Our Highlights 2007

Our highlights from the past year (2007 - 2008) include:

Improving Services to tenants and leaseholders

With £5.7 million worth of savings to be made due to budget restrictions, we carried out consultation with residents who had a say in how the cuts were to be made. This lead to significant changes, such as the introduction of service charges and restructuring of estate based services.

Dealing with anti-social behaviour is one of the most important services to residents. We continue to implement preventative measures and improve cohesion within the community. Our ASB and Tenancy team takes a hard stance on perpetrators of anti social behaviour and works closely with community police and professional witnesses to address any issues of reported nuisance behaviour.

Increased funding for aids and adaptations

Last year, figures showed that 47% of Hounslow residents have an illness, disability of infirmity. To meet the needs of our ageing population and to cope with demand, our aids and adaptations funding was increased from £500k to £700k.

Launch of our sign up DVD and website

Tenants are now able to understand more about their tenancy with the introduction of a sign up DVD, which explains the expectations required of tenants and Hounslow Homes.

Our new website was launched in March 2008, with better navigation and access to information. The new site is compliant with disability guidelines. Site visitors using software such as Browsealoud (which reads text on a page for the blind) can now access all the information we have on our site. Tenants, leaseholders and people renting garages from us can also raise repairs using the Online Repairs Service. We also launched the Self Service Portal, where residents can register a compliment comment or complaint on line.

Building communities

We take resident involvement very seriously. They make a real difference to not only their own communities but to policy development and service delivery. Residents are helping us make decisions about the development of their communities and new build regeneration projects.

A new category in the 2007 gardening competition encouraged more local communities to take part and the 10th Annual HFTRA conference attracted a record number of visitors and was a huge success. Our partnership with Brentford Football Club gave youngsters access to free training sessions over the summer holidays and an increased intake was seen from other estates.

We also began a successful partnership with the Adult Education Service to provide free training for residents. This has been a great success with residents asking for more training through this initiative.

Early in 2008, the London Borough of Hounslow approved the use of £1.5 million of housing reserves to be put towards a new project. The Rainbow Project (named by HFTRA conference attendees) will allow residents to submit ideas and apply for funding for improvements on their estates that benefit the community.

Maintaining Homes

So that we can provide an improved service, a repairs review has been carried out and resulted in the set up of an ongoing improvement programme. Changes will include new fleet arrangements and the introduction of mobile working for staff.

A major refurbishment project also saw eleven properties in Isleworth brought back to Decent Homes standard. An extension to four of the properties turned them into much needed five and six bedroom homes.

We also executed the delivery of the council's Grant Funded Extension Programme, that will see some council properties benefit from extensions and loft conversions.

We also gained a TPAS (Tenant Participation Advisory Service) contractor accreditation award in 2008. This award recognised our commitment to consult, involve and inform residents about repairs and major works.

Developing new affordable homes for the community

We aim to be at the forefront of new build opportunities for ALMOs. Four of our estates have been identified for the construction of new properties which will be a mixture of affordable and low cost homes. The Convent Way estate is a wholly self-financed initiative and will be funded by the income generated from the sale of new homes built.

Annual Report 2007 - 8

You can find out more about what we have been doing for the past year in our Annual Report for 2007/8.