Over 60% of Sheffield Council housing repairs are overdue


The shocking figures were revealed at this month’s full council meeting following a number of questions from Councilor Sophie Thornton.

In response Councilor Paul Wood, an executive member of the housing co-op, said there were 12,798 open repair jobs and 8,091 were overdue as of January 23.

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Sheffield Council is struggling to catch up on its backlog of social housing repairs and more than 60% of jobs are behind schedule.

He added: “This increase is attributable to a significant number of officers absent due to Covid (an average of 50 officers per day), coupled with the implementation of the new IT system. We have been undertaking data validation since going live on November 30, 2021.

“We know this is not enough, and that is why we are investing heavily in our Housing Income Account business plan. We are committed to getting it right and delivering for tenants and as part of our ‘Better Repairs Project’ we will tackle the backlog.

Long waits and delays

Coun Wood said the average wait time for a social housing repair issue was just over 16 days in October and November last year.

The oldest work has been pending repair for more than two and a half years because the council could not access it.

Public housing repairs are reported by telephone and the average wait time has been 44 minutes in recent months.

In the worst case scenario, someone was waiting two hours and 46 minutes shortly after the board’s new computer system was put in place.

Coun Wood said: “Performance and latency were seriously impacted by the launch of the new Total Mobile repair system at the end of November: training time and a high number of persistent start-up issues with this system and its new processes, resulting in tenant hunt calls (300 per day) on missed and rescheduled appointments with no contact with tenants, serious illnesses, vacancies, and then the training of new entrants during this period.

“In addition, extended call handle times as callers inquire about multiple new or existing repairs in most calls have impacted performance levels.

“Calls answered have increased from over 300 per day during the worst weeks of trouble to over 650 per day this week as processes are refined, illnesses decrease and trainees become operational.”

Over the past three months, 3,692 repair orders have been closed because they were unable to contact a resident.

Evacuations

There are 29 households that have been temporarily evacuated due to maintenance issues.

Coun Wood said of these seven were fire damaged, 15 were damp and leaking, six were for legal disrepair and one was the result of a car accident which caused structural damage .

Report a social housing repair

The council said residents can report repairs over the phone, arrange their own repairs or use the Handyperson service if they are aged 60 or over.

He warned to avoid calling on Monday mornings as this is the busiest time.

For more information on reporting a council housing repair to Sheffield Council, visit https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/home/council-housing/council-housing-repairs

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