Now that we can look back at 2020-2021, we can reflect on how much we have gone through and the impact the period has had on our lives and our communities. As an organisation it has given us the opportunity to focus our support in the areas where it has been most needed, such as helping customers with food, managing household bills, and combating social isolation.
During this time, we have reviewed how we provide our services to you and worked closely with a range of customers to understand your needs. We’ve involved customers in face-to-face, online and telephone feedback, and you have provided vital information for us to make improvements. This has formed the basis of our Shaping our Future programme, which will underpin all the work we do in the next two years and will continue to improve our customer service.
We’re pleased that we have been able to resume services again, and have put the safety of you, our other customers and our colleagues first. This has understandably caused delays in some areas of our services, but we are extremely grateful for the hard work our colleagues have provided. We would like to say thank you to all of our customers for your patience and understanding.
We’re looking forward to a positive 2022 and wish you all the best for the coming year.
Nic Kershaw - Chief Executive
In August 2020 we recognised the impact of Covid-19 to your life, wellbeing and income which meant that we couldn’t simply stand still and continue as we were. That’s why we began our business change programme – Shaping our Future.
Between August 2020 and January 2021, we carried out discovery work to understand in more detail what we were doing well, where we needed to improve and what we need to do differently in the future.
Our findings told us that we:
Through our previous work we know that there are four areas that can make or break the experience you have with us. At the end of March 2021 your feedback said:
These are now our customer principles and the four areas that we measure each month based on your feedback. We have some work to do and the activity within our change programme, Shaping our Future, aims to improve how we’re doing against these customer principles. Work is now underway to redevelop how we deliver services to you. This will include a new customer resolution centre and tenancy experience service, which will launch in early 2022.
Giving you an opportunity to have your voice heard is important to us so we launched our monthly customer feedback survey to do just that. Each month a sample of customers are chosen at random and contacted so we can understand what we’re doing well and where we need to improve. This has helped us to pinpoint the areas we need to focus on and turn what we’ve learnt into action.
Our Customer Voice Strategy was launched to make sure your voice is heard and that we do something about what we’re being told. To help us deliver the strategy, four new customer teams were created in March 2021 and will continue to recruit to these groups. They are:
Work done by the customer teams so far includes:
The Customer Co-creation team have helped us to think about how we can engage with customers using digital methods in the future, as well as providing insights into some of the barriers faced accessing our services.
The Customer Purchasing team have supported the procurement stages of two significant improvement projects. One for our Independent Living Schemes and another related to a contact centre software solution.
The Customer Scrutiny team have reviewed our first point of contact service within our customer contact centre. This has provided us with findings and recommendations to help us achieve our aim of getting things right first time and making it easy for customers to deal with us.
If you are interested in joining one of our customer teams, find out how to get involved on our website.
We have started to map out the customer journey showing us the experiences you have across all areas of the business. We have been speaking to our customers and colleagues to get the full view of what this journey looks like from different perspectives. We have begun to look at some of the feedback and will be looking to implement changes as a result in this next year.
The customer voice is heard, respected, valued and acted on throughout One Manchester and is core to who we are as an organisation and how we deliver services to our customers.
We take all complaints that we receive seriously and have put a lot of work into making our process fair and easy to follow. You can read more about the complaints process here. Our responses to complaints during 2020-2021 are below.
We received 122 formal complaints between 1st April 2020 and 31st March 2021. Of those:
Six of these complaints were escalated to stage two, of which:
Response timescales (all working days):
*Please note: all times and targets given are in working days.
Our One Money team assisted 576 customers, dealt with £650k of debt, and achieved benefit gains of £881k.
Employment services from our One Future team helped 219 people find jobs, 66 gained volunteering opportunities, 340 received training, eight
business start-ups were supported, and 22 people took part in work placements.
Our Community Safety service received 2,034 contacts from residents. They opened 650 new anti-social behaviour cases, handled 108 legal actions, 45 injunctions, 28 cuckooing cases, obtained 31 powers of arrest and 10 exclusion orders. They also dealt with 153 new reports of domestic violence.
