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Home maintenance team in line for national award

The MOT team is pictured outside a property while working on SSHA homes in Penkridge.

A programme to improve homes for tenants of South Staffordshire Housing Association (SSHA) has been shortlisted for a national award. The £14m planned maintenance project is among the finalists for the Best Repairs and Maintenance prize in the Housing Excellence Awards.

Delivered by Property Plus, the project has helped the housing association not just to maintain its investment in home maintenance but to increase spending at a time of rent reduction and welfare reform. Bringing significant cost efficiencies, it has improved satisfaction for staff as well as customers.

The project has involved the installation of 400 kitchens and 500 new bathrooms in a year. New ventilation systems have promoted healthy living environments, reducing condensation and mould. A total of 700 new boilers have cut energy bills for customers by an average of £300 per year and the popular ‘Home MOT’ service ensures that every home receives a maintenance facelift, a neighbourhood at a time.

John Grosvenor is the team leader of the Home MOT service, receiving approval ratings of 96 per cent from customers. He explains that staff satisfaction has soared too: “The reaction of residents is the best part of this job. It feels good to make a difference to a community.”

Recognition in the Housing Excellence Awards is the latest in a string of accolades for Housing Plus Group, whose member companies include Severnside Housing, Care Plus and Severn Homes as well as SSHA and Property Plus.

Earlier this year the Home MOT service won the Customer Impact award presented by the National Home Maintenance Forum, whose judges identified the project as an innovation with the potential to be adopted throughout the industry. Teams working for Care Plus are currently among the finalists for the Care and Support Team of the Year title at the prestigious Housing Heroes Awards and the Property Plus team has been named among the country’s leading organisations for training and development by the Electrical Contractors’ Association.

“These awards showcase some of the most inspiring success stories in the housing sector,” said Housing Plus Group chief executive Sarah Boden. “The success that we are having as a newly-formed group underlines the strong values at our heart as well as outstanding colleagues committed to making a difference to the people and communities we serve.”

The Housing Excellence Awards will be presented on Thursday 25 May.