Kingdom Housing Association has expanded its in-house maintenance team with the addition of three new employees to extend the type of repairs and maintenance that can be undertaken.
Kingdom’s in-house maintenance team was set up 13 years ago with just three employees and has now grown to 29 operatives, including three apprentices. It was originally established with the specific goal of helping to improve the time taken to carry out repairs in empty properties, to bring them back up to a standard ready to re-let. Since then the team has gradually increased in size and in the areas of work it can undertake.
In 2006 the team took on a share of the association’s reactive repairs work and in 2010 it took over all of Kingdom’s reactive repairs and out-of-hours emergency service.
Alan Simpson, Kingdom’s acting director of asset management, said: “In 2011 a trial was undertaken to carry out some of our planned replacement works in house, this started with the team doing a portion of our annual kitchen replacement programme. This has been very successful and has resulted in improved customer satisfaction levels as well as reduced cost for the Association and our tenants. This year we have increased the team so we can now undertake all of our kitchen replacement programme in house and also carryout other larger scale work such as installing disabled adaptations in our properties, along with other planned and cyclical repair work.”
Alan added: “Increasing our staff and the number of trades that we now employ, allows us to significantly reduce costs and improve performance. Having a larger and more diverse team has also allowed us to take a longer term view and plan ahead by providing training opportunities and long term employment opportunities through our small apprenticeship scheme. Currently we have two apprentice joiners in the team and one apprentice plumber.”
Bill Banks, chief executive at Kingdom, said: “The work we have been progressing in relation to the in house maintenance services is part of our continuous improvement programme to look at reducing costs and improving tenant’s choice and satisfaction levels in all areas of our repairs and maintenance service. It also provides additional employment opportunities for our tenants and residents and others within our area of operations.”