Inside & Outside Our Homes

Approved by Board May 2017

We provide desirable homes and estates that people want to live in

NPT Homes strives to provide desirable homes and estates that people want to live in and there are a number of teams responsible for delivering our services.

We successfully achieved the Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS) on 31st March 2017 with an investment of approximately £200m. The works were carried out with high tenant satisfaction results.

In addition to our WHQS delivery programme, our Repairs and Neighbourhood teams provide a key service by maintaining the properties and grounds owned by NPT Homes.

The teams managing our homes & estates

 

What difference do we want to make? (Main Outcome)

 

Our homes are desirable, modern and well-maintained

WHQS

The Welsh Housing Quality Standard (WHQS) is a standard that has been set by Welsh Government and requires all social landlords to improve their housing stock to an acceptable level by 2020.

Our WHQS Improvements Programme Plan was a six year programme that started in October 2011 and completed in March 2017.

Since 2011, the following upgrades have been installed in our properties:

Element Total % of Target Complete
Roofing 2,293 100%
External Wall Insulation (EWI) / Render 3,273 100%
Windows 2,264 100%
Heating 1 1
Kitchens 8,559 100%
Bathrooms 7,920 100%
Electrics 4,662 100%

WHQS Customer Satisfaction

Customer Satisfaction is one of the most important aspects of the delivery of the WHQS Improvement programme. We constantly monitor the performance of ourselves and our contractors to ensure that we provide the best possible service to our tenants.

Our performance is monitored through a Tenant Improvement Feedback form that is given to each tenant having works carried out.

Over the past 3 years the percentage of tenants that have rated the works as Very Good or Good is:

2014-15 96%
2015-16 97%
2016-17 97%

 

We are always seeking to have feedback from our tenants regarding the works carried out. Here are just some of the positive comments we have received.

 

Our homes are desirable, modern and well-maintained

Since 2011, 8559* kitchens and 7920* bathrooms have been installed. In addition 4662* electrical rewires have been completed and 6012* new heating systems have been installed. In total, this equates to £80m of investment to the internal elements of our properties. *figures include Acceptable Fail

In addition to the main improvement programme, a considerable amount of work has been done by our Works of Adaptation Team. Since transfer, 500 disabled bathrooms have been installed, equating to £7m of investment since transfer. The programme will continue to consider the needs of our most vulnerable tenant’s throughout the Borough.

Our Communal Areas

Our Communal Area improvement programme is now well underway. Over the past 3 years, new entrance doors have been installed to all flats; improving security and fire protection for our tenants.

In addition, several communal areas have also been upgraded. Some examples of the works completed so far are included on this page.

The programme has 2 years remaining and will include the upgrade of all communal areas within our blocks of flats.

The programme has proved extremely popular with tenants so far. Works include; improving the lighting, installing easy clean floor finish, new handrails (where required) and fully decorated walls.

Gwent House, Sandfields

Haven Housing Schemes

An £11m investment in to our sheltered schemes, now known as Haven Housing, is well underway. So far 5 schemes have been completed across the Borough and the remaining schemes are currently going through the process. All works are expected to be complete by the end of 2017.

Communal area upgrades.

One of the most important areas for our residents of Haven Housing complexes is the communal lounge.

All schemes are having a full review to ensure the area is as functional, attractive and enjoyable as possible.

A focus on Ty Gnoll Newydd

One of the biggest schemes currently being upgraded is Ty Gnoll Newydd in Neath. The scheme needed significant investment to make the building suitable for our elderly tenants.

The building is receiving a full upgrade internally and will also include the improvement of the communal area and installation of a lift whilst the entrance to the scheme is being redesigned; removing the steps from the front and creating a new level access for the residents.

 

Our estates are visually attractive

Over the past 4 years an External Fabric Programme has been carried out and has had a dramatic impact on the visual appearance of our properties. The works form part of our strategy to ‘Protect Our Assets’ and minimise the risk of damp to our homes.

The volume of the fabric work has increased significantly from the anticipated number at transfer from the Council. To date 3,500 External Wall Insulation (EWI)/renders have been completed.

