Living in a safe and good quality home
When most of the housing sector reduced or stopped repairs, we kept ours going.
We recognised that if you’re spending all your time at home, it’s even more important we keep your home working as it should.
We focused on customer and staff safety – by making sure you had information ahead of your repair appointments on how to keep you and our contractors out of harm’s way. We passed this on in every way available: on our website, emails and letters, and via our customer contact centre agents, who received extra training.
Customer satisfaction with completed repairs was 88% for 2020/21, against a target of 85% - an improvement on last year’s 87%.
We invested £42.6m in maintaining and upgrading our existing homes. This year we didn’t complete as many kitchen and bathroom upgrades as we expected to. Understandably, some of our customers chose not to have their upgrades because of the pandemic and that reduced the number we could complete.
Our most important responsibility as a housing provider is to make sure our homes are safe and secure.
99.85% of homes with a gas appliance have an in-date, accredited gas safety check. Where customers were uncomfortable with having us in their home to carry out checks, we respected their decision. This meant we didn’t quite meet our target of 100%, but we’ll aim for this again in 2021 and will work with you to make sure you feel safe and comfortable when we visit.
We worked hard to keep our essential services going throughout each of the lockdowns in 2020. We completed 97% of our planned fire risk assessments this year. The challenges we faced from the pandemic around staff capacity and adapting how we work meant we couldn’t hit our target of 100%. We want everyone to feel safe in their homes and, with more flexibility this year, we’re aiming to get back to 100%.
We’re also inspecting more than 500 of our buildings and carrying out any required repair works as part of our fire safety compliance programme. We still have some way to go before the inspections and works are finished so we’ve implemented and paid for additional, temporary safety measures at times, including:
- 24-hour fire monitoring services called Waking Watches
- Heat-detecting fire systems installed in shared areas
- Personal Emergency Evacuation Plans (PEEPs) for people who live in blocks that don’t have a stay put strategy, and who may not be able to reach a place of safety quickly without assistance. Even if you don’t need a PEEP, it’s important to plan for emergencies – read our fire safety advice.
We’ve so far spent £4m on these interim measures, plus more than £3.2m on inspection and professional advisory fees. We estimate we’ll spend an additional £3.7m over the next couple of years on inspections and professional fees.
Since the Building & Fire Safety Programme was set up in 2019, we have:
- Completed 3-stage inspections of 99 buildings A2Dominion is responsible for
- Facilitated investigations for 64 buildings where responsibility lies with other landlords
- Responded to more than 2000 customer enquiries about fire safety
- Submitted 18 applications to the Building Safety Fund (BSF) for more than £32m worth of funding
- Improved the way we communicate with you, by creating a range of resources including a dedicated building safety help section on our customer website, building and fire safety FAQs and customer news articles about the latest developments in building and fire safety.
In our 2019/20 report we told you we’d spent £663,000 cleaning up fly-tipped waste. Fly-tipping is recharged to you through your service charge and this year we saw that cost increase to £703,525. With everyone spending more time at home, rubbish has increased. In some instances, rubbish has blocked access to bin stores, so we’ve had to organise extra collections. We’ve also spent money removing contaminated recycling. You can help us get these costs down in future by getting rid of your rubbish and recycling responsibly.
98.89% of our homes meet the Decent Homes standard, the government’s guidelines on the minimum requirements all social housing homes should meet.
This year we won 4 gold awards for customer satisfaction from an independent survey run by InHouse. The survey asked customers who recently bought a new home from A2Dominion about their experience with us.