2 April 2019 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal
Westminster's social housing stock will be looked after by the council rather than CityWest Homes, from this month.
A decision was originally made in 2018, after the council decided that the service was failing residents.
A six-month listening programme was held during which more than a thousand residents shared their views on what went wrong and what improvements are needed.
CityWest Homes have run Westminster City Council's housing services since being set up in 2002. There are 12,000 social housing tenants and 9,000 leaseholders in properties formally managed by CityWest Homes, who will now be supported by Westminster City Council housing services.
As a result of extensive consultation the council found that residents felt it takes too long to get through to the call centre, that the repairs service needs to improve, that people want estate offices back, that the complaints process is too slow, and that more of a say is required in how the service is run.
Changes to the services include:
More staff recruited to speed up call centre wait times down to a few minutes' maximum, and training in customer care for staff.
Joint inspections with residents to make sure that repairs are up to scratch.
More staff on estates to help.
A specialist team to resolve repair complaints.
Residents will have a greater say and we will have regular opportunities for feedback.
We will review how we provide leaseholder bills to make them clearer with better timescales.