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Public performance reports

Housing and homelessness

The Council Plan Connect, outlines our objectives for 2017-22.  Connect ambitions and objectives should not be seen in isolation, they interact with each other and as we achieve success in one, we move closer to success in others.  In delivering our vision to ‘improve the quality of life of everyone in South Lanarkshire’ our ambitions show how our work links with our partners including our Community Planning Partners. 

Each year we produce an Annual Performance Report which details how we have performed in achieving our Connect objectives. To complement the Annual Performance Report we have created a suite of individual Public Performance Reports.  This report outlines the performance in relation to our housing and homelessness services and how this links to the outcomes of our ambition to ‘Promote economic growth and tackle disadvantage'.

Housing and homelessness

South Lanarkshire Council aims to meet the housing needs of the people in the area by providing good quality, affordable homes for all to access and enjoy.  The Scottish Social Housing Charter applies to all social housing landlords in Scotland, including local authorities, and the Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) is responsible for collecting and reporting the performance information provided by the landlords.  The Charter measures key services that tenants can expect from their landlords in terms of quality, condition, value for money as well as the level of involvement and participation of tenants in the decisions that affect them.

Housing

Gross rent arrears (all tenants) as at 31 March as a % of rent due for the period – Target 6.8% 

What this means This indicator measures the proportion of rental income due that was not paid by tenants in the period. Rental income is essential in order that landlords can invest in the properties, so low results are preferable and show that the council is working to ensure that all money owed is collected.
Why this matters Rent collection is essential in order that the council, as a landlord, can invest in its properties. We aim to ensure that all money owed is collected to maximise our re-investment to our properties.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 Are we improving?
SLC 5.5% 5.6% 5.7% No
Scotland 5.9% 6.2% 6.5%
How we have performed in improving this public service The slight increase in gross rent arrears in 2016-17 can be significantly attributed to the continued impact of Welfare Reform changes which affected all landlords’ performance nationally.  However, our 2016-17 result of 5.7% continues to be better than the Scottish average result of 6.5%.

For more information about the Welfare Reform follow the link to Benefits are changing tenant liaison team
 

Percentage of rent due in the year that was lost due to voids – Target 0.8%

What this means This indicator calculates the percentage of rent loss as a result of properties being empty. 
Why this matters This indicator allows the council to record the percentage of income lost due to its proprieties being empty, which allows us to focus on these empty properties to maximise our income.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 Are we improving?
SLC 0.7% 0.7% 0.4%  Yes
Scotland** 1.2% 1.0% 0.9%
How we have performed in improving this public service

South Lanarkshire continues to perform well against both last year’s results and the Scottish average.  With over 15,000 people on the waiting list for housing in South Lanarkshire, we know how important it is to let empty homes as quickly as possible. Even with efficient performance in turning round empty homes, there will always be an element of rent loss as a result of them being empty while we find the next tenant and carry out essential repairs. We continue to focus on letting properties as efficiently and effectively as possible.

** Scottish average is based on the new Scottish Housing Regulator Charter Indicators and includes all registered social landlords and local authorities

Dwellings meeting Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS)– Target 100%

What this means This indicator tracks the council's progress in implementing the Housing Investment Programme to improve council housing stock.
Why this matters This allows the council to measure what percentages of its homes are meeting the Scottish Housing Quality Standard, which is the minimum housing standard in Scotland.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 Are we improving?
SLC 91.1% 90.9% 91.5%  Yes
Scotland 90.4% 92.3% 93.6%
How we have performed in improving this public service

The council achieved 100% compliance with the SHQS for all non exempted stock in the year.  The figure excluding exempted stock was 91.5%, which compares well against last year's result. Since the introduction of the SHQS by the Scottish Government in 2004, South Lanarkshire Council has spent over £514.04 million improving the quality of the housing stock.

You will find out more about this in the Housing Strategy 2017-22.

Dwellings meeting Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS) rating for energy efficiency – Target 95.6%

What this means This indicator measures the council's success in ensuring that its houses are energy efficient as compared against a national standard.
Why this matters This allows the council to measure that its homes are energy efficient by implementing measures to reduce energy consumption and fuel poverty. It also contributes to reducing carbon emissions in line with Climate Change.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 Are we improving?
SLC 96.0% 95.8% 96.5% Yes
Scotland 96.5% 96.2% 96.6%
How we have performed in improving this public service South Lanarkshire Council is marginally below the Scottish average by 0.1%. South Lanarkshire’s results continue to improve as a direct result of the investment programme targeting insulation and the renewal/upgrade of heating systems. The council’s return on meeting the SHQS noted that 100% of the eligible stock met the standard, including the energy standard, with the balance either exempt or in abeyance (for example, because the stock could not be upgraded for technical reasons or tenant refusals to have the work carried out).

