Hackney Homes gets Audit Commission thumbs up
The Audit Commission has announced today that "the housing service provided by Hackney Homes is 'good' and has 'promising' prospects for improvement".
"On a scale from zero to three stars, the Audit Commission inspection team gave the service a good, two-stars rating. This is because there is positive performance in rent arrears, gas servicing and estate services. The ALMO has achieved value for money efficiencies, and has increased tenant satisfaction. However, satisfaction is low is some areas, such as leaseholder services, and the response to complaints is weak."
Adrian Brown, the Audit Commission's Lead Housing Inspector for East London, said: "Hackney Homes has improved a number of services that matter to residents, such as repairs and estate services, while improving value for money. This has resulted in improved satisfaction with most services. However, the ALMO needs to improve its approach to anti-social behaviour and to managing performance."
The big - indeed massive - implication of this is not just the fact that Hackney Homes' service has improved, but that because of hitting the two star grade, Hackney will receive from central government £225 million in Decent Homes funding to spend on making tenants' homes wind and watertight with modern kitchens and bathrooms. If Hackney Homes had not achieved the two star standard, this funding would have been withheld.
So what sounds like a dry audit report is actually fantastic news for the thousands of tenants in my council ward and across the rest of the borough waiting for their homes to be improved, quite apart from meaning that their landlord has actually been delivering services better.
Well done to all the Hackney Homes staff who have worked so hard to achieve this, and to the ALMO Board members - councillors, tenants and independent members - who steered this improvement.