Tenants' Annual Report 2021

South Tyneside Homes South Tyneside Council



Welcome to the Tenants Annual Report. This is our sixth digital Annual Report and we hope that this year’s report will be as well received as previous years.

Every year our Annual Report is written with help from our customers. This involves customers from across the borough examining our performance and assessing how South Tyneside Homes is performing across all services and importantly highlighting areas for improvement.

During the year South Tyneside Homes won the Landlord of the Year Award at the Northern Housing Awards. This report showcases what our services have been delivering for our customers during 2020/21 as well as explaining how the organisation has adapted the way services are delivered to respond to Covid-19 and keep our customers and staff safe. We hope you find it informative and easy to read.

Paper copies are available on request for those who are not online or prefer a hard copy. To request a copy please call 0300 123 6633.

Why Do We Need a Tenants’ Annual Report?

Why Do We Need a Tenants’ Annual Report?

The Regulator of Social Housing is the regulatory body responsible for social housing in England and sets out what is expected of registered housing providers, and this includes the production of an Annual Report. The standards which have been set are outlined in the Regulatory Framework for Social Housing.

During the year The Charter for Social Housing Residents was published setting out the Government’s proposals to strengthen the regulation of social housing including placing greater emphasis on the importance of listening to the views of our customers.

South Tyneside Homes continues to work in partnership with South Tyneside Council to ensure that regulatory requirements are met in a transparent and accountable way as well demonstrating how we work with customers to understand how services can be shaped and improved.

It is really important that we continue to meet the standards set by the regulator as this indicates how well we are doing as an organisation, and more importantly, how well the organisation is delivering services to all of our customers. This Annual Report shows how South Tyneside Council and South Tyneside Homes work with customers to ensure that these standards are achieved.

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The View from the Organisation

The View of the Organisation

The past year has brought about significant challenges to us all due to the impact of COVID. During the lockdown period our staff worked tirelessly to ensure they supported customers, carrying out emergency and urgent repairs as well as building safety work to keep everyone safe in their homes.

We ensured that we contacted and supported vulnerable customers providing help with shopping, prescriptions, loneliness and support. We continued to provide welfare and debt advice to support those who felt the greatest impact from the pandemic and we administered a hardship and isolation fund on behalf of the Council.

We accommodated and supported those made homeless, requiring hospital discharges or to move home for medical reasons, as well as ensuring that our Contact Centre staff were available for all customers to deal with their enquiries and to book emergency repairs to keep customers safe.

We continue to look forward and examine what more needs to be done to ensure we provide safe and secure homes for future generations as the stability of a permanent home provides the opportunity for families to lead safe, healthy and happy lives.

Our aims for the coming year are to tackle stigma, build on the significant work we have undertaken in relation to building safety, invest further in the stock building new homes and ensuring customers live in a decent home, whilst we tackle fuel poverty and reduce carbon emissions. Most importantly we want to continue to empower customers by placing them at the heart of everything we do, and ensure that they are offered a wide range of opportunities to give their views and help us to tailor and improve the services we offer in the future.

  • Councillor Ed Malcolm Chair of South Tyneside Homes’ Board
  • Councillor Jim Foreman Lead Member for Housing and Transport
  • Paul Mains Managing Director of South Tyneside Homes
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Involvement and Empowerment Standard

What The Regulator Says Landlords Should Deliver Under This Standard

  • Provide opportunities for customer involvement and empowerment
  • Support customers in their ability to scrutinise and improve services
  • Understand and respond to the diverse needs of customers
  • Have a focus on good customer service, choice and complaints that is clear, simple and accessible to customers

The Involvement and Empowerment standard covers the following services. Please click below to see the relevant section or read an overview of performance against this standard.

Customer Involvement

Customer Involvement

During 2020/21 the Resident Involvement Strategy was revised to enhance opportunities for involvement and to hear and respond to the views of residents. South Tyneside Homes has adapted how it engages with involved customer groups to use video conferencing tools to allow engagement from home to give feedback and views on how to improve services.

YourView surveys were conducted to understand customer’s viewpoint and their responses have helped to shape services. The YourView platform has been developed as way to increase digital engagement, enabling customers to complete surveys and further development is planned for 2021-22 involving more service areas.

To see how YourView works, visit our website.

YourView Survey Responses 2020/21
Topic Responses
Housing Plus to enhance customer interest 46
Your experience of South Tyneside Homes during the pandemic 104
Total 150

In addition, there were 143 responses to the customer Scrutiny Panel survey of fire safety communications in High Rise and Housing Plus accommodation.