Before and after property at Michaelstone Terrace, Cwmavon

In addition to the large scale fabric programme, a number of new properties have been built. In Melyn, 15 new properties have been built. The development was completed in 2014 and consists of a combination of 11 houses and 4 flats.

Our new build development at Furnace Place, Melyn

Regeneration Priorities so far… Abergwynfi

Three streets within the Afan Valley in Abergwynfi have been in decline for decades and were in desperate need of a makeover. A high proportion of the properties were vacant with windows and doors boarded up or smashed. Crime and vandalism were rife, leading to many prospective tenants not wanting to live in the area.

NPT Homes identified this area as a key regeneration project and began consulting with the local residents. It was clear that many existing tenants did not wish to leave the area and, therefore, the decision was made to invest in the properties.

A key consideration was whether we could keep all the properties based on the demand in the area. As well as being in a particularly poor condition, the properties also had problems externally, with small, steep gardens.

It was agreed that the partial demolition of the area would be the most appropriate solution and would provide the existing and new residents with good quality houses, with much more suitable amenity space.

The properties suffered from damp, and have had extensive works carried out to rectify the problem. The works have been carried out in several phases.

The houses have had External Wall Insulation installed and have been fully upgraded internally.

The works equate to approximately £1m of investment. Based on the Welsh Government local multiplier, we have been able to demonstrate that for every £1 NPT Homes spends, we are investing £1.99 in the local community. Based on this we estimate investing £2m in the local community.

Regeneration Priorities so far… Glyncorrwg

An area in Glyncorrwg has been another of our regeneration priorities since transfer. The blocks of flats have lacked investment for some time and fell in to a very poor condition as a result.

The works consisted of cavity extraction, new windows, External Wall Insulation, new doors, heating, kitchen and bathroom and an external boundary upgrade.

The appearance of the area has improved dramatically and the tenants have been amazed at the transformation. A new sense of pride has been instilled into the residents living in the area.

Community Challenges

During 2016, our major contractors successfully completed 8 Community Challenge projects; contributing their workforce’s time to carry out repair and improvement works to identified community groups and assets.

The projects included the refurbishment of a community hall and its kitchen, installation of another new kitchen in a local church and improvements to 3 school playgrounds.

Further details of the Community Challenge can be found under the Economic Stability Storyboard

External Boundaries Programme

Our £15m external boundary programme is scheduled to commence in the summer of 2017 and will continue for 5 years. Surveys are well underway and all tenants will receive an individual consultation before any works are carried out.

To support the external boundary programme, NPT Homes is currently developing an innovative employment scheme called “The Copper Foundation”. The plan is to utilise a percentage of this programme to create 12 month rolling job opportunities for those who are long term unemployed or who have never been in employment.

Further details can be found in the Economic Stability Storyboard

 

Future regeneration projects in our communities… Greenwood Road, Baglan

A block of 6 flats in Baglan is at the centre of a new regeneration project. The block of 6 flats included 3 leaseholder properties that have been bought back, bringing them in to NPT Homes’ ownership; making the transformation possible.

The block was in particularly poor condition and was considered an eye sore by the local community. Being prominently positioned in the area this has long been a contentious issue for local residents.

The properties are being re-branded to the My Pad product and we will soon be looking for applicants.

Works will include; a new roof, cavity extraction, removal of balconies, new windows, new external wall insulation, heating, kitchens, bathrooms and an improved external boundary upgrade.

The works are anticipated to be completed by the end of the summer 2017.

 

Future regeneration projects in our communities… Bush Row, Melyn

Planning approval has recently been approved to upgrade the flats at Bush Row in Melyn. The block is on a prominent road through the area and is very much in need of a makeover.

The new design of the scheme has been able to capitalise on a previously very inefficient internal layout and has now gained an extra 2 flats to the ground floor.

 

Cartref demolition and new build, Skewen

Cartref is a disused sheltered scheme that was in need of a major overhaul. This area of Skewen is classified as a high demand area but, unfortunately, the product available within the block was proving unpopular with potential tenants. The block is visually quite unsightly and physically in a poor condition.

