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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 Annual Performance Spotlights which summarise how we have performed in achieving our Connect objectives. To complement these 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 objective 'to improve the availability, quality and access of housing'.

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.

Assessment score

Gross rent arrears (all tenants) as at 31 March as a % of rent due for the period – Target 10.3% 

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 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 Are we improving?
SLC 6.8% 7.1% 8.3% No
Scotland 7.3% 7.3% 8.2%
How we have performed in improving this public service

Target achieved for 2020/21 and only slight above the Local Authority average. Arrears have increased over the last three financial years but is reflective of the pressure on rent collection due to the overall economic position and the Welfare Reform Agenda - specifically Universal Credit. The Council will continue to set affordable rents and provide advice and assistance where necessary to support our tenants and customers through these difficult times.

For more information about the Welfare Reform follow the link to Rent Income Support Team
 

Percentage of rent due in the year that was lost due to voids – Target 0.6%

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 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 Are we improving?
SLC 0.5% 0.5% 0.4%  Yes
Scotland** 1.0% 1.1% 1.4%
How we have performed in improving this public service

Target achieved for 2020/21 and continues to perform well above the Scottish average.

 

 

 

 

 

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

Assessment score

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 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 Are we improving?
SLC 92.5% 93.2% 93.5%  Yes
Scotland 94.3% 94.9% 90.3%
How we have performed in improving this public service

Housing quality continued to improve during 2020/21, as it has over the last three financial years. Programmes of work will continue during 2021-22 and where failures occur as a result of tenant refusals, these will be addressed when a property becomes empty or where there is a change in the tenant’s circumstances.

 

Assessment score

Dwellings meeting the Energy efficient Standard for Social Housing (EESSH) – Target 100%

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 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 Are we improving?
SLC 91.0% 93.4% 93.9% Yes
Scotland 79.8% 84.1% 86.4%
How we have performed in improving this public service Current performance is ahead of the Scottish average and energy efficiency performance continued to increase in 2020-21. Programme will continue during 2021-22 and where failures occur as a result of tenant refusals, these will be addressed when a property becomes empty or where there is a change in the tenant's circumstances. 

A wide range of work is carried out on a non-emergency, routine basis and last year we completed over 19,000 repairs.

average time taken to complete non emergency 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 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 Are we improving?
SLC 14.3 days 14.2 days 13.1 days

Yes

Scotland 7.8 days 7.3 days 7.3 days
How we have performed in improving this public service

A slight improvement has been recorded and although we remain higher than the Scottish average, this reflects the approach which the council takes to carrying out these repairs- by appointment made to suit the tenant.

Improvement activity within the repairs service will continue within 2021-22 to support the reduction of the average time taken although the councils focus will continue to be on quality rather than speed of service.

Per the information returned to the Scottish Housing Regulator, 90.3% 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 services
Satisfaction with overall housing service 2020-21
South Lanarkshire Council 90.3%
Clackmannanshire Council 91.0%
Dumfries and Galloway Council N/A
Falkirk Council 91.8%
Fife Council 80.9%
Renfrewshire Council 88.8%
South Ayrshire Council 94.4%
West Lothian Council 83.6%
Average of Family Group 88.7%

We have seen a significant increase in satisfaction from 79.6% in 2014-15 to 89.1% in 2017-18 and 90.3% for out last full consultation in 2018-19.   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.

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 2020-21, Housing and Technical Resources commissioned 10 different types of surveys, generating just under 2,800 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 2020-21 were:

Involvement in the budgetary process

The approach to tenant engagement continues to be co-produced by housing customers through the Budget Scrutiny Group (BSG). The group provides the vehicle for discussion between the council and tenants on the budgetary process and the financial challenges and opportunities facing housing services on an ongoing basis.

Despite the impact of Covid-19 and the resulting restrictions, the BSG were able to continue their work through virtual platforms to support scrutiny and design and deliver the rent setting consultation for 2021/22. 

The main focus of the consultation was the Tenants Scrutiny Panel in November, a tenant led closing event, a virtual Conversation Café and an online survey which was widely publicised through:

  • the council’s social media platforms
  • a Housing News article
  • an email and/or text message promoting survey to tenants who indicated this was their preferred method of contact
  • a global email sent to all council staff promoting survey
  • Housing staff promoting survey to their tenants
  • Sheltered Housing Officers promoting survey to their tenants

Despite the impact on tenant engagement caused by restrictions, there was a significant number of responses to the online survey with 1,385 surveys completed.

The council continues to discuss the financial pressures and risks to the housing budget with tenants, utilising the rent affordability tool, HouseMark, to convey the financial implications the proposed rent increase may have.

Customer-led scrutiny

Through the South Lanarkshire Customer Scrutiny Framework and the Annual programme of scrutiny, the Customer Scrutiny Group continued with their scrutiny activity. 

