from 3 years ago. Janice echoed those concerns and explained that as recharges fluctuate it’s difficult to see even when budget monitoring is done. Have a new system in place now and won’t happen again. Janice agreed that will be more difficult to recoup the money but in normal circumstances have a low recoup level – would only expect £10k so at least not a massive impact on HRA income.
JRG062- Martin advised that not got a cyclical programme in place but being developed on housing system. Are working from spreadsheets so cyclical work like gas checks are getting done. Vent and extractor fan being pulled together to capture a programme for the multi-story flats in the first instance as they have kitchen and bathroom fans. Difficult to get info on other properties. For the flats will text tenants to say in their area that week – should start in June /July. Longer term plan is do the development work on QL for cyclical work and be able to publicise them.
Gurpreet raised his concern about the delay in the programme being implemented and Martin disappointed too but other cyclical works are still getting done.
Void performance shared on screen and Suzanne summarised the performance. Void budget figures for Q4 not available. Number of voids is down to 310 but performance targets not met. Satisfaction with the relet standard down to 40% but only 10 surveys completed – working to increase number of surveys completed to get more representative figures. Also analysing negative comments to see where improvements needed. Number of decants increased due to results of heavy frost and cold weather.
Frances raised concern about decants lying empty with no work being done to them – Suzanne confirmed that do monitor decants and get updates on them. Also offer to stay on in decant if decanted for more than 6 months. Martin advised that shouldn’t be no work getting done – do prioritise voids and are building resilience and recruiting more staff to help catch up with demand.
Gurpreet welcomed improvements but still number of examples of voids lying empty – Suzanne advised could be a number of reasons and would need specific addresses to investigate. Meter issues have caused delays but since Feb been using Help to Move which has improved process though still some meters they can’t deal with but have been a massive help.
Repairs performance shared on screen and Martin talked thro ’performance figures. Been an increase in repair requests which meant some targets not met – annual fluctuation due to weather. Working hard on reducing no accesses and some instances when turn up on wrong day but being worked on. Gurpreet pointed out the increase in number of no accesses and concern that shows systematically not working and not seeing improvements. Martin advised are drilling down in the stats and dealing with identified issues. Is a cost to Building Services as well as disruptive to tenants so Martin too keen to ensure improvements happen – is a high priority for Building services and expects improvements to show in 2023/24.
Monthly meetings between Martin and Nicola take place so communication between teams is happening and a key are of joint working. Suzanne also confirmed that monthly reports on no accesses are shared with HO’s so that they can contact tenants to resolve.
Capital programme update shared on screen and Alan summarised progress – generally most programmes going well – some resource issues with door/ window programme.
Frances asked question about why such a high overspend in the Minor work budget and Alan said that budget is set at historical levels and comes from work that is revenue work but when goes over a certain level gets moved into capital budget- eg some fire damage properties, back court upgrades- retaining wall repairs needed and ends up being expensive and not suitable for environmental upgrade budget.
John updated that a paper going to the Housing & Community Committee on 3/5 – just been published and sets out the rent increase option of 5% which generated additional £50m for investment. £10m is to scale up Buyback scheme with a focus on larger family homes much needed. Also includes plans to introduce and accelerate response to dampness and mould. Includes using proactive technology to use sensors to identify dampness and mould before it becomes a problem.
Tenant priorities identified in the rent setting consultation focused on energy efficiency, kitchen/bathroom renewals and window/door renewals and these will be main focus.
Want to establish a short life working group with tenants and officers to discuss possible programmes and ensure that tenant voices are being heard. Want to get meetings started in May and John asked if there was agreement to proposal and if timescale was doable.
Frances asked for reassurance that were going to listen to tenants and John confirmed yes and was committed to delivering on tenant priorities. June reminded that the £50m wasn’t what majority of tenants wanted and still concerned about rent levels.
Tenant volunteers agreed that they wanted the invite opened up to all tenant groups to get a range of voices and John agreed to writing up a terms of reference for the short life working group and send out with an invite to all TRA and scrutiny panel members.
Agreed JRG would be good place to monitor progress of the additional investment programmes once they been agreed.
Tenant JRG, 18 May,10 am on zoom
Full JRG 8 June, 10am on zoom
Harry McCormack (tenant volunteer), Frances McGonagle (tenant volunteer), John Kerr ( Homelessness & Housing Development Manager), Laura Ann Paton (HRA Accountant), Martin Feeney (Building Services Manager), Alan Young (Housing Asset Manager), Suzanne Marshall (Housing Area Co-ordinator), Jane Mack (Snr Housing Dev Officer) and Councillor Gurpreet Johal (Housing Convener).
