Public performance reports

Housing and homelessness

The Council Plan Connect outlines our objectives for 2017-22. Connect Priorities 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 Priorities show how our work links with our partners including our Community Planning Partners. 

For daily updates, stories and what’s going on in your area, visit our information and news website South Lanarkshire View.

Each year we produce Annual Performance Spotlights which summarise how we have performed in achieving our Connect Priorities. To complement these we have created a suite of individual Public Performance Reports which focus on key areas of council business. 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. For further information please see our Housing Charter Performance page.

Assessment score

Gross rent arrears (all tenants) as at 31 March as a % of rent due for the period – Target 8.7% 

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 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 Are we improving?
SLC 6.1% 6.8% 7.1% No
Scotland 6.1% 7.3% 7.3%
How we have performed in improving this public service

Target achieved for 2019/20 and continuing to show a stronger position in comparison to the Local Authority average. The pressure to collect rent continues due to the overall economic position and the Welfare Reform Agenda - specifically Universal Credit.

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 0.5%

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 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 Are we improving?
SLC 0.5% 0.5% 0.5%  No change
Scotland** 1.0% 1.0% 1.1%
How we have performed in improving this public service

Target achieved for 2019/20 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 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 Are we improving?
SLC 92.1% 92.5% 93.2%  Yes
Scotland 93.9% 94.3% 94.9%
How we have performed in improving this public service

While slightly behind the Scottish average, housing quality continued to improve during 2019/20. Programmes of work will continue during 2020/21 and where failures occur as a result of tenant refusals, these will be addressed when a property becomes empty or when there is a change in the tenant's circumstances 

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

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 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 Are we improving?
SLC 89.4% 91.0% 93.4% Yes
Scotland 74.0% 79.8% 84.1%
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 2019/20. Programme will continue during 2020/21 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 49,000 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 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 Are we improving?
SLC 11.9 days 14.3 days 14.2 days

Yes

Scotland 8 days 7.8 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 2020/21 to support the reduction of the average time taken.

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 2019-20
South Lanarkshire Council 90.3%
Clackmannanshire Council 91.0%
Dumfries and Galloway Council N/A
Falkirk Council 91.8%
Fife Council 81.6%
Renfrewshire Council 88.8%
South Ayrshire Council 94.4%
West Lothian Council 83.6%
Average of Family Group 88.8%

We have seen a significant increase in satisfaction from 79.6% in 2014-15 to 89.1% in 2017-18 and 90.3% 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 2019-20, Housing and Technical Resources commissioned 13 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 2019-20 were:

Involvement in the budgetary process

The Budget Scrutiny Group (BSG) provides the vehicle for discussion between the Council and tenants 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

A key part of the consultation was an online survey. The survey was widely publicised through a number of regular channels, as well as promotion from frontline staff. A significant number of responses were received with 1450 surveys completed. This is a 74% increase on the previous year.

The Council effectively used the HouseMark's rent affordability tool with staff and tenants to understand better the implications of proposed rent changes and to ensure constructive conversations and meaningful engagement.

The BSG has been recognised nationally through the TPAS National Good Practice Awards. 

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. The programme of scrutiny during 2019/20 included two service areas/activities that related to:

  • Access to Homelessness Information on the Council's website
    • The scrutiny work undertaken resulted in a number of recommendations and good practice ideas, which were presented to Housing and Technical Resources Resource Management Team. Following this Scrutiny activity, an action plan is developed to progress key recommendations.
  • Service provided to tenants affected by welfare reform through the Rent Income Support Team
    • The scrutiny activity commenced in January 2020 but was paused in March 2020 due to Covid-19.

Information to customers on housing and related services

The Customer Publicity Group is 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 letters. Once approved these letters were given the ‘Customer Approved’ stamp to confirm that the content and design met their standard. The group also reviewed the customer involvement information on the council’s website and as a result the content was updated to make it more user friendly. The group developed articles for autumn 2019 and spring 2020 editions of Housing news.

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.

The Care Inspectorate has also positively recognised our engagement with sheltered housing tenants.

Engagement with Gypsy/travellers

A clear and agreed approach to engagement was established with site residents to support the identification of investment priorities and develop a programme of improvement works for the council’s two gypsy/traveller site reflecting the views of the community. Regular meetings took place with site residents to keep them up to date with key developments and important information as well as providing the opportunity for them to give their views. Newsletter were also introduced to provide updates to residents on what was happening on the sites.

Engagement with young people

A key outcome within the council’s Housing Services Customer Involvement Strategy 2018-22 was a commitment to establish meaningful youth engagement. 

Through the Larkhall local area participation plan there was a short life group established with the local housing office, Youth, Family and Community Learning Service and YMSPs representing Larkhall. From this an action plan was developed to establish a Larkhall Youth Housing Forum during 2019/20. The Larkhall Youth Housing Forum pilot project to encourage greater involvement with younger people was introduced in January 2020. The pilot project was deemed a success and the model will be used to establish youth engagement in other areas of South Lanarkshire. 

The model has also been exemplified by CIH Scotland and is now considered to be an area of best practice by the Scottish Government who intend to promote its success nationally and encourage a practice exchange through the Tenants Information Service (TIS).

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, 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

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 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 Are we improving?
SLC 99.1% 99.4% 99.8% Yes
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
   2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 Are we improving?
The percentage of repeat applications of homeless/ potentially homeless clients. Target: 6%  4.7%  4.5% 5.2% No
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%  88.8%  86.6% 88.1% 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.

During 2018-19 we,continued with our programme of providing new council houses increasing the supply of affordable housing through the construction of new council houses with a further 35 completed. In addition 206 new homes were also completed by our Registered Social Landlord Partners and we acquired 60 properties through buy back schemes.

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

Every year we chart our performance progress and produce a report. The report shows where we are performing well and where we could be a bit more effective. For further information please see our Housing Charter Performance page for the latest report.

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 Priorities 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.

Local Government Benchmarking Framework (LGBF) allows councils to work together, to use performance information in a way which will help understand variations, share knowledge, expertise and good practice, with a view to making improvements. At the core of the framework is an agreed suite of performance indicators. We report the results for these indicators, over time, on the website. Additionally, you can compare our LGBF results with other councils' using the mylocalcouncil tool. Not all local authorities are alike and so family groups of eight ‘similar’ councils have been set up for comparison purposes. Workshops take place throughout the year to discuss the indicators and results – South Lanarkshire Council is actively involved in these discussions.

The information contained within this report reflects the position on the data available at the time of publication (February 2021).