Repairs

A wide range of work is carried out on a non-emergency, routine basis and last year we completed over 76,000 repairs.

Average time taken to complete non-emergency repairs - No target set
What this means This indicator measures how long the council takes to carry out non-emergency repairs.
Why this matters This indicator is a good measure of whether the council is achieving its aim of providing a first class repairs service for its customers.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 Are we improving?
SLC 13.9 days 13.7 days 13.4 days

Yes

Scotland 9.9 days 9.4 days 8.7 days
How we have performed in improving this public service The average time to complete non-emergency repairs in South Lanarkshire was 13.4 days, which is an improvement on last year's result, however remains longer than the national average of 8.7 days. It should be noted that within the results provided to the Scottish Housing Regulator, 91.2% of our tenants who used the repair service were satisfied with the overall service and 97.3% of our non-emergency ‘reactive’ repairs were carried out right, first time, without the need for a follow-up visit.

Customer satisfaction

Per the information returned to the Scottish Housing Regulator, 89.1% of South Lanarkshire Council tenants are satisfied with the overall service received. The results for comparable authorities in our Family Group are as follows:

Satisfaction with overall housing service 2016-17
South Lanarkshire Council 89.1%
Clackmannanshire Council 94.2%
Dumfries and Galloway Council N/A
Falkirk Council 84%
Fife Council 83.1%
Renfrewshire Council 82.2%
South Ayrshire Council 90.4%
West Lothian Council 86.7%
Average of Family Group 87.1%

We have seen a significant increase in satisfaction from 79.6% in 2014-15 to 89.1% in 2016-17.  We continue to use this information to identify which aspects of the service are doing well and which we need to improve.  It is important to us that customers who use our Housing service feel that they receive a satisfactory service.  This indicator allows us to monitor this, taking into account the perceptions and view of customers.

Consultation

The views of our tenants are important to Housing services. Consultation and engagement is wide and varied and in addition to well developed arrangements for engaging with tenants and other customer groups we also have a comprehensive suite of customer satisfaction surveys.  In 2016-17, Housing and Technical Resources conducted 10 different types of surveys, generating over 5,200 responses.

Each year we agree a programme for engagement with tenants and other housing customers. Through each of the areas opportunities for involvement are considered and developed.   The key features during 2016-17 were:

Customer Involvement Strategy 2018-2022

A significant pre-consultation process was undertaken which involved the Tenant Participation Co-ordination Group (TPCG) supported by the South Lanarkshire Tenant Development Support Project (SLTDSP), tenant group representatives and staff.  The views expressed will help shape the draft strategy that will be issued for consultation early in 2018. 

Housing  Repairs Policy

The scope of review and approach was discussed and agreed with Repairs Sub Group which comprises tenant representatives and council officers. Discussions with Repairs Sub Group during 2016-17 consider amendment to the Policy.

Involvement in the budgetary process

Budget Scrutiny Group (BSG) provides a vehicle for discussion with customers on the budgetary process.  The group met quarterly during the year and considered the financial issues facing the housing service on an ongoing basis. This included coordinating the development and delivery of the consultation programme on the rent setting process. The key features of the consultation were:

  • Articles in the Housing News and on the Council website
  • Tenants Scrutiny Panel in November
  • Extended meetings of the local housing forums during October and November
  • Session with homelessness service users in November
  • Gypsy/Travellers event in November
  • Tenant closing event in December
  • Online survey

Customer-led scrutiny

During the year a Customer Scrutiny Framework was developed which further embeds customer scrutiny into the way we deliver housing services. The framework was customer led and gave customers the opportunity to examine aspects of the housing service in detail, assess performance and work with us to achieve change.  Through the framework the Customer Scrutiny Group, undertook their first scrutiny activity on the council house letting standard.  The group made some recommendations and from this an action plan was developed. 

Information to customers on housing and related services

The Customer Publicity Group established in 2013 made up of customers who have a role in reviewing housing publications including; leaflets, letters and web based information.  During the year the group provided views on the rent increase letter and the offer of housing letter.  Once approved these letters were given the ‘Tenant Approved’ stamp to confirm that the content and design met their standard.

