Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting WO to 80360, or email us
Watford Community Housing Trust given 20-point plan for improvements
Watford Community Housing Trust has been told to focus on its role as a social landlord, repairs and its relationship with tenants by the politician heading up a review of its performance.
Asif Khan, the chair of Watford Borough Council’s task group on the housing association, made his comments as it released a list of 20 ways the trust can improve.
Better communication with tenants, improving its repairs system, itemised bills for service charges and more accountability were among the recommendations the task group has made.
The trust said it was yet to receive the recommendations, which were published on the council’s website, and could not comment on them this week.
The recommendations come weeks after the cross-party task group took representations from scores of tenants and then questioned executives form the housing trust on their findings.
Following the publication of the recommendations, Councillor Khan, a Labour representative for Leggatts, said: "The tenants told us these were their priorities. From the evidence the community received and the research we had done we found the housing trust must focus on repairs.
"They also need to focus on the relationship with the tenants and the core business of being a social landlord."
The majority of the recommendations made by the task group related to the trust’s communications with its tenants.
The trust has been told to make its handbooks more "user-friendly", make its bills more understandable, provide a clear process for tenants to query charges and overhaul its website so it reflected the needs of tenants.
Another area where the trust was told to improve was repairs where councillors wanted to see the trust’s first time satisfaction rate "increased substantially".
Under recommendations regarding to performance the trust was told to demonstrate to tenants it was working towards being in the top quartile of social housing providers.
Councillors said they wanted to the trust reaffirm its commitment to build 500 new homes in Watford and Three Rivers by 2016.
The report also said: "The trust must be much more accountable to its residents and stakeholders."
Councillor Khan said he felt the recommendations were all very achievable for the trust.
He added: "I don’t see anything controversial here whatsoever. It is what the tenants expressed to us."
This week a spokesman for Watford Community Housing Trust said: "We have not yet received the formal recommendations from Watford Borough Council. When we do we will review them with interest and adopt them into our improvement plans as necessary."
Comments are closed on this article.