Transforming Council House Repairs

Transforming Council House Repairs Image

A £4.8m scheme to transform the system for council house repairs in Dundee is set to be discussed by councillors next week.

The scheme, which will help to reduce the number of empty council houses in the city, and reduce homelessness, tackles the problems created by the pandemic and its knock-on effects.

Mark Flynn, convener of the neighbourhood regeneration, housing and estate management committee said: “We have been putting an intense focus on improving repairs and re-lets performance recently and this new scheme will complement a range of measures already in place.

“These currently include using overtime to catch up on the backlog, subcontracting works packages and a recruitment drive to grow the workforce because we know there is a shortage of skilled trades people trades across the board.”

Lynne Short, the committee’s deputy convener added: “These measures will all help but there is more to do, which is why we want to make council houses the sole focus of Construction Services’ work for around 20 weeks to clear the backlog in response repairs and reduce the number of empty properties to below the pre-Covid level of around 200 by the end of October.

“Along with that, work will continue to modernise the design and delivery of the repairs service so that we can generate greater levels of customer satisfaction and value for money.”

The report, which will be discussed by the committee on Monday (May 13), also notes that Construction Services will ensure that its underlying operating model is efficient and effective.

As well as delivering business efficiencies, the modernisation of the repairs service will bring a range of improvements for tenants including a repair by appointment service to give tenants morning or afternoon slots for work to be done, as well improving communication through text reminders of appointment times and providing a quicker response where problems do occur.

Financing for the proposed new approach is expected to come from a variety of internal council sources.

The proposed scheme has been backed by the Dundee Federation of Tenants Associations, and initial discussions on the proposals have taken place with both staff and Trades Union representatives.

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