Involved customer groups have carried out two major reviews during 2020/21 that have led to significant service improvements. A review, exploring how to reduce instances of jobs that could not be completed correctly first time in the Responsive Repairs service, made 26 recommendations and performance has improved to 3.22% of jobs requiring follow-up work in February 2021 compared to 5.48% in February 2020. A review exploring how to maximise the effectiveness of communication with customers about fire safety in Housing Plus and Medium and High Rise accommodation made 25 recommendations with most now having been implemented.

Involved customers carried out reviews online.

In addition, customers made 13 recommendations for improvements to anti-social behaviour information on the website, and customer views also influenced the options available as part of our planned maintenance programme.

In the year ahead South Tyneside Homes will continue to innovate in the provision of accessible online engagement to achieve broader-based involvement with residents and communities that reflects the aspirations and characteristics of those using our services. Alongside this, the aim is to recruit more customers onto our customer panels.

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Customer Services

Customer Services

Over the course of the year the Customer Services team were able to resolve almost 80% of calls at the first point of contact. It has also improved the number of calls answered within 30 seconds, increasing performance by 37% to over half of all calls received being answered in this time.

There are peak call times where customers may have to wait longer to speak with a Customer Service Advisor and with new software in place, this is being actively monitored so that further improvements can be made. The average speed of answer for the service for 2020/21 was 128 seconds, which is a 22.42% improvement on the previous year.

Due to the complexity of calls coming in to the service, the amount of time taken to handle a call has increased by 27%, as during the pandemic enquiries relating to some services such as income and welfare support needed more tasks and actions to be completed by Customer Service Advisors.

The MyHomes Customer Portal will be launched during 2021/22 and will be accessible via the South Tyneside Homes website providing a range of self service features. Further automated facilities to enhance customer service are also being taken forward during 2021/22.

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Customer Feedback

Customer Feedback

South Tyneside Homes encourage feedback through a variety of ways to suit customer needs. Customers are encouraged to record their views via phone, LiveChat, social media and face to face. During the year, we continued to develop and extend use of automated telephone contact software to obtain real time customer feedback and satisfaction data in the following areas:

South Tyneside Homes asked if you were satisfied with...

  • The customer service provided by Allocations Officers?
  • The support provided when you were rehoused?
  • The ease of reporting your complaint?
  • Your recent Customer Care Visit?
  • The service that you received during your gas servicing appointment?
  • The work carried out at your home (improvement works)?
  • The way your welfare or debt advice case was handled?
  • The service that you received during your most recent repair?
  • Your recent Tenant Support appointment?
  • The way your enquiry was handled by the Contact Centre?
  • The customer service you received about your housing options?

Using this approach, 7434 responses were received from customers with over 98% indicating satisfaction with the service they received, and the feedback enabled South Tyneside Homes to make improvements to services such as where more staff training is required or more support to customers is required.

A new Complaint Handling Procedure has been introduced in line with Housing Ombudsman’s complaints handling code, which means there is a more streamlined process meaning a quicker resolution for customers. A new online complaint form has been introduced to allow customers to give feedback in a self-service style and customers are encouraged to use this form and there are links to this on the South Tyneside Homes website, on email signatures and on letters.

Using this approach, 7434 responses were received from customers with over 98% indicating satisfaction with the service they received, and the feedback enabled South Tyneside Homes to make improvements to services such as where more staff training is required or more support to customers is required.

There were 9 complaints cases referred to the Housing Ombudsman in 2020/21 which is an increase from 5 in the previous year, with 2 outcomes being upheld by the Ombudsman. These related to a service failure in the handling of repairs to a resident’s property, and a service failure in the handling of a complaint.

Customer Feedback 2020/2021
Team Total Complaints Logged Total Percentage (%) Total Compliments Logged Total Percentage (%)
Area Management and Tenancy Sustainment 96 13.54% 36 8.04%
Community Safety 42 5.92% 4 0.89%
Asset Management 5 0.71% 3 0.67%
Customer Services 17 2.40% 29 6.47%
Financial Wellbeing 44 6.21% 18 4.02%
Handy Estates 142 20.03% 68 15.18%
Housing Solutions 90 12.69% 52 11.61%
Housing Ventures 7 0.99% 0 0.00%
New Build and Major Works 25 3.53% 71 15.85%
Resident Involvement 0 0.00% 1 0.22%
Repairs and Maintenance 218 30.75% 160 35.71%
Other 23 3.24% 6 1.34%
Total 709 100% 448 100%
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Equality and Diversity

Equality and Diversity

South Tyneside Homes ensures customers have a number of ways to report and access information via phone, email, text, and face to face, to ensure it meets customer's needs and preferences. Information is also available in a number of different languages and formats.