Engagement with sheltered housing tenants

A clear and innovative approach to engaging with sheltered housing tenants has been developed which allows them to express their views and help shape the service.  Across South Lanarkshire, during the year annual meetings took place with tenants within each sheltered housing development.  These meetings were well attended and kept tenants up to date with key developments and important information regarding the service as well as providing the opportunity to discuss local issues. “Sheltered Housing News” was provided twice during the year to keep sheltered housing tenants up to date with all the latest news from across the sheltered housing service and to give their views.

Engagement with Gypsy/travellers

A clear and agreed approach to engagement established in 2009.  Annual events were held in Larkhall and in East Kilbride quarterly meetings took place.  These keep tenants up to date with key developments and important information regarding the service as well as providing the opportunity to discuss local issues.  Gypsies/Travellers on both sites.

During 2015-16 customer satisfaction survey returns indicated that tenants were extremely satisfied with ‘the overall quality of their homes’ with a satisfaction rate of 94%, an increase of 14% and the highest in Scotland. In addition, ‘satisfaction with their landlord’s management of the neighbourhood in which they live’ received a satisfaction rate of 91%, an increase of 17%.

If you are a tenant and would like to find out how you can get involved, follow the link to our website for information on getting involved and having your say.

Homelessness

It is important that the council provides homeless and potentially homeless households with a quick and efficient service and 99% of service users tell us that they are satisfied with the service provided at initial contact. In relation to our target for letting people know the outcome of their homelessness assessment, we consistently achieve a high level of performance.      

For further information about our assessment of homelessness and our key actions and outcomes to tackle homelessness, please refer to the council's Local housing strategy 2017-22

Percentage of homeless and potentially homeless decision notifications issued within 28 days of initial presentation – Target 98%

What this means This indicator measures the council’s success in ensuring that its homeless and potentially homeless clients receive a quick and efficient service that meets their needs.
Why this matters This indicator allows the council to monitor and ensure that it responds quickly, efficiently and effectively to any homeless or potential homeless persons.
Our performance and how we compare Comparator 2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 Are we improving?
SLC 99.8% 99.6% 99.4% No
Scotland N/A N/A N/A
How we have performed in improving this public service South Lanarkshire Council continues with a high level of performance in this service area, exceeding our target each year.

When a client becomes homeless, it is important that they maintain their tenancy and do not find themselves homeless again. The council collects the following statistics to measure how good we are at this:

  2014-15  2015-16 2016-17 Are we improving?
The percentage of repeat applications of homeless/ potentially homeless clients.  Target: 6%  5.8%  4.8%  3.8%  Yes
How we have performed in improving this public service South Lanarkshire Council continues to perform well with fewer repeat homelessness clients each year and consistently within our target.
The percentage of homeless tenancies maintained for more than 12 months.  Target: 85%  85.0%  87.7%   86.4% No
How we have performed in improving this public service  We continue to develop to improve tenancy sustainability and remain focused in this area.

Both these indicators allow us to monitor that homeless persons are supported throughout the process to minimise the possibility of becoming homeless again.  Watch our short video with real life stories about Homelessness.

New affordable housing

In 2016-17, Housing and Technical Resources increased the supply of affordable housing through the construction of new council houses, with 90 complete and a further 24 under construction and targeted for completion in 2017-18; 159 new homes completed by Registered Social Landlord Partners and a further 240 underway; acquisition of 19 properties through the part exchange plus and buy back schemes.

Areas for improvement and action

We will take forward the following key areas for improvement:

  • We will continue to monitor and review our approach to supporting homeless tenants, to improve support for tenants, to sustain tenancies for longer than one year

Further information

The council produces a newspaper Housing News for its tenants twice per year. Housing News keeps tenants up to date with information about tenancy and policy matters, tenant involvement, service developments and improvements as well as information about our performance. 

For further information about the services we provide, follow the links to our website:

Resource Plans are prepared each year by all council Resources to outline the key developments they intend to take forward in the year. Performance and actions relating to Housing and Homelessness can be found in the Housing and Technical Resource Plan.

Twice a year, performance reports are presented to council committees on progress against the Resource Plans. In addition, reports detailing progress against the Council Plan Connect objectives are prepared see Quarter 2 and Quarter 4 performance reports for further information. More information on our objectives can be found in the Council Plan Connect and also the Annual Performance Report.

The information contained within this report reflects the position based on the data available at the time of publication (March 2018)