Housing association offers rent payers better service
Published by 24publishing for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Communities, Local Government
Housing association offers better service for rent payers
A housing association has reported a 70% take-up from residents to a scheme that rewards rent payers with a better service.
Irwell Valley, which manages 7,000 homes in Greater Manchester, made headlines 14 years ago with its "Gold Service" customer incentive and reward scheme. Now it's evolving its offer.
It is launching a Diamond Service which will reward tenants who keep their rent accounts up to date.
Those that pay their rent will receive an enhanced service package of incentives and benefits including: a wider choice of home improvements, priority queue jumping for repairs, an unconditional service guarantee, access to Irwell Valley’s Golden Foundation and Education, Training and Back To Work Grants - plus automatic entry into a £2,000 weekly prize draw.
The main qualification criteria for membership, it says, are that residents must pay their rent and any agreement to repay rent arrears, regularly and on time - every week or month for 26 consecutive weeks.
Membership is also dependent upon the resident adhering to other terms of the tenancy
The service was launched in June and has over 70% take-up in just seven weeks.
Nichola Shepard, assistant director of business development at Irwell Valley, said:
"Diamond Service is a natural progression of Gold Service that revolutionised the
customer/ landlord relationship in the social housing sector and transformed the way
registered housing providers as a business deliver services to residents."
Angela Raftery, managing director of neighbourhoods at Irwell Valley, added: "Irwell Valley is very much in favour of customers being independent and looking after their home and we already have a tradition of “sharing in the savings made”. Over the past two years we have focused all our efforts on five key priorities, including zero unnecessary repairs and zero re-let days.
"We are achieving fantastic results with general needs average re-let times down from 18
(end 2010/11) to just one day (May 2012) and the average number of repairs per home
has reduced from 2.9 in 2010/11 to 2.6 in 2011/12. Over the past 12 months the cost of
the average repair has nearly halved. This has allowed us to re-invest these savings into our planned maintenance/ improvement budget, which we know is the biggest priority for our customers."