Repairs and maintenance specialist Morgan Sindall Property Services has been selected by South Essex Homes, the arm's-length management organisation of Southend-on-Sea Borough Council, to maintain the council's portfolio of more than 6,000 homes and 1,200 garages.
The five-year contract starts in April and has the potential to be extended for a further five years. Over the full 10 years, it is valued at £28 million.
Under the contract, the company will deliver repairs and maintenance services including day-to-day repairs, emergency repairs, and refurbishment of void properties.
Residents will benefit from the introduction of Morgan Sindall's advanced works and asset management IT system, which will enable them to choose an appointment at a time convenient to them.
The system has smart scheduling capabilities so can work out the most efficient appointment based on the time, location and travel of the most appropriate tradesperson. These are known as 'go-green' appointments and for every 'go-green' appointment chosen and kept, the company will put £1 into a community fund.
The extensive information accessible through the new IT platform will also make it easier for South Essex Homes to organise and book repairs and monitor the overall operation of the contract to make sure that residents are receiving a high-quality service.
Residents will also be able to book and change repairs online through a new resident portal set to be introduced later this year.
Morgan Sindall Property Services will also introduce a customer service manager, providing a single point of contact to resolve any resident care issues.
In addition, the new arrangement will open up a wide range of job and training opportunities for local people, supporting 10 apprenticeships and delivering 45 work placements for adults and school students over the contract term.
The contractor will also create SEProspects, an initiative enabling South Essex Homes' residents to undertake pre-apprenticeships providing practical skills, training, work experience and the chance to be mentored by experienced team members.
Residents will also benefit from help with CV writing and job-hunting as well as digital skills training, including sessions on using Microsoft Office, email and social media.