The website continues to be fully accessible and inclusive to customers regardless of the device which they use. An accessibility toolbar, provided by ReciteMe, makes it easier for people with disabilities including visual impairments, hearing impairments and dyslexia to tailor the information to suit their needs. During 2020/21, a total of 2,065 pages were viewed using the software from 567 unique users. The most used features were the screen reader, styling tools and translation of text into other languages.

South Tyneside Homes is committed to treating everyone fairly, values diversity and opposes all forms of discrimination. All policies and strategies undergo an Equality Check to ensure that the organisation does not discriminate against anyone with a protected characteristic. This is vital as the organisation looks to improve digital services and offer customers choice in how they manage their home.

During 2021/22 an external review will be carried out to understand how the organisation’s approaches are working. This work will help identify areas for improvement and ensure that South Tyneside Homes can meet the requirements of the Social Housing White Paper and all other statutory requirements.

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Tenancy Standard

What The Regulator Says Landlords Should Deliver Under This Standard

  • Allocate properties in a fair, transparent and efficient way
  • Have ways for customers to mutually exchange
  • Provide services that will support customers to maintain their tenancy and prevent unnecessary evictions
  • Publish clear and accessible policies which outline their approach to tenancy management, including interventions to sustain tenancies

The Tenancy Standard covers the following services. Please click below to see the relevant section or read an overview of performance against this standard.

Moving Home

Moving Home

I am ready to start a new chapter hopefully a happy one but certainly one that will give me peace of mind. I feel humbled by the help from everyone involved and I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Ms Henry, Julius Court, South Shields

The Housing Solutions Service continued to develop ways to help and support customers while moving home responding to the challenges presented by the pandemic.

Customers who were Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (Shielding) were supported to safely move and secure suitable alternative accommodation. Viewings were carried out virtually and customers were provided with electronic documents for tenancy sign-up.

A telephone triage system has also been developed to provide an accessible service to those requiring the Housing Solutions Service. Those at risk or threatened with homelessness were offered a telephone appointment to give them advice and guidance, and direct access was provided through to officers where assistance to relieve homelessness was required.

For those who had no other means of access to the Housing Register, remote support from a Pre-Tenancy Support service provided telephone support and advice prior to and during a move and assistance with bidding where appropriate.

To ensure that no one was homeless our staff offered a safe place to stay during the pandemic, we implemented the requirements of the Governments ‘Everyone In’ Guidance and 234 homeless placements have been made.

During 2020/21 the Housing Solutions Service dealt with 2680 customers, of which 846 had their homelessness either prevented or resolved.

Areas to be developed during 2021/22:

  • A review of the lettable standard of vacant dwellings will be completed to improve the quality of the homes being let. Viewings of properties will again be offered in-person, however, should a customer require a virtual viewing this is available.
  • Work with the Council to ensure there is effective access to good quality accommodation across all tenures to enable everyone to access appropriate accommodation.
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Supporting You In Your Home

Supporting You In Your Home

I want to thank my Neighbourhood Support Officer who is a great example of how a council representative should conduct themselves - he was polite, professional, listened to my issues and went above and beyond to help me. In 22 years of being a council tenant, he helped me the most.

Miss Wynn, Hebburn

Tenant support visits continued during the pandemic with an adapted approach in line with government guidance. Visits were conducted by telephone unless it was an emergency in which case a Home Visit was carried out.

During the Covid lockdown, Neighbourhood Officers widened their role and supported residents in housing schemes as the demographic of this customer base was most at risk from the health issues related to Covid-19.

Close working arrangements have been developed with South Tyneside District Hospital for those unable to return home for health reasons, involving working more closely with hospital staff and Social Care to ascertain housing requirements and the co-ordination of services to enable a property to be sourced and arrangements made for them to move.

During 2020/21:

  • 1021 Tenant support visits were completed to provide advice and support to help sustain tenancies.
  • 147 referrals made to Age Concern for practical support such as shopping or obtaining prescriptions.