Whilst a formal scrutiny programme was not progressed during the year due to restrictions and challenges relating to the Covid-19 pandemic, tenant representatives did undertake quality checks to support the introduction of the virtual call handling centre using a mystery shopping style approach. This involved customers making calls to the new service, working through the automated options and providing feedback. Overall, the feedback was positive, with many customers highlighting an improved experience.

Additionally, tenant representatives have continued to provide comment and input to support clarity of key communications and publications including Housing News.

Information to customers on housing and related services

At the onset of the pandemic a special edition of Housing News was produced and delivered to all tenants in June 2020. This detailed the impact and changes the pandemic had caused to services, as well as how tenants could access services and support available to them at that time.

A second edition of Housing News was produced in Autumn 2020. This updated on the impact of Covid-19 and the Housing and Technical Resources response.  It also highlighted the consultation on setting council house rents for 2021/22 and how tenants could give their views.

The Resource also produced service specific newsletters for Sheltered Housing tenants, residents of multi-storey buildings and Gypsy/Travellers site residents. These provided essential information on changes to services and detailed how the council could support them during the challenges of the pandemic and who else could help.

Throughout the past year, work has also taken place within the SLTDSP to utilise opportunities to help local community groups stay connected. This includes securing devices and internet connections through the Connecting Scotland initiative as well as providing support and training on how to use them.

Engagement with sheltered housing tenants

During 2020/21, the established programme of annual tenant’s meetings had to be suspended due to the COVID 19 pandemic. The focus switched to digital engagement and through the Connecting Scotland programme, 40 of our most vulnerable and isolated sheltered housing tenants were issued with i-Pads and portable wi-fi.  Set-up and ongoing support was provided by the SLTDSP. Highly positive feedback has been received from tenants who were allocated a device. 

To build on the success of Connecting Scotland, a digital engagement survey was commissioned which aimed to establish the wishes and aspirations of sheltered tenants around digital connectivity. This yielded a mixed response, however, the service is continuing to explore all possible options to expand digital capacity for tenants living in sheltered housing. 

Sheltered Housing Officers (SHOs) using Safe Systems of Work, were able to maintain an on-site presence, even throughout the lockdown periods of the pandemic.  As well as the continued daily welfare checks by the SHOs, this provided the opportunity for tenants to engage with the service on a range of matters which affected them. 

Communication with tenants also continued through letterbox drops and posters displayed within complexes. These provided a range of complex and public health information, with the aim of keeping tenants safe. 

Engagement with Gypsy/travellers

Despite the challenges presented throughout 2020/21 by the Covid-19 pandemic, levels of engagement with Gypsy/Traveller residents has continued to increase.  Regular online meetings now take place between residents of Shawlands Crescent and council officers, with strong attendance recorded to date. 

The meetings are used as an opportunity for officers to update residents on services and improvements taking place at the site, and for residents to highlight issues or discuss concerns they may have.  Whilst all site residents are invited to the meetings, it is recognised that not all are able or wish to attend. As such, each meeting is followed by the issue of a site newsletter which includes details of the discussion at the meeting and other information that may be of interest to residents.

At the smaller site at Springbank Park, residents continue to be offered opportunities to meet in a group with officers however have so far elected to maintain one-to-one engagement with the site officer and local housing management team. This is supported through the issue of regular site specific newsletters.

It is important that the council provides homeless and potentially homeless households with a quick and efficient service and 93% 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.

Percentage of homeless and potentially homeless decision notifications issued within 28 days of initial presentation

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 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 Are we improving?
SLC 99.4% 99.8% 99.8% No change
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:

Homeless clients
   2018-19 2019-20 2020-21 Are we improving?
The percentage of repeat applications of homeless/ potentially homeless clients. Target: 6%  4.5%  5.2% 4.6% Yes
How we have performed in improving this public service South Lanarkshire Council continues with a high level of performance in this area and consistently within our target.
The percentage of homeless tenancies maintained for more than 12 months. Target: 85%  86.6%  88.1% 91.2% Yes
How we have performed in improving this public service  We continue with a high level of performance in this area, exceeding our target each year. We will however, continue to develop 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.

To improve the availability of affordable housing in South Lanarkshire, a total of 339 additional affordable homes for social rent were delivered in 2020/2021. This included 142 new build homes by Registered Social Landlords, 144 Council new build homes and 53 additional Council homes purchased through the Council’s framework for Open Market Purchase.  Following the 2020/2021 additions, an additional 1,339 affordable homes for social rent have now been delivered by the Council and Registered Social Landlords across South Lanarkshire since this current LHS was approved and published.

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

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 Spotlights.

The information contained within this report reflects the position on the data available at the time of publication (March 2022).