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Supporting our customers

Welcome | Building affordable homes | Making the most of our money

We aim to provide our customers with easy to use landlord services that we get right first time. This means creating homes and communities where our customers feel safe and stay free from harm, as well as supporting them to sustain their tenancies and improve their life chances. 

Our services include keeping homes in good repair, managing tenancies and estates, tackling anti-social behaviour and letting new homes. We also help residents to build skills and get into work, offer money guidance and debt advice and work with local communities to improve neighbourhoods and create opportunities for the people who live there. 

Last year we helped more than 4,000 people find a new home with 1,147 homes being let. In other words, every day we gave eight people a new place to live and helped some get out of unsuitable or temporary accommodation and into a home of their own. We estimate that we help save local authorities £51m a year by moving people out of temporary accommodation. 

2018/19 highlights

  • Helped more than 4,000 people find a home
  • Overall customer satisfaction was 81.9%
  • Customer satisfaction with repairs was at 85.3%
  • Complaints to Housing Ombudsman were down 14%
  • The use of digital channels rose to 27%, up from 13% the year before
  • We installed 1,057 new kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Getting it right, first time

    We aim to prioritise the needs of our customers, giving them the respect and professionalism that we ourselves expect, when we are customers, so that we can get things right, first time. 

    As a result of this approach, we achieved 81.9% overall customer satisfaction in 2018/19, putting us in the upper quartile of the G15 (London’s 15 biggest housing associations). We also reduced the number of complaints to the Housing Ombudsman by 14%; over the same period, the Ombudsman reported that complaints to social landlords were up 16%.

  • Enhancing our operating model

    We want to deliver excellent levels of customer service, which means understanding our property and customer data better; proactively managing our income from tenants and leaseholders; and being open to new ways of working to improve our services, all underpinned by a commitment to delivering value for money. 

    This year, we automated processing of payments from the Department for Work and Pensions, plus about 20 local authorities, for more than 6,000 customers, reducing errors and saving time and money. We also piloted a scheme to text customers in rent arrears, as part of our proactive approach to income collection, and made improvements to our repairs process, with more ‘touch points’ to increase customer satisfaction.

  • Championing digital services

    We continued to improve online customer engagement in 2018/19. By March 2019, digital transactions were 27% of total (non-voice) contact, making it easier for residents to find information they need themselves online 24/7, saving them time and reducing unnecessary calls to customer services. As part of this drive, we launched an online resident handbook this year, making it easier for customers to find the information they need, and improved customer engagement through social media – we now have more than 27,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.

  • Building a service for future customers

    We continued to come up with innovative ways to improve our services. For example, we introduced the HouseMark Photobook app to allow our property managers to use their mobile phones to take photographs, use voice recognition to take notes and create reports that can be sent direct to our central system. This will speed up the 13,000 estate inspections we carry out each year, giving staff more time to spend with customers to resolve issues.

  • Hyde Foundation

    The Hyde Foundation works with community partners and local authorities to create places where people want to live, by pre-empting and addressing community issues. It provides advice and support to residents who are experiencing financial crisis or ill-health and are in breach of their tenancy obligations. In 2018/19, it: 

    • Helped 80 households avoid eviction
    • Brought in £2.7m to Hyde, through increased rent payments and backdated benefits
    • Improved the health and wellbeing of 2,000 older people through community programmes
    • Supported 227 residents to complete employment training
    • Helped 195 people find jobs
    • Engaged with 4,903 young people at risk of involvement in ASB and youth violence
    • Created £5m in social value (based on HACT calculations) through the Successful Places team's partnership work in Hyde communities. 

    The Hyde Foundation impact report (PDF, 7.5MB) has more details on this important work.

     

  • Keeping our residents safe from the risk of fire

    Our Fire Safety Taskforce, set up following the tragic events of Grenfell in June 2017, continued its work to keep residents safe during 2018/19:

    • Type 4 fire risk assessments completed for all buildings more than 18m high (86 properties)
    • Unsafe cladding removed from nine buildings
    • Building safety information published online for all buildings of 30m or above
    • Every resident living in our tall towers was visited to carry out fire safety checks and ensure they know what to do in the event of fire
    • Building safety elements of our tall towers continued to be audited, through the completion of Landlord Fire Safety Records. 
    This work cost £16.8m in 2018/19. We are in the process of rectifying defects identified both in communal areas and within individual homes; work that will continue in 2019/20.