Edinburgh Council to overhaul housing repairs system following complaints

Edinburgh City Council is set to overhaul how it deals with council housing repairs, following numerous complaints over repair delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 10:29 am
Edinburgh City Council is set to overhaul how it deals with council housing repairs, following numerous complaints over repair delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Ahead of the council’s homeless and housing committee on Thursday, SNP/Labour coalition councillors have lodged a motion which will ask officers to present them with detailed reports, outlining what improvements can be made to the repairs service.

The motion reads: “This report should include a framework for analysis of our data on repairs to identify where there may be specific issues relating to communication, customer engagement and interaction, completion of works, and complaints.

“Further, the report should cover:

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The roll out of Total Mobile to ensure that this is being used effectively, and review if the roll out to housing officers could be accelerated.

The process around missed appointments, how these are monitored, and whether there could be improved processes for tenants to report these.

Monitoring of tenant satisfaction on repairs, including processes for how tenants feedback on repairs carried out.

Processes around booking follow up appointments, including timeframes for when work will be carried out

Details of the resolutions teams and the improvements that can be made to the complaints process including specific named contact for tenants in multi-storey properties

A review of the work being carried out under the Covid 19 restrictions to ensure that it is capturing all instances where there is a risk of harm to tenants.”

The motion also makes specific reference to damp, which has been a common cause of complaints among council housing tenants in Edinburgh for some time.

The motion calls on council officers to produce a second report, which would specifically outline the problems with dealing with damp and mould, and to set out a process for dealing with these issues.

Portobello and Craigmillar councillor, and convener of the housing and homelessness committee, Kate Campbell, said: “Getting our repairs service right for tenants is an absolute priority.

“It’s been a tough year for everyone. We’re enormously grateful to all of our staff who have put themselves at risk to deliver an essential repairs service, and for the work that has gone into planning to make sure that our tenants, and our staff, are as safe as they possibly can be.

“But it’s also important that as the restrictions lessen, we move back to working in a way that delivers the absolute best service that we can for tenants.

“That means making sure that our processes are working well, and that where there are issues we’ve got a plan to resolve them.

“And particularly when it comes to cases of damp, mould or condensation we need to make sure that we have a process that goes from start to finish, addressing the cause of the problem, and dealing with reinstatement of homes.

“This has been much harder under current restrictions, but we want to make it easy and straightforward for tenants to get repairs completed, and put the support in place so that we can make people’s homes safe, warm and comfortable for them.”

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