During the year, we awarded more than £421,000 in grants and contracts to over 100 community and voluntary sector organisations to support our social priorities.
|Funding Programme||Amount Awarded||Number of Awards||Summary|
|Holiday Hunger||£16,425||13||We were quick to respond to help families due to additional financial pressures during Covid. This included helping 13 local organisations to provide Covid-safe support and activities to feed children during the summer holidays.|
|Covid Recovery||£220,797||32||We provided emergency response and survival grants for local organisations. This helped them to stay afloat and give local people access to essential goods and services within their communities.|
|Community Soups||£40,000||10||We awarded £40,000 to ten community projects as part of an adapted version of our Community Soup events, which were carried out entirely online to comply with Covid-19 lockdown requirements. Ideas were pitched via short videos and residents were invited to have their say by voting online for their preferred project. The new approach saw a massive growth in participation, increasing votes from 353 received from the in-person event in 2019/20, to 4,360 received online in 2020/21.|
|Neighbourhood Small Grant||£11,315||44||We contributed to 44 small grants to support and enable new or established community-led initiatives to take place. Examples include an on-street Little Library for community book swapping, tools and equipment for a gardening club, and a gazebo to help a grassroots support initiative to continue in poorer weather.|
|Catalyst Fund||£13,057||4||We supported four businesses to develop and provide services to support our communities.|
|Other||£120,000||4||• a service agreement helping establish Step Up MCR become an independent charity, supporting a range of projects in east Manchester.
• an investment into a partnership Covid Recovery Fund managed by Young Manchester.
• partnership work with the Caribbean & African Health Network, to support our engagement work.
• a contribution to the HideOut Youth Zone in Gorton to support activities for young people.
As well as investing our own funds, our colleagues worked to help secure over £363,000 from other sources to help local groups and vulnerable customers. This gave customers support to pay their fuel bills and access online services with donated digital devices and data plans. We continued to work with our suppliers to bring additional social value to our communities which included:
Existing issues of loneliness and social isolation worsened among our communities during the Government lockdowns. We responded by delivering a range of projects to enable people to battle isolation. Examples include:
We believe our services and opportunities should be accessible, responsive, and good, no matter who you are or where you live. To make sure we can provide the most appropriate services to you, we started a survey to find out about you and your household. We have also developed a satisfaction survey that will go along with a monitoring form, and this will be sent to anyone who engages in activities with us.
We now have an Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion Strategy and Action Plan which is monitored by the EDI Committee. It’s also checked by our Equality Diversity and Inclusion working group who meet monthly to work on ideas and maintain progress on EDI. The Committee is currently chaired by a One Manchester customer.
As part of our commitment to EDI, we continue to publish the diversity statistics of our customers, staff, and Board and Co-optees (invited members), which is available in the table on the back page of this report. We are also doing what we can to help those who work with you to more accurately reflect the communities they serve.
We have been working hard to find out about the positive and negative experiences of customers. We have consulted with the Somali community in Moss Side to understand more about their views. Our Quality Manager is speaking with residents at our Independent Living Schemes to get the perspectives of older residents. Some of our customers who have accessed counselling services through our partnership with Salford University have been consulted about the quality of the service to help improve standards.
We continue to be a member of HouseProud North West – the network for housing providers to improve the way we engage, support, and deliver
services to our LGBT+ communities. The group has three key areas of focus:
Our work with the Greater Manchester-wide customer LGBT+ network, Rainbow Roofs, continues to share best practice, whilst learning from others and improving our response to customers.
We have signed the HouseProud pledge to show our commitment to LGBT+ resident equality and support. This provides a framework for all landlords to work with involved residents and make improvements. We have publicised the work we are doing with the HouseProud partnership ‘Back in the Closet’ project. This has raised awareness around challenges for the LGBTQ community within Independent Living Schemes by challenging perceptions and discrimination faced by older people. In March 2021, ‘Back in the Closet’ postcards were sent out to generate interest in the project.
We now have three flats which are used by the LGBT Foundation for letting as temporary accommodation to LGBT victims of domestic abuse. They are granted fixed-term tenancies and awarded Band 1 by Manchester City Council to move on into permanent accommodation. We have a dedicated member of staff who manages the flats and deals with any issues arising.
We are part of a group of housing associations with homes in Moss Side are working in partnership alongside Manchester City Council to better coordinate our work in the area. The partnership set-up a £50k fund which helped a variety of local groups respond to the needs identified in the area.
We have begun a partnership with the Caribbean and African Health Network (CAHN), a well-respected BME specific organisation focused on health outcomes across Manchester. This will reach into our communities to talk about our services, job opportunities and apprenticeships. CAHN are working to eradicate health inequalities experienced by the Caribbean and African community in Greater Manchester within a generation. CAHN was founded in response to research and evidence of need which continues to inform its health programmes and initiatives targeting the Black community.
We want to support those with a physical disability to remain in their home through aids and adaptations. Despite the difficulties of working through a pandemic, the Adaptations team managed to carry out 67 major adaptations (wetrooms, ramps, extensions, etc) last financial year 2020-2021 with a total cost of £405K.
If you are struggling to get in and out of your home, bathe or move around indoors, then contact us using the web form on our website: www.onemanchester.co.uk/contact-us or by ringing us on 0330 355 1000.
