Repairs Chaos Reported At East Area Panel
Brighton and Hove City Council which took its responsive repairs system in-house this year from Mears have reported repairs chaos with a huge backlog of jobs still left to complete, leaving Council Tenants in the dark.
Eddie Wilson General Manager Housing Services Brighton and Hove City Council reports to the East Area Panel Chaired By Councillor Nicole Brennan that
“At the time of writing we have 3,683 live jobs on the system, of which 2,208 jobs were reported prior to September.
We have been working on the backlog of repairs. When residents contact the repairs helpdesk either by telephone or email we update them on the anticipated timescale to complete their repair, or if it has become more urgent we will make an appointment with them to attend to the repair.
In line with other providers across the country there has become a significant of repairs which we are working through, but it is anticipated that it will take in excess of six months to catch up, dependent on any further lockdowns and the speed at which we can recruit the desired calibre of staff”
The East Housing Panel Committee which meets this Thursday includes examples of tenants repairs chaos
1. A tenant in Dunster Close phoned to report an emergency repair as they had a leak. They received a text stating “Your message has been received”. They then didn’t receive any further communication and nobody attended. Luckily they were able to find and turn off their own stopcock, but if they hadn’t been able to do this there would have been major water damage to their home.
2. A tenant in The Crestway reported that her toilet cistern was falling off the wall. It was reported as an emergency and she was told that somebody would come out. This didn’t happen and the tenant was unable to turn off the stopcock because it was too stiff. Three weeks later the cistern fell off the wall causing major flood damage to the property.
Repairs Chaos: Council Officers No Where To Be Seen
Tenants have expressed concern with Brighton and Hove City Councils Communication stating “There has also been insufficient communication with tenant representatives. Representatives are often the eyes and ears of the Council on estates and have a wealth of knowledge that they are happy to share. They are often aware of those who are vulnerable or need help. However, they have not”
Joint Green/Labour Housing Programme
In another report from the Housing Management Panel: East Area the joint Green/Labour proposals in Draft Tenant and Leaseholder Engagement Strategy paper will contribute to meeting many of the key priorities such as:
- Working in partnership with the existing forums and expanding the involvement of residents in temporary and emergency accommodation
- Improving transparency and accountability in the housing department
- Ensuring housing tenants have more coproduction opportunities in decision-making around housing policy and service delivery – to work with the council not just be consulted
- Extending participatory budgeting in environmental improvements to estates
- Reviewing community involvement in housing
- Meeting the regulator’s Involvement and Empowerment standard
- Developing and implementing a decent environment standard for council estates to go alongside the Decent Homes standard
- Involving residents in fire safety
- Ensuring greater transparency and early involvement with leaseholders over proposed capital works
- Continuing to ensure that leaseholders voices are heard and financial support is offered where necessary
The report and agenda make interesting reading if you are a council tenant living in Brighton and Hove.
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Repairs Chaos: How To Actually Report A Repair Issue
Council Tenants can call Brighton and Hove City repairs service by calling 0800 052 6140.
You can request (expect a wait) a repair online by completing a form