Areas to be developed during 2021/22:

  • Work to improve the speed of referral for Occupational Therapist Assessment in our Health and Housing Support Service will be completed. This will involve the development of more appropriate criteria for referral to ensure that specialist support is available for those who need it.
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Paying Your Rent

Paying Your Rent

The Income Team engages with customers to promote responsibility for rent payments and to provide support, if required, to help customers to budget and manage their money. The team focus on early intervention and this allows them to work in a more efficient way and provide better support to customers who are struggling to pay their rent.

Changes to ways of working have had a positive impact on income collection, in particular from targeted work carried out with new Universal Credit applicants and new customers. There were 4,830 Universal Credit applicants within tenancies at the end of March 2021 and 49% of customers claiming Universal Credit are in credit with their rent payments.

The team have also:

  • Reduced the overall rent arrears by 21%, a total of £474,844, during the year.
  • Reduced the overall number of arrears cases by 28% from 6,614 at the end of the 2019/20 financial year to 4,778 at the end of the 2020/21 financial year.
  • Reduced the garage arrears by 64%, a total of £5585 during the year.

Areas to be developed during 2021/22:

  • Options for recovering former tenant arears such as attachments of earnings, and tracing options will be developed.
  • The new Housing Possession Mediation Service introduced for landlords and tenants undergoing possession proceedings will be considered for use in future housing possession cases.
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Welfare Support

Welfare Support

The Welfare Support Team provide free impartial advice to all residents of South Tyneside and are the first point of contact for specialist welfare benefits and money advice.

During 2020/21 the team achieved over £3.6 million in financial gains for residents despite the pandemic.

The team administer the South Tyneside Council Hardship Fund and received over 25,000 telephone calls during the year dealing with over 10,000 applications. Awards were made to over 3,200 households with financial difficulties equating to around £314,000 of support. Applications could only be granted in cases where people were unable to meet essential expenditure such as rent, council tax and utility bills.

We just wanted to say a massive thank you for all your help. You all spent a lot of time helping us, and we are very grateful.

A South Tyneside Resident

Areas to be developed during 2021/22:

  • Identifying ways to improve our services by capturing our customers experience through focused engagement.
  • Adopting a proactive approach to encourage more customers to contact South Tyneside Homes.
  • Helping those who may be at risk of poverty and financial crisis by linking them into relevant services by delivering a new service called Social Navigators.
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Home Standard

What The Regulator Says Landlords Should Deliver Under This Standard

  • Provide quality homes that meet the Decent Homes Standard
  • Provide a cost-effective repairs and maintenance service to homes and communal areas
  • Provide a repairs service which has the objective of completing repairs and improvements right first time
  • Meet all applicable legal requirements that provide for the health and safety of the occupants in their homes
  • Provide an adaptations service that meets tenants’ needs

The Home standard covers the following services. Please click below to see the relevant section or read an overview of performance against this standard.

Investing in Homes and a Sustainable South Tyneside

Investing in Homes and a Sustainable South Tyneside

Through the ongoing delivery of the housing capital investment programme, South Tyneside Homes invests in attractive, good quality and affordable homes to meet customers’ needs and to help deliver a sustainable South Tyneside.

Investment ensures homes meet the decent homes standard and are safe and healthy for residents to live in. There is investment in communal areas, in neighbourhood schemes and in delivering a planned approach to repairs. Intelligence from activities helps to inform future investment and the provision of an an excellent customer focused service.

To meet carbon reduction targets, investment strategies are being aligned with South Tyneside Council’s Sustainable South Tyneside strategy to achieve carbon neutrality by 2030. South Tyneside Homes has held the environmental management standard IS014001 for more than 10 years demonstrating its clear commitment to a cleaner, greener South Tyneside. It aims to make further improvements to the way it works, researching fleet investment initiatives, introducing carbon neutral technology to its buildings and educating its staff and customers to ensure the environmental agenda influences behaviours and is embedded within services.

South Tyneside Homes are also working with South Tyneside Council to deliver 250 new homes in the Borough over the next five years.