The possibility of remodelling the existing building was reviewed and all possibilities considered but upgrading the existing block was deemed unviable.

A new proposal has been submitted to the Local Authority and has recently been granted full planning permission. The scheme has also been successful in attracting Social Housing Grant (SHG) via Welsh Government and works will start with the demolition summer 2017.

 

Our homes are well-maintained

Maintaining our homes is a key priority and, on average, 40,000 repairs are carried out every year. NPT Homes has its own in-house workforce dedicated to maintaining our homes.

The service has recently been reviewed to ensure the service is being operated as efficiently as possible and providing the best possible service to our tenants.

In addition to the responsive repairs, we carry out gas servicing to all properties on an annual basis.

In the past year we have achieved 100% of our gas boilers serviced within the required timescale to make sure they are safe for our residents to use.

 

We provide desirable homes and estates that people want to live in

Our Neighbourhood Team

The Neighbourhood Team have developed many new services since transfer to meet demands and needs that were not being adequately supplied elsewhere and are done so by delivering quality and control.

The Arborist Team was created as all work was previously carried out by the Local Authority that was expensive and could not meet the timescales that we felt acceptable. This service has grown into a team of 4 with resilience built in by developing a trainee within the team.

They carry out all scales of work and are qualified to assess, maintain and remove trees, including stumps, the bark chip is recycled and the sale of the logs is used to replenish lost amenity trees. A comprehensive tree record and maintenance programme is also in place.

Grounds Maintenance

Upon transfer, all of the land was catalogued and inspected and a planned summer maintenance programme is in place, averaging a 4 weekly cut cycle. This is carried out by 5 teams who undertake the ground maintenance to open spaces, communal and estate grounds and Haven Housing.

We employ seasonal staff as part of these teams and we have also used these teams to provide placements for young people trying to get into work. Last year we provided 2 placements for the Moving Forward programme and, this season, we offered a permanent post to one of these young people.

Reactive Teams

These teams are used for a number of purposes:

  • to remove fly tipping on our land and estates. In liaison with the Tenancy Relations Officers, we always try to identify the culprits.

  • We have 7 playgrounds that were transferred to NPT Homes and this team carry out weekly inspections, litter pick and jet wash, where required.

  • This team also applies treatment to knotweed as part of an ongoing programme

 

 

Garden Maintenance

Upon transfer, NPT Homes took over the maintenance of approximately 450 gardens of our tenants who qualified for free garden cuts. This has reduced year on year to approximately 200 now.

For people still requiring garden maintenance, they are referred to the Handyperson Service which is a chargeable scheme with a subsidised element.

The Handyperson also carries out other jobs from shelving and jet washing to painting and decorating. This provides an invaluable service for some people with no family assistance.

Cleaning Crews

There are 3 dedicated cleaning teams, carrying out a 4 weekly cleaning cycle on 290 blocks of flats and 2 cleans per week at 10 Haven Housing schemes. This work is recovered through service charges, along with elements for the grounds maintenance.

Tenant Assessors

In late 2016, a group of tenants became ‘Tenant Assessors’. Their role is:

  • To monitor the frequency and standard of cleaning and grounds maintenance services in Haven Housing and blocks of flats

  • To check the quality of services provided by NPT Homes

  • To identify areas for improvement

  • To work in partnership with NPT Homes

The role involves tenants using assessment forms to note the quality of the cleaning and grounds maintenance service provided, as promised in their Service Standards. The role also involves providing feedback to NPT Homes and meeting with staff on a quarterly basis to discuss findings and prepare reports to be fed back to appropriate staff.

 

Tenants are proud of their homes and the communities they live in

Community Safety Survey

Our Academy carried out a Community Safety Survey in 2016/17 to find out how safe people feel in their homes and communities and the extent to which NPT Homes plays a part in how people feel.

One of the questions in the survey asked how proud tenants were to live in their communities. 81% of tenants said they were proud, compared to 55% in 2015/16. Some feedback received was “Good Neighbours”, “Safe and quiet place to live”, “good community spirit.”

2015/16 - 22 tenants surveyed / 2016-17 - 16 tenants surveyed

 

Action Plan