Latest quarterly report for residents

January - March 2022

We started 2022 with hopes of new beginnings, as we began to ‘live’ with Covid-19.

But as we got used to the freedom of no restrictions, unexpected national and international events suddenly had a huge impact on our lives.

From fuel shortages and cost of living increases, to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, there’s been a lot for us all to deal with.

While we don’t know yet the full impact that Russian sanctions will have on our daily lives or how much further energy costs will increase, we do offer support if you’re struggling financially or need help.

Please take a look at our advice and guides pages – you’ll find everything from money, jobs and debt support, to benefits guidance and ways you can look for a new home if you want to move.

Below are some highlights of our performance between January 2022 and March 2022 on some of the key services and areas of support that matter to you.

Services and support

  • We let 696 homes: 564 relet homes and another 150 new homes we let for the first time.
  • We completed 148 mutual exchanges.
  • We completed nearly 64,000 emergency, routine and out of hours responsive repairs.
  • Although Covid delayed us from returning to full delivery of planned works, we were still able to install 312 new windows, 248 new doors, re-roof 102 homes and replace over 104 kitchens and 56 bathrooms.
  • We completed 1,249 Neighbourhood Standard inspections and carried out 11 neighbourhood improvements across our estates.
  • We supported 456 customers with Universal Credit claims and issues.
  • We supported 470 people with aging well projects and services and 143 residents to get into work or better work. Residents also completed another 378 training outcomes
  • We supported 80 community groups and worked with communities and partners on 12 environmental projectsengaging with nearly 3,285 people across our community development projects.
  • We helped hundreds of people with tailored support like providing 101 with equipment to get online and 133 with digital training, as well as working with 1,653 residents through our money and digital services. We helped our residents make savings of over £57,588.
  • Our ‘STAR’ customer survey showed that overall satisfaction was at 69% in January to March. 
  • Repairs satisfaction was at 87% as we continued to catch up on non-urgent repairs and were also affected by national labour shortages and supply of some materials.
  • The challenges of the period were also reflected in a 21% increase in complaints (1,267) compared to quarter three, with ‘communication’ still being a big driver of dissatisfaction. Satisfaction for the quarter was 40%.
  • As a result, work continues on transforming the experience our customers have with our complaints service. In March we launched our new way of dealing with repairs issues in ‘real time’ – this will give customers quicker resolutions and reduce complaints. We’ll monitor its success as part of a phased rollout.

Role of residents

Resident and Board Partnership (RBP)

  • In March, 36 residents played a pivotal role in mapping the customer’s journey when mutually exchanging their home.
  • This work helped shape recommendations for changing how the service is delivered in the future, with seven service improvement actions. These included giving more details about the process on our website and getting comprehensive feedback from customers after they’ve exchanged.
  • Residents, RBP and SCG members also gave us a customer perspective on how we procure services like grounds maintenance and communal cleaning. This feedback will help us look at how we obtain these types of services in the future and how we can be more transparent in how we deliver them.

Scrutiny Coordination Group (SCG)

  • Following its review of Sovereign’s social media, the SCG agreed service improvement recommendations, which included upskilling our Contact team so they can make best use of Sovereign’s Facebook page.
  • The SCG is now working with volunteer resident scrutineers to investigate what drives customer satisfaction with Sovereign’s repairs service. They’ll start by analysing satisfaction data and hearing from employees about what they think makes customers happy. Residents will be asked what they think of the service later this year.
  • The SCG also discussed the supposed stigma of living in social housing, which is currently being addressed by the government in its Social Housing White Paper, and by the National Housing Federation with its Together with Tenants charter. They looked at how Sovereign’s approach to residents could help combat stigma and agreed to include questions on it in all upcoming scrutiny projects.

Youth Panel

  • The Youth panel is the voice for our younger residents. The group has been supporting our digital team on improvements to services and attended training. They also looked at ways they can take social action in their own community.

Other activity

  • The RBP had an update on our Customer Contact strategy. We explained how lessons learnt about our services during the pandemic mean that we’ll be evolving how we work to ensure we can get services right first time.
  • The RBP, SCG and other residents took part in workshops on how we can ‘decarbonise’ our homes, giving us their views on the work that will be involved.
  • In light of the financial challenges people are facing, the RBP also heard about current and additional support Sovereign will be offering residents over the next year. This includes white goods grants, financial support, furniture and flooring grants, digital training, fuel vouchers, advice on how to find energy savings, money and debt advice, and personalised employment and training support.