During 2020/21 a £12.9m housing capital programme was invested in the following:

Investment in housing 2020/2021
Investment Amount Percentage
Decent Homes internal upgrades £3,365,000 26.3%
General refurbishment £2,365,000 18.3%
Window programme £1,322,000 10.2%
Roofing and pointing programme £1,335,000 10.4%
Health and safety works £1,158,000 8.9%
Empty homes upgrades £1,064,000 8.2%
Structural programme £636,000 4.9%
Adaptations £611,000 4.7%
Estate and area improvement schemes £1,041,000 8.1%
Total £12,897,000 100%
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What the Investment has Delivered

What the Investment has Delivered

Decent Homes

Planned maintenance programmes delivered Decent Homes internal upgrade investment of £3,365,000 to make sure customers have high quality kitchens and bathrooms, rewiring to current regulations and ‘A’ rated boilers to ensure homes are safe and efficient and minimise heating bills.

Decent Homes Improvements 2020/2021
Type of Work Number Delivered
New kitchen 227
New bathroom or W/C 177
A rewire 237
A new heating system or boiler 111
Total 752

Window programme

Window investment of £1,322,000 delivered 422 installations ensuring customers benefited from ‘A’ rated windows to help reduce heating bills by minimising heat loss.

Roofing and pointing

The roofing and pointing programme invested £1,335,000 to keep customers homes warm, safe and secure. This investment has delivered:

Roofing and pointing improvements 2020/21
Type of work Number delivered
Replacement roofing 77
Gutter replacement programme 114
Brickwork pointing installations 215
Total 406

Health and Safety investment

Health and safety investment of £1,158,000 keeps customers safe within their home including the maintenance of fire safety measures and replacement fire alarms and emergency lighting installations.

General refurbishment

The general refurbishment investment of £2,365,000 continues to maintain quality neighbourhoods and to ensure the communal buildings managed by South Tyneside Homes continue to meet the needs of the customers.

Empty Homes

£1,064,000 was invested in properties that were empty to ensure new customers moved into homes that met the lettable standard. This delivered structural repairs, as well as new kitchens and bathrooms, rewiring and upgrades to heating systems.

Structural programme

£636,000 was invested in work to maintain the structural integrity of homes including damp proofing work, replacement wall ties, replacement timber and undertaking surveys and inspections.

Estate and area improvement schemes

Over £1M was invested in a range of other smaller schemes to enhance the housing stock and provide local environmental enhancements such as fencing and footpath projects.

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South Tyneside Homes works closely with South Tyneside Council’s Let’s Talk team to deliver adaptations work to help customers remain independent in their homes. In 2020/21, £611,000 was invested in 235 adaptations with 98.83% completed on time, compared to 98.64% the previous year. The table below shows the range of adaptations that were delivered:

Adaptation improvements 2020/21
Type of adaptation Number delivered
Level access shower or wet room 35
Ramps 46
Stair-lift or chair-lift 68
Steps or handrails 86
Total 235
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Keeping You Safe

Keeping You Safe

To keep our customers safe, South Tyneside Homes has a number of dedicated teams carrying out health and safety investment, maintenance and compliance services that ensure we meet all statutory requirements.

Tenant’s Safety information can be viewed on the South Tyneside Homes website. New customers are provided with the “Tenants Safety Handbook” when they sign for their home.


All South Tyneside Homes properties have a valid gas safety certificate for the year 2020/21. The Gas Servicing team completes annual safety inspections to all of our 16,000 properties and for the 10th year in a row has achieved 100% compliance. The gas servicing programme is now more efficient consisting of 12 monthly schemes across geographical areas to ensure work is completed on target while delivering to groups of properties in each area.

To improve customer service a new dedicated service has been developed where any follow-up work that is required can be arranged directly with customers.

Improvements made have led to customer satisfaction increasing to 98.98% in 2020/21 from 94.17% in 2019/20.

Green alternatives to gas as a source of heating are being explored as under the Government’s Carbon Neutral plan the installation of gas appliances in new build properties will cease from 2025 and alternative energy sources will be required for use in existing properties to meet the UK targets of carbon net zero by 2050.

Areas to be developed during 2021/22:

  • Mobile working technology for gas servicing that enhances the service provided to customers.


To ensure the safety of customers within their homes and in line with government guidelines, South Tyneside Homes continued to deliver its planned electrical testing programme during the pandemic. To ensure the safety of the workforce and customers, new methods of working were introduced including safe systems of work and risk assessments.

There is an annual target of undertaking electrical tests in around 3200 homes each year to ensure every property is tested once every five years. To enhance the delivery of this programme a new system has been introduced which informs customers of the work required if an electrical inspection has failed or if a customer misses an appointment.

Fire safety

Following a pro-active programme of fire risk assessments, fire safety audits and general inspections 336 fire safety actions were completed.

