Tuesday, 6 July 2021
Carrying out major refurbishment projects in our properties is challenging, as many of our tenants have complex support needs. In his blog, Head of Maintenance Beau Rickerby outlines our approach.
“We have to devise a short-term strategy for the works which puts the tenants first. For example, if we need to switch off the heating and hot water, or turn off the electricity for any length of time, we may have to move tenants out of their homes, which can have a big impact. Recently we had to move a couple, who both had support needs, into a hotel while we carried out work. It was challenging, but our tenants’ care and safety is our priority and we plan carefully to consider how we work to accommodate their needs.
We sometimes receive what we think are emergency calls and we respond appropriately – only to stand down when it’s not as bad as we envisaged. I remember a time when we received a repairs call about a problem at a property with an imminent danger of electric shock. We initiated an emergency response but it turned out that the electricity fuse had simply tripped. We were ready nonetheless!
I have been working in this industry for a while, but this is the first time I have worked at a housing association with disabled or vulnerable tenants. I visit properties on a day to day basis and come away determined to make a difference. Needless to say, it’s important to get the repairs right and that they are of a good lasting quality, so that our tenants can continue to be safe and live well in their homes.”