Havering Council has appointed Mears as its new repairs and maintenance contractor, servicing the boroughs 12,000 council homes.
The new 10-year contract, which begins from Friday 1 April, will see Mears carry out all repairs work across the borough’s social housing estates, providing quick and effective repairs for council tenants.
They will also be carrying out work on empty properties, getting them ready to let to new tenants.
The Council understands that tenants’ working and childcare patterns have changed, and the new contract will reflect this shift with extended, more flexible hours. Repairs will now take place between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 1pm on Saturdays.
Customers waiting for a repair will be informed by automated text and have access to a live tracking system, giving up-to-date details on their repair, as well as a picture of the operator who will be visiting, adding an extra level of security for vulnerable tenants.
The software also provides the customer with an immediate satisfaction survey, letting Havering and Mears know how a tenant feels about the service they have received.
Mears' are also committed to delivering social value for residents of Havering, including a focus on hiring local contractors and apprentices, visiting schools and educational institutions to provide careers advice and guidance. They will also run a regular ‘handyman’ service in the boroughs supported housing schemes, helping with odd jobs for residents with additional needs.
Councillor Joshua Chapman, Cabinet Member for Housing, said:
“It is vital that our housing service puts the safety and comfort of our residents above all else. This new contract will ensure that repairs are dealt with swiftly, and that residents are communicated with properly throughout the process. I am also pleased to see that Mears will focus on sourcing materials locally and providing long-term skills and job opportunities for our residents, including apprenticeships and educational visits. This contract will be a vast improvement in the way we look after our tenants, and I’m pleased to welcome Mears to Havering.”
Chief Transformation Officer at Mears, Lucas Critchley welcomed the new relationship:
“From the outset we have made it clear that we will work with Havering to make this contract the best in London and an exemplar for other councils to follow. Mears will be a safe pair of hands for residents, and we will bring our specialist approach to each property. Mears will start from the beginning with strong communication with residents and give them every opportunity to feedback on our performance. I particularly welcome the focus on developing local employment opportunities – both for current residents who are unemployed and existing local supply chains. We look forward to meeting our new suppliers and to a great partnership for the future.”