South Tyneside Homes has also procured and started implementation of a digital system for high rise and medium rise buildings called “Twinnedit”. This will enable the management of fire safety risks more effectively and enable customers to access key safety information such as evacuation plans, evacuation videos and fire risk assessment summaries for their building.

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Repairs and Maintenance

Repairs and Maintenance

Overall performance has continued to increase with the Repairs and Maintenance Service exceeding targets in all areas of performance. 99.88% of all appointments were delivered within timescale against a stretching target of 99.5% with satisfaction of repairs rising in 2020/21 to 96.5% from 94.33% in 2019/20.

Improvements have been made across the service following recommendations from reviews by our involved Customer Panels and the number of occasions the service is able to complete a job at first visit has increased from 83.96% in 2019/20 to 90.8% in 2020/21, and incidences of ‘no answer’ at a repair visit is down from 9.31% at the end of 2019/20 to 5.21% at the end of 2020/21. The percentage of jobs requiring follow-on work has continued to improve, by reducing from 5.53% in 2019/20 to 4.15% in 2020/21.

The South Tyneside Homes website contains information detailing all the ways customers can report repairs. They can do this 24/7 via the Customer Services Centre and also by SMS, type talk, e-mail, in writing, in person at a Housing Office or by contacting a member of staff.

Areas to be developed during 2021/22:

  • Implementation of an online repair reporting function for tenants to report and book a repair.
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Neighbourhood and Community Standard

What The Regulator Says Landlords Should Deliver Under This Standard

  • Keep neighbourhoods and communal areas clean and safe
  • Work with partners to prevent and tackle anti-social behaviour
  • Work with relevant partners to promote social, environmental and economic wellbeing

The Neighbourhood and Community Standard covers the following services. Please click below to see the relevant section or read an overview of performance against this standard.

Keeping Your Community Clean

Keeping Your Community Clean

Teams work hard to ensure that our neighbourhoods are clean and well maintained throughout the year.

Area teams have developed a more specialised approach in neighbourhoods to keep them tidy and carried out targeted campaigns that focused on issues such as littering, dog fouling, fly tipping and garden tidies. Area teams can monitor local neighbourhoods in a variety of ways and using enhanced reporting facilities work with partner agencies to tackle environmental crime.

The Foreshore saw a significant increase in footfall during the winter months, with support of staff from other parts of the business, teams continued to deliver a first-class service to keep it clean and well maintained. The winter maintenance program delivered across the Borough in partnership with South Tyneside Council, includes the gritting of footpaths, the outside of public buildings and ramped access to public buildings was delivered in line with legal requirements.

Key statistics from 2020/21:

  • There were 2390 cases of fly-tipping during the year and 100% were removed within timescale.
  • There were 312 incidents of graffiti during the year and 99.04% were removed in timescale.
  • We received 68 compliments for the service.

Areas to be developed during 2021/22:

  • A roll-out of mobile working technology to the Handy Estates Team to enhance customer service and safety.
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Keeping Your Community Safe

Keeping Your Community Safe

To ensure the safety of customers’ homes compliance and fire safety checks have been extended to mid-rise and high-rise blocks and Housing schemes. On average 1096 of these checks are carried out each month. In addition, annual home safety checks are undertaken, that enable the identification of potential fire-related hazards in these homes and any additional customer support needs.

All new customers receive a visit from South Tyneside Homes staff and again 8 months after the tenancy has commenced. These visits help us identify any issues and support needs. When an annual gas safety check takes place, operatives can identify any customers who may be vulnerable or require additional support.

To tackle anti-social behaviour and to report incidences of hate crime, South Tyneside Homes works in partnership with a number of organisations including Northumbria Police and the Council’s Environmental Health Team.

A wide range of tools and powers are used in appropriate cases to resolve anti-social behaviour – these are summarised in the table below.

Tools and Powers used 2020/21
Tool or Power Times used
Tenancy condition letter 86
Disorder letter 1
Formal warning 131
Final Warning 41
Good Neighbour Agreement 10
Warning before proceedings 38
Community Protection Warning (CPW) 96
Community Protection Notice (CPN) 6
Civil injunction 4
Notice of Possession Proceedings (NOPP) 2
Notice of Seeking Possession (NOSP) 31
Demotion notice 17
Revocation of lLicence 2
Extension of introductory tenancy 3

The number of new cases has increased during the year from 989 in 2019-20 to 1041 during 2020/21, however the number of cases successfully resolved has increased throughout the year to 83.96%. This is an improvement compared with 71.19% in 2019-20 and indicates that early interventions are working and preventing behaviour escalating.

