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I can’t believe the speed at which my first nine months as CEO has passed. I set out my initial priorities a few months ago after listening to what tenants were telling us we needed to work on. These were: 

  1. To bring down the number of outstanding routine repairs, and  
  2. to improve our estates services. 

In terms of routine repairs, one of my first actions was to bolster our M Team through a partnership with Ian Williams Contractors. I am really pleased with the results of this with the reduction in the number of outstanding jobs. We got down to around 100 jobs outside of target and have held it at this level for the past two months. This means we are delivering over 90% of all routine repair jobs within our service standards. At the same time, we reviewed how our team takes calls and schedule repairs. Our calls are now being answered quicker than ever and the rate of call abandonment is the lowest it has been in a long time. 

The second priority area was our estates services. We have made strides in this area and have an improvement plan which we are working on. We have listened to what our tenants are saying and have increased the resources in both our cleaning and grounds maintenance teams. Whilst it is early in the season our grounds maintenance team is on schedule with their regular grass cutting and we are meeting our regular cleaning schedules also. As well as the services we routinely deliver, tenants are telling us about improvements they want to see on their estates. In 2023-24 we spent £77,000 on estates improvements such as improved bin storage and redecoration of communal areas.  I am pleased to confirm that a budget of £60,000 is available for further estate improvements this year.  

Whilst I didn’t set this out as a priority area, I want to take the opportunity to update you on our performance around planned maintenance in the past year. We continue to have one of the highest levels of investment in planned maintenance across the Welsh Housing Association sector. In 2023-24, we replaced over 180 kitchens and 50 bathrooms. We undertook a large roofing replacement programme as well as over 140 doors and 50 window replacements. Alongside this, we delivered over 140 physical adaptations to sustain tenancies in our homes. We are playing catch up with our investments in our properties, so it will continue to be a key focus for me as CEO over the coming years. In addition to our planned maintenance, we remain a top performer around landlord health and safety obligations, achieving our best levels of compliance, keeping our tenants safe in their homes. 

On top of the work we have done to maintain our existing properties, we have also introduced over 50 new homes since my appointment. These include our flagship development of 35 apartments at Longcross House in Adamsdown. I am clear my priority will always be our existing tenants and investing in their homes. Where we can, we must help with the housing crisis which Cardiff and its surrounding areas are suffering. As such, 50 new homes make a massive difference to helping with this, many of which have been let to homeless people living in inappropriate temporary accommodation. 

I want to express a huge amount of gratitude to our team at CCHA and our tenants which made my first nine months the success it has been. Whilst meeting some of these milestones is really pleasing, I know we have some way to go. As such, in my next update I will tell you more about how we have focused this year’s budget to match our objectives, but most importantly investing in our homes to improve our tenants’ quality of life. 

Brian Pickett, CEO