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  • Jade Price

Change is here... are you ready?

Change has been coming for a while.

The disasters seen at Grenfell have driven a want and need for change across the social housing sector, from the tenants and building managers to owners and the government.

Change is here, are you ready?

Housing Ombudsman

In the past year, the Housing Ombudsman has undergone changes to ensure transparency, including a new commitment to publish reports on all investigations and new Thematic Investigations.

At the end of June, the Housing Ombudsman released its latest insight report recording a 73% increase in complaints made January to March 2021 compared to the same quarter last year.

The data published in this report showed that 45% of complaints made were about repairs, 13% were about tenant behaviour and 11% were about complaint handling.

As all reports and investigations into complaints are now published publicly, receiving a compliant against your company can be catastrophic.

Using our intelligent remote monitoring technology in your properties can help reduce complaints being made by ensuring service level agreements (SLAs), planning pro-active maintenance works and communicating with your customers effectively and efficiently.

BCM and AutoFill work with any bus enabled boiler to remotely monitor the asset. If a fault occurs, then the correct people will be notified by Connect via email.

Airi is our virtual helpdesk that is triggered by alerts generated by the assets themselves whenever an event occurs. It autonomously communicates with the customer via SMS using messages that are customisable.

By using this technology customers can remain in the loop with what issues may be occurring in their home, when they will be fixed and by who, eliminating the need for complaints around these issues.

Fuel Poverty and Excess Winter Deaths

In summer the last thing we want to be thinking about is winter, but for the 3.2 million households who are fuel poor, winter is a real worry. Of these households 18.4% exist in social housing settings.

In the Winter of 2019-2020 there were an estimated 28,300 excess winter deaths occurring in England and Wales, a 19.6% increase from 2018-2019. One of the key factors which cause excess winter deaths is the cold itself, with a direct link being shown between a drop in temperature and an increase in deaths.

Using BCM, you can monitor boiler and heating use in vulnerable properties, allowing you to identify customers which may be experiencing fuel poverty. By ensuring the wellbeing of your customers, excess winter deaths can be avoided.

New ESG Reporting Group

The Sustainability Reporting Standard (SRS) for Social Housing has been Launched by the ESG Social Housing Working Group in response to concerns that ESG investment in social housing was being inhibited by the absence of a common reporting standard.

ESG, or Environmental, Social, Governance, is a framework used to measure the real sustainable and societal impact of your processes and activities. ESG is important to all businesses as when efficiencies are improved, investment potential is strengthened. Improved efficiencies and strengthened investment potential combined can lead to greater ESG monitoring.

The SRS is a voluntary framework covering 48 criteria across ESG considerations, such as Zero Carbon targets, affordability, and safety standards.

As of today, nearly 100 organisations have signed up as adopters or endorsers of SRS, enabling housing providers to report on their ESG performance in a transparent, consistent, and comparable way.

Technology is an enabler to better ESG reporting. Data collected through remote monitoring can be used to inform decisions to drive better business practices. These decisions made can be used to create automated remote management of a portfolio.

Using our remote monitoring technologies allow you to reduce carbon footprint across your maintenance schedule by reducing site visits, improving efficiencies and reducing the number of aborted visits.

Building & Safety Bill

On 5th July, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government published The Building Safety Bill. This bill aims to create lasting change and bring life-changing reforms to give tenants and homeowners across the UK more rights, powers, and protection.

This bill will set out a clear pathway for the future on how residential buildings should be constructed and maintained.

Tenants and Homeowners will have more rights when it comes to the management of their high-rise buildings, complaints they may have and any works that are completed. All homeowners will now have 15 years to claim compensation for sub-standard construction work done to their properties. This will also apply retrospectively.

Building owners will now be required by law to manage safety risks during the design, construction, completion, and occupation of high-rise buildings. They will also need to demonstrate that they have effective, proportionate measures in place to manage safety risks.

Our products are designed with safety at their core. By installing EmeRed to your emergency lighting systems, you can ensure all areas of your building are compliant through automated testing and reporting, also allowing for improved pro-active and reactive maintenance.

These changes might seem like a drastic shift, but by using our remote monitoring technologies you can ensure your tenants are happy, safe and warm whilst ensuring you are able to report on ESG whilst remaining fully compliant with all regulations.

Change is here… are you ready?

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