Cross-sector working group set up by sector bodies produces principles and shares case studies

A cross-sector best practice working group has produced 12 guiding principles to help social landlords improve their repairs and maintenance services.

The group, established by the Chartered Institute of Housing and the National Housing Federation, was formed of representatives from registered social landlords, tenant representative bodies, equality and diversity bodies, and procurement and contracting experts.

The principles are grouped into six themes, covering:

  • Improving cultures and behaviours
  • Inclusivity and tackling discrimination
  • Structuring engagement
  • Involving colleagues
  • Understanding performance
  • Closing the loop

The project, called Rethinking Repairs and Maintenance, was established to meet a recommendation of the NHF and CIH’s landmark Better Social Housing Review published in 2022.

The review said: “Housing associations should partner with residents, contractors and frontline staff to develop and apply new standards defining what an excellent maintenance and repairs process looks like”.

The group also included the Local Government Association, the Association of Retained Council Housing and the National Federation of ALMOs. Housing associations represented included L&Q, Riverside, Midland Heart and LiveWest (see box below).

>>See also: Evolution or revolution? What new consumer standards mean for RPs

>>See also: In search of a magic patch size: How social landlords are rethinking their housing management approaches

Liane Sheppard, director of property services at LiveWest and a member of the best practice group said: “Hopefully anyone reading this will find nuggets of inspiration for new processes or practices they can adopt. It is a fantastic, and easy to use, resource.”

James Prestwich, director of policy and external affairs at CIH and chair of the group, said: “Publishing this work one year on from the joint action plan, which CIH and NHF developed in response to the review, shows how committed we are as a sector to making sure we deliver excellent repairs and maintenance services.”

Kate Henderson, chief executive of the National Housing Federation said: “Everyone living in a housing association home should expect an excellent standard of repairs and maintenance services. These guiding principles developed by CIH and the working group are an invaluable resource that will help ensure this.”

 Group members: 

  • Stephanie Allen, head of asset strategy and delivery, Riverside Group
  • Lisa Birchall, head of policy, National Federation of ALMOs
  • Emma Brooker, head of maintenance services, L&Q
  • Rob Bywater, head of assets, Ashton Pioneer Homes
  • Hazel Edwards, head of customer voice and value, Wrekin Housing Group
  • Chloe Fletcher, formerly director of policy, National Federation of ALMOs, now director, Housing Quality Network
  • Mushtaq Khan, chief executive, Housing Diversity Network
  • Jenny Osbourne, chief executive, TPAS
  • Annie Owens, policy lead, National Housing Federation
  • Adam Pearce, property and repairs manager, Northstar
  • Angela Perry, executive director of assets and development, South Liverpool Homes
  • Paul Price, chief executive, Association of Retained Council Housing (ARCH)
  • Alan Scott, assistant director of Programme and Cyclical Delivery, Believe Housing
  • Liane Sheppard, director of property services, Live West
  • David Smith, head of business partnerships, South East Consortium
  • David Taylor, executive operations director, Midland Heart
  • Mike Turner, executive director, Cardo Group

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