As specialists in repairing everything from fascias to front doors, along with kitchen, bathroom and other internal fittings, we at Plastic Surgeon were extremely encouraged this week to hear news of London ALMOs committing a very significant £800 million to improving their properties. Especially as social housing is an area of work where our unique services are increasingly being called upon.
Social housing procurement consortium Cyntra has announced the six contractors in charge of its £800m housing repairs programme, which is great news for companies such as Plastic Surgeon: continually adding more RSLs to our client list as the sector seeks to improve efficiency and improve service to residents.
The Cyntra framework has been awarded to Apollo Property Services, Bramall Construction, Breyer Group, Kier Support Services, Mears and Vinci Construction, with the six of them destined to be involved with repair work on up to 10,000 properties, mainly around London.
Paul Orrett, head of communications at Cyntra, said: “Work will vary. It will be anything from gas maintenance work to the entire refurbishment of a tower block. The whole gambit of social housing.”
The framework will not include demolition and new builds, however, nor will contractors carry out specialist work such as the removal of asbestos. A separate framework for a further £50 million worth of contracts will be announced in September and will involve construction projects. Mr Orrett said after the second framework is announced Cyntra will shift its focus “for the next four years” to awarding smaller contracts which support local communities.
Cyntra, which was set up in 2005 as a consortium of 10 ALMOs, is responsible for 300,000 properties in the UK, mainly in the south-east, and its recent recruits include existing consortia Circle Anglia and the Hyde Group. According to its website, the social housing procurement consortium has saved its members £30m in building costs in the last five years.
Plastic Surgeon in turn saves housing associations and councils time and money, by repairing a wide range of interior and exterior components that would otherwise have to be replaced.
In order to maintain near full occupation – and therefore revenue stream – RSLs need to address damage repair and refurbishment work on their stock quickly, and in the most cost-effective and efficient manner possible – so the flexibility of our high quality, rapid repair service helps them do just that; and sees us involved with voids turnaround as well as both planned and responsive maintenance.
Typical repairs executed for void and tenanted properties include making good chips, scratches or other damage to doors, work-surfaces, kitchen units, window frames and bathroom suites.
An important aspect of our service for social housing providers is the way tenant liaison is managed. Once the client has requested a repair from our national call centre, the customer care team sends out a letter the same day by first class post: giving both the time framework for the appointment and details of which operative will be carrying out the repair. This includes their name, photograph and van registration number, so is reassuring to more vulnerable tenants as the know exactly when and by whom the work will be carried out.