Agenda and minutes

Housing Review Board - Thursday, 24th March, 2022 10.00 am

Venue: online via Zoom

Contact: Alethea Thompson  01395 517653; email


No. Item


Public speaking

Information on public speaking is available online



Council housing tenant Sue Dawson brought concerns about tenant participation to the Board, which she felt were having a detrimental effect on tenants and the housing service.  She referred to the number of senior housing staff that were absent, a lack of tenant input into the housing service and a poor repairs service.


In response the Strategic Lead – Housing, Health and Environment replied that Sue’s comments in relation to tenant involvement were recognised as an area for improvement across the social housing sector, and that the proposal for a review would be incorporated into the Housing Review Board’s forward plan.  The Housing Service Lead acknowledged that having a number of housing managers absent was impacting on capacity for service delivery and reassured the Board that everything possible was being done to resolve the situation.


Minutes of the previous meeting pdf icon PDF 194 KB


The minutes of the previous meeting held on 13 January 2022 were received and accepted.


Declarations of interest

Guidance is available online to Councillors and co-opted members on making declarations of interest



Declarations of interest.

Councillor Sarah Chamberlain, Personal, employee of Exeter City Council within the housing service.


Declarations of interest.

Sue Saunders, Personal, housing tenant.



Matters of urgency

Information on matters of urgency is available online



There were no matters of urgency.


Confidential/exempt item(s)

To agree any items to be dealt with after the public (including the press) have been excluded. Thereare no itemswhich officersrecommendshould be dealtwithin thisway.



There were no confidential/exempt items.


Housing Review Board forward plan pdf icon PDF 53 KB

Proposal form received:  Tenant involvement – submitted by tenant representative Sue Saunders.

Additional documents:


The Housing Service Lead presented the forward plan and outlined a number of items to be brought to future meetings.  She advised members that the forward plan acted as a reminder of agenda items to come forward on future meetings and reminded members that they could add further issues to the next forward plan by informing either herself or the Democratic Services Officer.


Consideration was given to a proposal form submitted by tenant representative and vice chair Sue Saunders, requesting a review into updating tenant involvement and customer service.


The Strategic Lead – Housing, Health and Environment commented that the proposal for a review of tenant involvement was a timely opportunity as the three year resident involvement strategy adopted by the Board in 2019 was due to refreshed and he would ensure that the issues raised and a commitment to tenant involvement would be picked up during this review.


The Leader of the Council acknowledged the concerns of tenants around tenant involvement and contact with officers.  He gave his undertaking that he would discuss this with officers and members of the Cabinet to try to address these things, but also explained that it was a hard time for officers, with a number of senior staff absent.


During the meeting the forward plan was endorsed by the Board, with the addition of a review of tenant involvement, to take place with an officer team and tenants reviewing the resident involvement strategy.


Integrated Asset Management Contract pdf icon PDF 325 KB

Additional documents:


The purpose of the Property and Asset Manager’s report was to provide the HRB with an update on the integrated asset management contract (IAMC), delivered by Ian Williams, as part of the regular performance update, but also as a direct response to ongoing concerns raised regarding the delivery of some key functions of the contract.  Two Ian Williams representatives, Kate Green – General Manager, and Arron Kelly – Business Manager, were introduced and welcomed to the meeting.


The Property and Asset Manager reported the IAMC had come to the end of its third year.  Since its commencement many challenges had been encountered.  Officers continued to monitor the external influences that could impact on the delivery of the service:

·        Brexit

·        Covid

·        War in Ukraine

These were included in the risk register, which was reviewed quarterly by the Core Group.


It was reported that the level of demands on the service in relation to reactive repairs and voids were generally as expected with year 3 directly comparable the year 1 of the contract. Year 2 was somewhat of an anomaly due to the direct impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.  In general terms the void, planned works and compliance elements of the contract were working well. However, there were concerns with the reactive repairs service and the length of time it was taking to complete routine repairs in some cases.  It was noted that void properties were increasingly being left in poorer conditions when vacated, often with debris to clear from the house and garden.  Sometimes there were complex issues which led to a delay at the start of the process.


Since the last meeting of the HRB the level of Work in Progress (WIP) and overdue jobs had risen and was above that expected and desired. As a result a direct impact was being seen with an increase of calls from tenants chasing jobs as well as an increase in complaints on the basis that tenants were waiting too long for jobs to be completed.  To fully understand the problems in this area officers had carried out detailed data analysis to identify the reasons and trends for the current high level of WIP and overdue jobs.  Among the issues identified as causes were:

·        Incorrect application of operational processes on the part of IW and EDDC, particularly the variation process and extension of time process.

