“We are not just playing at this. It is a journey.’
David Morrisey. Interim Lead on Housing at NHG.
About 10 residents turned up for this meeting at 3:00pm on 5 Feb at Atelier House.
David Morrissey who is the Interim Lead on Housing in NHG gave a brief description of what is happening. He fielded lots of questions from residents who attended:
The main points that came out of this meeting were:
- Local officers will be appointed at a ratio of about one officer per 170 tenants, or 240-250 leaseholders/shared owners. Notting Hill Housing had roughly the same ratio – but Genesis had a ratio of about one officer per 600 tenants. This ratio has not yet been finalised.
- There are now 70 staff working on the integration of the two organisations.
- A ‘IVR system’ will be used for contact with local officers (note: Wikipedia says that of an IVR system that “Interactive voice response (IVR) is a technology that allows a computer to interact with humans through the use of voice and DTMF tones input via a keypad. In telecommunications, IVR allows customers to interact with a company’s host system via a telephone keypad or by speech recognition, after which services can be inquired about through the IVR dialogue.”
- In response to a question, there will be no new neighbourhood offices except maybe where it seems there is a concentration of resident and it seems economic.
- The local officer will respond to inquiries including Universal Credit problems amongst residents with support from specialist staff where necessary (see slide below).
- Currently around 40% of repairs are done by in-house staff and around 60% are done by contractors.
- Long Term Qualifying Agreements (where NHG make an agreement with only one contractor to do repairs and maintenance rather than getting tenders from several contractors) are being reviewed and NHG will look at finding more local contractors.
- The computer system will be Northgate but NHG are having problems marrying up the two systems of Notting Hill Housing and Genesis Housing Association. David Morrissey gave as an example that there are something like 133 separate systems used by NHH and GHA. He suggested that the new organisation needs to have about 12 systems.
- NHG will analyse the complaints about repairs to assess whether the new system works or not.
- Every resident will have at least one visit per year from a local housing officer. This will start in summer 2019. The officer will make a list of work that needs to be carried out.
- The new computerised system is called ‘Workwise’ and NHG showed a draft screen shot of what it would look like (see below).
- Kier’ contract will be ended in March. A resident asked if NHG were going to have a party……….
A couple of problems appear to be that:
- There are no directly elected residents who will oversee this new plan and report back to residents. So residents have no way of assessing whether the new plan will work or not.
- It is NHG who will assess the success or failure of this plan. This is one reason why there are already such problems with repairs and maintenance.
- NHG does not suffer any consequences if the plan fails. This means there is no incentive to actually produce a plan which works well for residents.
Here are the NHG main slides which were shown:
These are the main issues that residents raised – the larger the size of lettering the more residents referred to it:
How the new NHG model of ‘resident involvement’ is working (see right hand side of slide):
The role of the new local officer. How it works:
How the repairs service computer screen will look when the new system is in place for repairs:
Why NHG are going for digital services: