Last year we invested £109m maintaining and improving our homes. We installed 1,219 kitchens, 958 bathrooms and 2,070 boilers and responded to over 195,532 repairs. We want people to be proud of where they live, and we’ve committed to making more of customer feedback and challenge, making sure we get the job done on the first visit wherever we can.
The anniversary of the Grenfell fire continues to remind us of the absolute importance of safety and compliance. Keeping residents safe is a priority for us and we’ve made an important change to our approach to safety and safety related assurance in 2019-20, creating a brand new Safety and Assurance team in our central corporate services division.
This team sits outside our property services function ensuring that they can provide a ‘whole business’ view of the risks and actions that need to be taken to keep our residents and employees secure. In the last year this team completed 694 fire risk assessments, raising almost 3,000 actions to ensure our homes are safe places to live.
Additionally, our health and safety management systems have been recognised by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), with a Gold award for practices such as leadership and workforce involvement.
But we know that feeling safe isn’t just about the physical structure of a building, it’s about knowing your neighbourhood, and knowing that help is at hand when it’s needed. We don’t want anyone to lose their home because something’s gone wrong at work or in a relationship. We want our customers to call us for support.
During Covid-19, domestic abuse was an issue much discussed and highlighted by the media, as tempers frayed and self-isolation became threatening for some. To ensure the safety of our residents and employees, we invested £32,000 in a new partnership with WomanKind, giving those people in danger a place to call for help, if they needed it, 24 hours a day.
We also strengthened our own safeguarding protocols, working to train front-line staff to be sure they could spot potential problems when they arise. The introduction of a £3.1m customer relationship management system, backed up with strong, real-time data means that we have a great view of where people are on their housing journeys and how we can best offer them support.