A pioneering partnership, involving North Lanarkshire Council and Mears, is delivering one of the best housing repairs services in Britain.
Unveiling its new look - 'Local Homes' - the partnership's completely transformed every aspect of its repairs remit and is delivering more modern, accessible, caring and responsive services - improving the lives of its tenants.
By using up-to-date mobile technology, tenants can report repairs using their digital TV, computer or smartphone, while staff can now work directly from tenants' homes using their hand-held tablets. Here they can complete repair requests on the spot and progress works at the touch of a button. Tenants benefit from immediate repairs, identification and instruction, giving them the re-assurance that officers know, first-hand, what the problem is and that everything is being done to complete the repair as soon as possible.
"The Chartered Institute of Housing states that the standard of an area's repair service has the biggest impact of the quality of life for the majority of tenants and we understand this priority," said, Councillor Jim McCabe, Leader of North Lanarkshire Council.
"As the largest local authority landlord in Scotland, servicing over 36,000 homes, we take our responsibilities seriously. It's our duty to maintain our homes but we must also make sure our tenants enjoy an improved living standard. That's why we've made significant changes to our repairs service, such as introducing further repairs by appointment and making best use of the very latest mobile technology. These are delivering results. We're carrying out more repairs on time and on target and improving services for our tenants."
The repairs service modernisation has been underway over the last two years. The re-structure of the service will:
- Allow new technology, such as smartphone apps, to widen access to our repairs service and ensure information is processed quickly and without delay,
- Ensure that tenants can make appointments for all aspects of the repairs service to fit with their busy lifestyles;
- Build on the relationship between the local housing repair teams and our partners by using a new single, integrated computer system to deliver the best results for customers,
- See improved homes for our tenants,
- Improve communication between partners, resulting in a better service for our tenants, and
- Continue to deliver value-for-money, modern services that tenants want and need.
Willie Docherty, Managing Director from Mears added, "The launch marks a milestone in the partnership's progress and 'Local Homes' is the culmination of the commitment of both Mears and North Lanarkshire Council.
"Mears fully qualified staff will wear their new 'Local Homes' uniform with pride and together with the vehicle livery on their vans, will become more visible and recognisable across communities.
"Our aim is to be the best. And I believe we can achieve this."
Councillor Sam Love, Convener of Housing and Social Work Services added, "Our tenants are at the heart of our modern repairs service and are the focus for everything we do. An exciting future lies ahead for the partnership and it's one that I'm sure will continue to grow and develop, meeting the needs of our tenants while improving and maintaining council homes."