Release Date: 20-May-2015
The 2014-15 financial year ended in April. This is a time when we look back at the past year to see what went well and where we need to improve. There'll be full details in our annual report to tenants, but here are some of the key areas:
Empty homes performance has improved significantly over the past year, due to focused work in the area.
Last year, we installed 987 boilers, helping keep our tenants' homes warm
• The overall number of empty homes at year-end was 255, compared to 316 at the end of 2013-2014. The target was 258-279.
• Relet times were 29.82 days against a target of 30-33 days and well below the previous year's time of 36.05 days.
• The number of tenants ending their tenancies reduced from 2813 last year to 2497, a reduction of 316 (11%)
Repairs performance was generally on track.
The average time to complete a routine repair is down to 6.5 days, well below the target of 8 days and an improvement of one day compared to the previous year. The percentage of appointments made and kept was within the target range at 95%.
The delivery of the capital plan this year has progressed well. Capital spend for the year will be £24.03m, which represents 92% of the original budget of £25.74m.
Principal areas of work included:
• 286 kitchens
• 395 bathrooms
• 987 boilers
• 436 full central heating systems
• 185 full rewires
• 355 partial rewires
• 672 external doors
• 278 roofs
• 35 communal doors
• 107 external wall insulations
Rent arrears continued to be better than target. KNH is currently the top performer in our benchmarking group, which is a collective of northern ALMOs and council housing departments.
• Current arrears at week 52 were £1,594,903 compared to the year-end target of £1,950,000 - £105,152 lower than last year.
• 97.17% of the annual debit, including brought forward rent arrears, has been collected compared to a target of 96.8%. This is an improvement of 0.4% over 2013-14 collection rates.
In 2014-15, the Support & Information team were offered 119,322 calls and dealt with 58% of the calls at the point of contact.
• The average call waiting for the year was 2.21 minutes, compared to 1.47 for the previous year.
• Call handling time increased to 6.02 minutes, compared to 5.34 minutes for the previous year, reflecting the increasing complexity of enquiries.
• There is continuous high level of satisfaction in the quality of call handling highlighted via the Tenant Quality Focus Group.
• The team made 42,326 out bound calls to provide support to customers registered on Choose ’n’ Move scheme and in response to call back requests
• They responded to 15049 emails and created 3288 property adverts for Choose ’n’ Move and 421 mutual exchange adverts.
Help with welfare reform
As well as making sure we collect rent on behalf of the council, our Rent Assist team also includes specialist debt advisors who help tenants affected by changes to benefits. In 2014-15:
• The team dealt with 1251 referrals - twice as many as in 2012/13, when welfare reform was introduced.
• 88 successful Trust fund awards were made during the year to a value of £48,058.51 – double the amount achieved last year
• The team arranged and delivered 123 food parcels (with an additional 9 Christmas hampers) and helped over 75 children at Christmas through the KNH Toy Store
The Homefit team helped 68 tenants downsize last year, of whom 59 received some financial assistance to make this possible. Since 2012, 262 have moved through HomeFit and are no longer subject to the under-occupancy charge.