Genesis Residents spoke to David Pace, an external housing professional, currently working on the problems in the direct labour repairs process.
He told us that the direct labour force is composed of 60 tradespeople who cover most of London – outside of London repairs are usually done by Kier.
There are 6 schedulers for the team and 6 supervisors who chase up jobs when there are problems.
This direct employed team do about 35,000 repair jobs per year. 80-90% of the repair jobs go through as he called ‘a sausage machine’ – the job gets sent through and gets done. The front line staff at the call centre or the schedulers are the staff who organise these straight forward jobs. For these jobs there should be no problem.
The other around 10% (about 3,500) of the jobs have problems (the ones that drive residents crazy) which require more management. That is where supervisors come in. They are meant to drive forward these jobs where they have been problems and make sure they are finished. A bit like the traditional role of the foreman on a building site.
David Pace hopes that Genesis will soon have what he calls a ‘Complex Works Team’ – in other words a team to manage the jobs that have not been done quickly and which need someone to nurse them along and make sure they get finished. This team, unfortunately, will not be accessible by residents.
But what about repairs jobs outside of London?
David Pace pointed out that he is only looking at the direct labour jobs. Kier does the rest of the work.
This where Dipesh Shah, the chair of Genesis, takes up the story.
Genesis Residents contacted him back in May and recently again in October about repairs. At the Genesis shareholder’s AGM he had said that an external consultant was looking at repairs.
In a letter of 23 October to Genesis Residents he said of this part of the repair process:
“You asked which consultants we employed to look into our repairs service. We employed Vantage to do this piece of work for us. Their terms and publication date of their report are both confidential at this point… a public release is not planned.”
Genesis Residents understand that Vantage is looking at the rest of the repair jobs which are not being covered by David Pace.
The Scrutiny Panel
Shah claimed that: “Both this review and the review carried out by the resident scrutiny of the repairs service are complementary.’
It is true that the the Scrutiny Panel – which has residents on it – has been looking at reporting repairs. But it is important for residents to be aware that the rules of this committee say that it is not part of the ‘governance’ of Genesis ( in other words it has no power).
There is an unpublished Scrutiny Panel report which deals with the process of reporting a repair and how the call centre responds – but nothing on the repair process itself.
We contacted officials of Genesis but were informed that Genesis do not wish to comment.