Arun's housing service has improved but still 'not good enough'

Arun District Council’s housing service performance improved but still ‘not good enough’.
Arun Civic CentreArun Civic Centre
Arun Civic Centre

Members of the council’s housing and wellbeing committee heard a report on Thursday, November 23, on the housing service’s performance which improved in seven areas and declined in seven areas.

The percentage of emergency repairs completed were reported in June as 83.3 per cent with non emergency repairs completed at around 68.8 per cent, down from 94 per cent and up from 66 per cent the previous quarter respectively

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The cost of repairs also went up as of June, from £217.98 the previous quarter to £312.85.

Interim business improvement manager for the council, Sasha Hawkins, said this was ‘falling below’ expectations for the service and that repairs have been the biggest problem.

She said complaints for repairs were higher than any other area of the service, but that this was the case across housing services in the UK currently.

Interim head of housing Moh Hussein said high numbers of repairs complaints were often due to it being the busiest part of the housing service.

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Mr Hussein noted the council had been struggling to hire technical officers, saying it was the first time, in his time there, they had filled all the necessary housing positions.

Officers also noted more up to date repairs figures, from up to September 30, were falling behind as the contractor for repairs was not getting the data in on time.

Time to re-let empty council homes, or voids, went down from roughly 80 days to 65 days, with satisfactory electrical and gas checks improving by roughly two and one per cent respectively.

On-time response to complaints saw improvement from roughly 28 per cent as of July, to 50 per cent as of September, with escalated complaints seeing a decrease from 71 percent to 60 per cent.

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Time in emergency and temporary accommodation went down, by one and four weeks on average respectively, with the number of people on the housing waiting list growing from 1944 to 2063.

Simon McDougall (Lab, Pevensey) said the housing service’s performance is ‘not good enough’, and that ‘significant’ improvement’ would have to be made in the future.

New housing fraud data implemented at the last committee meeting was also included in the report showing 15 outstanding fraud cases in Arun district as of September 30 – types of fraud were not specified.