Our specialist team is combining building safety with housing management in new customer-focused approach

Our specialist team dedicated to complex and tall buildings (18+ metres) is challenging traditional housing management methods by combining building legislation, fire safety and day-to-day management to meet our customers’ needs.
The specialist team manages complex and tall buildings
We’re using the pilot to move away from generic housing teams managing these types of homes and have empowered our newly-created Enhanced Housing Management Team (EHMT) to work closer with customers to ensure they live in homes that are safe, high-quality and sustainable.

The new housing management style is being implemented across more than 90 of our buildings. We have invested almost £1 million in staffing costs to run the programme and the team has created plans to ensure compliance with the latest Building Safety Act and Fire Safety Act.

The changes have resulted in an increase in customer satisfaction, a faster rate of inspection survey completions, and forecasted cost savings, but we know there is still more to do.

Property managers in the EHMT are responsible for a smaller number of homes and aim to provide a single-point of contact for customers. Previously customers would need to reach out to different members of staff for building and housing management issues.

Now each property manager supports around 330 customers, compared to more than 500 previously. This enables them to be more present on site, build stronger relationships and respond quicker to customer needs.

The EHMT programme remains in its infancy but the team has already made significant progress, having completed inspections in all buildings involved in the programme in 2023 and created bespoke plans to meet the latest regulations.

In one of our London buildings, a survey conducted in November 2023 found 89% of residents were either very satisfied or satisfied with their property manager. The poll also found that 96% of residents found the level of information provided by the team was useful, and since January 2023 there’s been a 400% increase in the number of residents attending building safety webinars.

Dan Simpson, Head of Enhanced Housing Management, said: “We started this pilot to help ensure maximum compliance with the latest building and fire regulations. In the first 12 months, colleagues working within this new intensive housing management programme have made really good progress, including carrying out all inspections and putting in place regenerative plans for all buildings under this programme.

“We’re hoping to get into a position where colleagues managing the scheme can provide a single-point of contact for residents, and have total control to ensure all our residents live in buildings that are safe and receive a great service.

“We know there is still much more work to do, and this pilot is one of many steps that the business is taking to make sure our customers live in homes that are high-quality and safe. The overriding aim of the EHMT pilot is to develop a proven way of working that can be rolled-out more extensively across the business and beyond.”

Going forward we are providing further training for colleagues to reduce outsourcing inspection costs. This forecasts a saving of more than £180,000 that can be reinvested. Plans have also been outlined to improve the housing management offer to customers by combining other metrics such as anti-social behaviour, debt and complaints.

This is one of many steps that we’re taking to improve and forms part of our new Corporate Strategy that was launched in July 2023, which outlines a vision to provide ‘homes people love to live in’.

In 2023, we reviewed more than 5,000 historical cases of damp & mould. In October 2023, we announced a new partnership with Mears Group as our new repairs and maintenance contractor. We also confirmed permanent changes to our leadership structure in late 2023, with the respective appointments of Kate Gascoigne as Chief Customer Officer and Michael Reece as Chief Property Officer.