We distributed 80 smart phones with data as well as Kindles to customers in our Independent Living Schemes. Our Independent Living and Support and Wellbeing teams trialled the 8x8 video calling and messaging system with customers on their mobile phones. We also explored the potential of boosting the WIFI in Independent Living Schemes to improve customer access. Digital upgrades were approved in March 2021 and customers were involved in the decision-making. We installed Zoom and WhatsApp on customers’ devices so we can check-in, offer befriending and interact socially with games.
We have been active members of the Manchester Digital Skills Network, as well as the Digital Inclusion Working Group and implemented initiatives, such as:
During lockdown, we understood that the isolation of our customers, especially the elderly and those who experience anxiety, would be a key factor. Our Independent Living Schemes are currently engaged in projects such as ‘on your couch bingo’, book club and games groups. We will increase and monitor this over the next year. We have recruited 11 befrienders to support at-risk customers offering friendship and delivering activities. We developed a road map to begin community activities again with the easing of lockdown, plus provided a range of online activities via Zoom. We have also been working on linking schools with our older residents to build relationships across the generations.
|Description of Cost||Pence in Every Pound|
|Salaries and cost of services including IT, HR, Neighbourhood teams etc.||£0.24|
|Providing chargeable services||£0.05|
|Day to day repairs and empty homes work||£0.13|
|Cyclical repairs: including gas and electrical servicing to keep properties safe||£0.03|
|Major repairs (e.g. roofing programmes; new boiler programmes; where we swap out major components)||£0.05|
|Cladding and fire safety||£0.01|
|Cost of rent arrears||£0.01|
|Cost of all assets (houses and major fixed assets)||£0.12|
|Investing in neighbourhoods, communities and customers||£0.03|
|Cost of not proceeding with new property developments||£0.02|
|Interest payments on our loans to build homes and fund our business||£0.12|
|Spare income - all invested into business||£0.19|
Each year we report and compare our costs against those of other housing providers. Our overall costs per home was £3,197. This is made up of five cost elements – management, service charge, maintenance, major repairs, and other. The median (middle) cost for the sector is £3,835 per home, £635 more than our cost.
We have ranked ourselves against other providers nationally and within the north west:
|Group||One Manchester cost / rank||Lowest cost in group||Highest cost in group|
|All providers||£3,197 - 39th of 210||£2,331||£26,676|
|All north west providers||£3,197 - 7th of 37||£2,518||£7,155|
In 2020/21 our Growth team have completed, are now on site or have approved 100% of our 2016-21 Homes England Programme, to meet our target
of 1,043 homes by 2021. At financial year end (March 2021), 676 homes were complete; 495 were in contract; and 405 had been approved (total 1,576).
1,576 split by tenancy type:
|Rent to Buy:||461|
|Amount of rent collected||100.5%||100.1%||100.4%||100.6%||100.0%||99.2%||Rent collection was at the 0.8% mark this year, slightly under our target.|
|% of empty homes available to new tenants||5%||4.20%||4.45%||4.33%||4.39%||3.35%||The percentage of empty homes has fallen slightly from previous years and is just below target.
|Average number of bids for each property advertised on Manchester Move||90||135||179||257||399||497||Demand for our homes has increased for the fifth year running and reflects the need for more housing in the city.|
|Time to re-let once tenancy has ended||16 days||20.4 days||20.2 days||23.4 days||31.3 days||54.45 days||The Covid-19 pandemic has meant that we were unable to implement the plans that we had intended to improve our re-let times due to social distancing. Improving in this area is a priority for us in the coming 12 months.|
|% of customers satisfied that call centre staff were helpful and polite||95%||NA||NA||92.7%||92.1%||81.8%||Caller satisfaction has fallen.|
|Emergency repairs completed within 24 hours||100%||93.95%||95.60%||98.90%||99.70%||99.60%||The Covid-19 pandemic increased the number of emergency repairs by over 2,500. The percentage of emergencies completed outside of 24
hours has barely changed from 2019/20.
|Appointable repairs completed on time||100%||97.19%||95.84%||95.20%||96.20%||96.30%||Performance in this area has remained constant against our ambitious target, despite the difficulties caused by Covid-19.|
|Properties with a valid Gas Safety Certificate||100%||99.99%||99.95%||100%||100%||100%||At year end, all One Manchester properties that require a valid Gas Safety Certificate have one. This is an excellent result reflecting the commitment of the team.|
|Properties sold through Right to Buy or Acquire||No target||113||106||136||104||63||Covid-19 has delayed plans to build new properties and therefore the numbers of properties we expected to see.|