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Empty homes and lettings - HRE late 2017 Inspection

Hydewide Residents Eye (HRE) completed the third inspection of their 2017-18 annual programme, looking into Hyde’s lettings service, in January 2018. ‘Lettings’ is the process through which residents find and move into a new home with Hyde. This could be a new build or an existing property which is ‘relet’ to them. 

What we wanted to achieve

  • Check that our Lettings service is as effective as it can be.
  • Check that residents are supported through the process.
  • Make sure communications are clear and accessible.
  • Make sure residents know what to expect.

How HRE delivered the inspection

  • Eight resident inspectors.
  • Two different resident surveys.
  • Resident telephone interviews.
  • Residents interviewing staff.
  • Review of processes.
  • Review of communications.
  • Shadowing sign up process.

What they discovered

  • 82 residents answered surveys plus 15 over the phone.
  • 70% were well informed about the sign up process.
  • 73% said the service was excellent.
  • 76% were either very well or fairly well informed about the property condition.
  • 89% were happy with the content of the handbook.
  • 40% didn't receive a handbook/did not know about it.
  • 33% felt the decorative state of the property was not what they had been expecting.

The outcome of the inspection

The outcome of the inspection is a report and set of recommendations which have been signed off by senior managers and Hyde’s Group Housing Services Board. The action points within the report aim to bring the following service improvements:

  • Less information to be shared with residents during the sign up process – meaning that residents aren’t swamped with info that they don’t need, but instead understand key messages, including what their responsibilities are.
  • Improvements to be made to resident communications, including a review by residents to attain the ‘Residents Approved’ tick.
  • More consistency around the gas uncapping service – to make sure this is more flexible to residents’ needs.
  • More clarity around follow up calls; ensuring that residents receive a follow up call following their move into a new Hyde property; to check they understand what they need to do and to address any additional support they may need.
  • Better reporting of satisfaction and dissatisfaction so that improvements can be made.
  • An additional check to be made around compliance with the minimum lettable standard (void standard) – this was out of scope for this inspection but will now be picked up in either in a commissioned Task and Finish review or a future inspection.

Full summary report

HRE would like to thank all the residents who volunteered their time to help with the inspection, whether it was simply to answer a survey or helping to interview staff. Everyone’s input was valuable and is a vital part of making these inspections a success.

Do you want to get involved?

If you would like to register your interest in potentially being involved in one of HRE’s inspections, please contact the Resident Engagement Team on residentengagement@hyde-housing.co.uk. The team will be able to confirm what inspection activities are taking place at that time or coming up.