·        Jobs were still being incorrectly marked as “work completed” rather than stage completions being applied when follow on works were required.

·        Jobs had been completed but not closed down correctly meaning they remained on both the WIP and overdue jobs list.

·        The delivery of larger scale and complex repair jobs that extended beyond the contractual 28 day period for completion.

·        The sourcing of resource/sub-contract support to deliver some repair jobs which delayed the completion of jobs directly contributing to the WIP and overdue jobs.

·        The sourcing of components/materials to carry out specific repairs, this directly contributed to the WIP and overdue jobs.


The levels of WIP and overdue  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35.


Social Housing White Paper pdf icon PDF 299 KB

Additional documents:


The Social Housing Green Paper which was reported to the Board in 2019 had now emerged as a Government White Paper.  The White Paper’s Charter for Social Housing Residents’ aimed to set out a new vision for the way that social housing residents were treated.  The Housing Services Manager had been working closely with some of the involved tenants on this paper and a tenant representative presented the report along with the Housing Service Lead.


The seven themes covered what every social housing resident should be able to expect:

·        To be safe in your home.

·        To know how your landlord is performing.

·        To have your complaints dealt with promptly and fairly.

·        To be treated with respect.

·        To have your voice heard by your landlord.

·        To have a good quality home and neighbourhood to live in.

·        To be supported to take your first step in ownership.


It was important to get the basics right and engage tenants in a way that worked for them.  The intention was to work with tenants to develop a suite of satisfaction measures that they want to see, that they thought would show the health of the service and each of the teams within it.  It was a great opportunity to revive tenant involvement and the Board’s commitment to listen and support officers and tenants was sought.


The Board noted the report and welcomed examination of the areas identified for further action, which would be taken forward by the housing leadership team.


Annual report of the Housing Review Board pdf icon PDF 255 KB


The Strategic Lead – Housing, Health and Environment presented the annual report of the Housing Review Board which summarised and highlighted the diverse range of issues covered by the Board over the year.  The Democratic Services Officer was thanked for producing the report which the Board endorsed and noted.


Housing Task Force - an introduction pdf icon PDF 204 KB


The Housing Task Force Service Lead explained the Housing Task Force which had been convened, following the findings and recommendations of the Housing Task and Finish Forum, to look into concerns, issues and potential solutions to meeting the levels of housing need within the district.  EDDC had lost significant numbers of social homes via the Right to Buy scheme.


The team would initially have four officers: Service Lead, 2 Enabling Officers and a Development Surveyor, with other specialist roles being brought in as required.  The team was funded for two years, with two clear aims:

·        To facilitate a step change in the delivery of new affordable and social housing units across the district.

·        To write an evidence based 30-50 year Housing Development Strategy, Pipeline Development Programme and a robust Active Asset Management Strategy.

The team would be exploring a range of options, detailed in the report in order to achieve the aims.


The Housing Review Board noted and endorsed the informative report.


Stock Condition Survey pdf icon PDF 226 KB


The meeting became inquorate at this point and was adjourned.



Housing Revenue Account and Housing Capital finance report pdf icon PDF 531 KB


Following adjournment of the meeting, this item would be considered at a future meeting of the Housing Review Board.


HouseMark membership renewal pdf icon PDF 186 KB


Following adjournment of the meeting, this item would be considered at a future meeting of the Housing Review Board.



CIH Professional Standards pdf icon PDF 201 KB

Additional documents:


Following adjournment of the meeting, this item would be considered at a future meeting of the Housing Review Board.



Procurement of gas servicing/services contract pdf icon PDF 417 KB


Following adjournment of the meeting, this item would be considered at a future meeting of the Housing Review Board.



Electrical Safety Policy pdf icon PDF 321 KB


Following adjournment of the meeting, this item would be considered at a future meeting of the Housing Review Board.



Quarterly performance indicator report pdf icon PDF 183 KB

Additional documents:


Following adjournment of the meeting, this item would be considered at a future meeting of the Housing Review Board.



Housing Covid 19 performance monitoring pdf icon PDF 1 MB


Following adjournment of the meeting, this item would be considered at a future meeting of the Housing Review Board.



Senior officer decision pdf icon PDF 257 KB

To note the urgent senior officer decision for the request for retrospective authority to bid and proceed with the memorandum of understanding required for the release of successful bid funding as part of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.


Following adjournment of the meeting, this item was not considered.