North Lanarkshire Council housing service performing above Scottish average
North Lanarkshire Council said its housing service is recording improvements across key areas of delivery and performing above the Scottish average when compared alongside all other social landlords in Scotland.
Weekly rent levels are 16.7% lower here in North Lanarkshire; over 90% of tenants are satisfied with the opportunities they have to participate in the service and 98.8% of the council’s homes meet the Scottish Housing Quality Standard compared to the Scottish average of 94.4%.
The Scottish Housing Regulator’s (SHR) report rates the performance of Scottish social landlords against a key set of standards including; homes and rents, tenant satisfaction, quality and maintenance of homes, neighbourhoods and value for money.
The council has also pledged its commitment as a landlord by signing the regulator’s Assurance Statement, meaning people living in its homes have improved access to housing performance information. The Assurance Statement is in its second year and the council has said it is pleased to note that no changes were required or failures identified by the regulator during the period 2019/20.
North Lanarkshire Council’s weekly rents levels are 16.7% lower than the Scottish average. Its average rent return for 2019/20 was £67.69 and compares very positively against the Scottish landlord average of £81.33.
A total of 92.5% of tenants are satisfied that the council is keeping them informed (Scottish average 92%) and its opportunities for tenants to participate in its decision making also recorded high satisfaction levels of 92.5%, compared to a Scottish average of 87.2%.
In the neighbourhood category, North Lanarkshire Council dealt with 97.1% of antisocial behaviour cases - an increase on the previous year’s performance and above the Scottish average of 94.1%.
The council’s repairs performance also recorded significant improvements. 98.3% of reactive repairs were completed ‘right first time’ compared to the Scottish average of 92.4% and 97% of tenants who had repairs or maintenance carried out were satisfied with the service they received, compared to the Scottish average of 91.3%. The council’s customer satisfaction levels continue to remain over the 95% target each year.
The council is also offering value for money services. Its rent collection levels have increased in 2019/20 to 100.5% (includes additional money from the previous year) up from 97.5% in 18/19. Its performance monitoring rent loss continues to be a priority and the council is performing strongly in this area.
It took an average of 21.6 days to re-let homes with a void rent loss figure of 0.6% (0.7%), compared to the Scottish averages of 31.8 days and 1.2% respectively.
Councillor Heather Brannan-McVey, convener of housing and regeneration, said: “As the largest local authority landlord in Scotland, we take our roles and responsibilities extremely seriously and I’m pleased to see we’re delivering quality services for our tenants.
“We’re putting tenants at the heart of our service and that’s why, year on year, we’re continuing to see a rise in tenant satisfaction levels. For example, 94% of all the repairs we carry out is by appointment at the convenience of our tenants, and during lockdown our tenant participation team used technology to continue to discuss issues.”
She added: “It’s been an extremely challenging year due to the pandemic and we’ve made significant efforts in securing more direct Universal Credit payments. This, in addition to the introduction of our Universal Credit Assistance Fund for our tenants, has helped us maintain a high level of rent collection which in turn means we can continue investing in our homes and services.
“It’s vital that community groups, housing federations and tenants alike are receiving all the services we, as a council, strive to deliver and that these are of the highest quality. We’ll continue to build on our successes and identify and drive improvement to provide a first-class housing service.”