The information in this annual report covers the first 12 months of the pandemic, a year that brought a variety of challenges for everyone living in a council property as well as everybody working at the council.
During this time the housing service prioritised providing essential services and safety of residents. Like everyone, we were focused on dealing with the immediate situation but kept sight of our wider commitment to providing great neighbourhoods, housing and environment.
Despite operating in circumstances that meant instant changes to the way we work we were still able to:
- deliver emergency repairs/non-urgent repairs
- provide support to vulnerable tenants
- press ahead with improving existing homes and estates
- hold tenant involvement meetings
- collect 95% of all rent due, which is vital to funding the housing service
- prevent 80% of households who approached us avoid homelessness
We adapted and improved our service delivery during this time:
- Covid-19 measures meant changes had to be made in the way services were delivered. The majority of council services, including non-emergency repairs, can be accessed through simple forms on our website.
- Our Home Options policy for allocating housing was updated, to ensure that those in greatest need get prioritised for social housing.
- Tenant Involvement Panel meetings took place online and tenants received digital support to enable them to participate.
Looking ahead, the council remains committed to continuing its proud history of council homes, with properties purchased, new homes commissioned with Registered Providers and three new developments in the pipeline.
Read on more for a more detailed breakdown of the how the housing service performed between April 2020 and April 2021.