Gurpreet welcomed everyone to the meeting. Jane advised that apologies been received from Nicola Pettigrew (Housing Operations Manager), June Todd (tenant volunteer) Stefan Kristmanns (Housing Dev Co-ordinator) and Cllr Sorrell.
Jane shared screen and the updates on actions discussed.
JRG061 –happy with update and to mark action as complete as will continue to monitor void performance through regular updates of the void monitoring template at each full JRG meeting. Gurpreet also gave reassurance that voids being looked at in detail and a key delay with voids was problems getting power back on for new tenant and this was being prioritised – Suzanne confirmed that they have an agreement with ‘Help me move’ to assist and training to take place in next few weeks and will help them resolve such issues quicker. Also 2 additional support officer posts being created and advertised to help new tenants.
JRG058 Briefing note on relet standard – Suzanne summarised the briefing note and the process undertaken to review the relet standard and the changes proposed. Changes to be monitored for initial 6 months to ensure they work.
Jane shared screen and gave a summary of the consultation results. The preferred option is the 4% increase and that is being recommended - decision still to be made by Councillors on 1/3.
Void performance shared on screen and Suzanne summarised the performance. Void budget overspend due to volume of current voids. Number of properties been relet has increased (up to 204) but other performance targets not met. Work continues to focus on voids – monitored daily and working closely with Building Services.
Repairs performance shared on screen and Martin summarised progress. Narrowly missed target for emergency repairs in that quarter – January figure was 5.49 hours so back in target. When repairs completed out of target means they also miss the Right First Time (RFT) criteria. Number of appointments kept is up and met target. No access cancellations have continued to increase – texting hasn’t started yet but being tested and should be live in next week or so. Gurpreet raised a constituent query he was dealing with where Building Services had called out but not on the appointment day – could be a typo in response and Martin’s team investigating.
Capital programme update shared on screen and Alan summarised progress – generally most programmes going well. Windows and doors behind schedule but now have back up support in place but this delay will take time to catch up. Any underspend on budgets gets carried forward. Has been an increase in material costs so within certain budgets will be able to deliver less numbers than originally costed. Overspend on heating upgrades been due to demand for new boilers being higher than predicted- often can’t source parts so need to replace boiler rather than leave people without proper heating.
Capital Programme 23/24 – Alan confirmed that the annual programme was based on what was needed to replace elements reaching end of life cycles and to ensure we meet current EESSH and SHQS. Tenants’ priorities identified in the rent setting aligned with what officers had identified and are the key areas they are focusing on – energy efficiency measures, kitchen and bathroom renewals and window/door renewals. Continuing too with External Wall insulation (EWI) programme and had good tenant feedback not just on the improved insulation but on the improved look of buildings.
Refresh of Capital programme starts with potential rental income and condition surveys identify what needs to be done and work out from there what can be accommodated in the programme. Number of kitchens and bathrooms needed been identified and looking at scope to increase capacity or move budgets about to accommodate. Core capital programme are all essential items plus additional improvement investment.
Housing Asset Management Strategy update – John confirmed that the current Strategy was approved in 2018 so in final year and due to be refreshed. Plan is for new Strategy to go to November HACC.
2 key documents will inform the Strategy and one is Scottish Government/ Housing Regulator Asset Management Guidance and Standards – not published yet but critically will include EESSH 2 review which will have a huge impact. Target for EESSH 2 is 2032 and key challenge will be how that is met and how rents can be kept affordable. All Councils and Housing Associations will be in similar situation and concerns raised about 2032 target as other Net Zero targets are 2045 so putting additional pressure on social landlords.
Previous review of Asset Management review included an overview at Liaison meeting and John happy to do that again and wants as many tenant voices in the Strategy as possible- timing dependent on when SG/Hsg Regulator Guidance and Standards published and will develop tenant involvement from there.
Gurpreet raised the consultation on the Additional Dwelling Tax which includes a proposal to make Council’s exempt the same as Housing Associations. Harry confirmed the WDTRO have responded and Jane has circulated to wider TRA and scrutiny panel members.
Tenant JRG 16 March, 10 am on zoom
Full JRG 20 April, 10am on zoom