A new and improved Croydon housing repairs service which includes an in-house contact centre and three new repairs contractors has launched as part of the council’s significant resident-led housing improvement drive.
Council tenants and leaseholders calling to report repairs will now speak to council staff from the new housing contact centre which in line with resident feedback, was brought in-house to give the council a closer and more direct relationship with its residents.
In the first few days of operation, the dedicated team handled thousands of calls with staff fully focused on improving the resident experience.
Previous tenant and leaseholder feedback suggested the council split housing repairs contracts to reduce dependency on one contractor. As a result, companies, Wates and Mears will now provide responsive repair, maintenance and empty property works to council properties, and K&T Heating will deliver heating services, including boiler repairs and servicing.
Contracts with the new providers include customer service standards in line with the council’s Residents’ Charter, which was developed with members of the Tenant & Leaseholder Panel (TLP) and formally adopted by Cabinet last year. Each contract also includes social value commitments – such as employing local people and buying materials from local businesses – to benefit Croydon’s communities.
The three firms will contact tenants and leaseholders as part of a series of events to meet the contractors and ask questions of their new repairs providers.
These significant changes all follow extensive work with residents who helped the council design contracts, interview and select contractors. Council tenants and leaseholders will continue to play an important role in the new repairs service with ongoing involvement in monitoring the delivery and performance of the contracts.
“This is such an important time for Croydon housing services. Everything about our new repairs service has been designed in consultation with our tenants and leaseholders to develop a service that is more responsive and better for everyone that uses it.
“I look forward to working with the new contractors as they provide the high quality repair services that our residents deserve, and continuing work with our tenants and leaseholders to monitor the performance of the service going forward.”
Jason Perry, Executive Mayor of Croydon
Peter Baldwin, Mears Managing Director, Mears Group PLC, said: “Mears is delighted to be partnering with Croydon Council to deliver a high quality, responsive repairs, maintenance and voids works service across social housing estates in New Addington, Fieldway, Shrublands and Monks Hill.
“Drawing on our wealth of experience, we are committed to getting the basics right, first time, every time, establishing a foundation of good performance and trust to build upon both now and for future enhancements to service delivery. Social value and working with the local community are at the heart of our delivery plan for the contract, and we look forward to working closely with Croydon to achieve this.”
Gary Wilkinson, Regional Managing Director, Wates Property Services, said: “We are excited to be working with Croydon Council to deliver a service that exceeds residents’ requirements. We aim to address some of the historical issues that residents may have experienced and move the service to the next level in terms of standards, quality of repair, value for money and meaningful engagement between residents and our operative workforce.”
David Greenfield, Managing Director, K&T Heating Services Ltd, said: “K&T Heating are proud and excited to be working with Croydon Council and its residents in delivering the gas servicing and repairs to the domestic and commercial stock. We have a long history working within the borough and we look forward to increasing and developing our engagement within the community and working alongside the Croydon staff, residents and local businesses promoting and providing our expertise in gas safety.”