Working with you to improve our estates
Maintaining our estates to the standard we promise is important to us. We are committed to creating environments and communities that our residents choose to live in.
We’re always looking to work with our residents to make improvements to our estates.
We recently spoke with our Neighbourhood Services Manager, Vitra Cummins, to find out more about the estate improvement process. You can read the full interview below:
How do we look after our estates and make improvements?
“The responsibility of Estate Management is shared between our Estate Contract Officers (ECOs), Neighbourhood Housing Managers (NHMs) and Neighbourhood Housing Officers (NHOs).
NHMs are responsible for a patch of properties and they’re always out and about in the community, engaging with residents. They will raise any issues they find during these visits to the correct department or contractors.
ECOs play a similar role. They will be out and about too, inspecting the service that is being delivered by our contractors. Contractors are there to maintain internal and external areas of blocks, this includes things like the bin stores, bike stores and the communal grounds. ECOs will raise any issues they find with our contractors or to our repairs service.
It’s initially through the eyes of these members of staff, and the contractors themselves, that issues on estates are raised and resolved.
We’re always listening to what residents are telling us. We’ll respond to concerns about estate standards and explore the improvement recommendations we receive through conversations with residents and work out if what is being suggested is viable. Although we might not always be able to carry out the works, we are always happy to speak to residents and take on board their suggestions.
It’s important to bear in mind that we’re working with a budget each year. When issues are raised, we’ll look at what’s being suggested and then prioritise ideas based on the positive impact the works will have, the cost, and the ongoing benefits the improvements will bring to the community.”
Why is it important that our estates are well looked after?
“We take pride in our communities, and we want to make sure that our estates are well looked after so that our residents feel we’re providing homes and neighbourhoods that they can be proud of.
We also inspect our estates for any health and safety issues. It’s important that we make sure that our estates are safe and secure, and that all members of the community can use and enjoy the facilities.”
What is an Estate Day and why do we have them?
“We want to encourage more resident engagement, and our Estate Days are aiming to help with that. We know that people will communicate with us in different ways, so the Estate Days offer another way for residents to engage with us.
Some people would rather go online to our repairs’ portal or call us. Through the Estate Days, we’re hoping to give that extra layer of visibility, of being present, of getting more people to engage with us so that they can see that we’re there to listen to them.
Our most recent Estate Day, which took place in Rusthall earlier in the month, was a great success.
Our Resident Scrutiny Panel is currently reviewing our Damp and Mould service and one of the members, Teresa, attended the Estate Day to talk to the team about what they are doing to assist residents with these issues.”
If you would like to report a damp and mould issue, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you have any examples of estate improvements?
“We’ve recently finished improvement works to Hythe Close where we found that the external sheds were in poor condition, there was a lack of parking and limited communal bin storage.
This was an example of a case where our team detected an issue on the estate and then worked with residents using a partnership working approach to figure out if there were any additional problems.
The project had a direct impact on our residents, and we found that everyone showed support and understanding throughout the process, even where the works caused some short-term inconvenience. Residents worked closely with us to make sure that we could complete the improvements.
The new facilities are now available, and we hope that residents will enjoy using them.
We really appreciate all the support residents on the estate gave us throughout this project to allow the works to take place. Thank you.”
If a resident would like to request estate improvements, who do they contact?
“Residents can raise estate improvements by speaking to us on 01892 501480, by emailing email@example.com or by raising a request on the MyHomeOnline portal.
Alternatively, you can speak to our ECOs, NHMs and NHOs when you see them out and about on your estate.
We ask for as much detail around your idea as possible. What and where the issue is, any current impact being caused, and what you suggest needs to be done to rectify the problem.”