Areas to be developed during 2021/22:

  • Updating the Anti-Social Behaviour Policy.
  • Adoption of a new case management process to further improve the resolution of cases.
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Promoting Social, Environmental and Economic Wellbeing

Promoting Social, Environmental and Economic Wellbeing

To deliver a quicker response to customers who need assistance in Housing Plus accommodation a new automated well-being call system has been introduced. This allows existing services to be supplemented allowing daily welfare checks to be undertaken in a more targeted and efficient way and feedback from customers also shows that they like the flexibility of an approach that better suits their lifestyles. It has resulted in an increase in the take up of customers engaging with the service and by March 2021, 733 customers from around 1010 tenancies are monitored daily compared to 474 previously.

The new call system is really good. It lets us get on with other things, I get a call at exactly the same time every day, and we can get help when we need it.

Sandra Laybourn, Lilac Walk

In the coming year new residents to Housing Plus accommodation will be able to easily join the new resident community through a ‘warm welcome’ approach. By developing professional links and networks they will have access to appropriate support, such as help accessing carer support if they have recently left hospital.

My Housing Plus Officer has gone above and beyond to help me stay at Borrowdale House. I have settled in so well and I could not have done this without her support.

Pauline Swinney, Borrowdale House

The social enterprise traineeship programme that provides valuable work experience for young people, the long term unemployed and ex-military personnel is being expanded. More ground maintenance apprentices, Kick Start trainees and multi-skilled trainees will be recruited to enable the team to expand areas of work. This includes supporting the Empty Homes Team to carry out maintenance work, clear houses and tidy gardens, support Repairs and Maintenance by working alongside the fencing team, expanding garden tidy and grounds maintenance services.

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This section gives a summary of key performance across the organisation.

Customer Satisfaction
Service Area 2018/19 2019/20 2020/21
Gas Servicing 90.12% 94.17% 98.98%
Making a Complaint 89.5% 89.87% 89.87%
Responsive Repairs 91.26% 94.33% 96.50%
Welfare Support
2018/19 2019/20 2020/21
Additional income secured for customers £3.29M £5.36M £3.69M
Number of people assisted 3,626 3,829 2,173*

* In addition the team dealt with over 10,000 applications to the Council Hardship fund during the pandemic making awards to over 3,200 households, equating to around £314,000 of support.

Anti-Social Behaviour
2018/19 2019/20 2020/21
Number of ASB complaints 1,142 989 1,041
% of complaints responded to within timescale 99.22% 98.96% 98.09%
Customer Services
2018/19 2019/20 2020/21
Percentage of calls resolved at 1st point of contact 81% 79.1% 79.18%
Number of compliments received 657 653 442
Number of complaints received 668 684 688
Housing Solutions
2018/19 2019/20 2020/21
Average number of empty homes 157 173 268
Percentage of empty homes as proportion of housing stock 0.87% 1.05% 1.97%
Average re-let time 44.5 days 36.58 days 84 days*
Percentage of rent lost through re-let process 1.36% 1.07% 1.97%

* Performance was impacted by social distancing requirements to ensure the safety of customers and staff

Rent Collection
2018/19 2019/20 2020/21
Proportion of rent collected (excluding arrears) 99.77% 100.62% 102.13%
Percentage of rent arrears 2.93% 3.23% 2.55%
Percentage of former tenant arrears 2.6% 2.49% 2.80%
2018/19 2019/20 2020/21
Number of routine repairs 40,211 36,567 23,324
% of routine repairs delivered within 20 days 99.88% 99.95% 99.92%
Number of emergency repairs 14,720 15,648 14,884
% of emergency repairs delivered within 4 hours 98.63% 99.39% 99.94%
Number of urgent repairs 19,144 16,181 13,070
% of urgent repairs delivered within timescale 99.93% 99.94% 99.98%

To see how the company performed against the service standards, visit the performance page of the website.

Making Sense of the Money

Financial Overview

South Tyneside Homes manages around 16,000 homes on behalf of South Tyneside Council. In 2020/21 income was £65.3 million. Below is an overview of how rent was spent during the year.

Spending 2020/2021
Spending Total Percentage
Capital charges £29.2m 44.7%
Repairs and maintenance £15.7m 24%
Housing management £10m 15.3%
Central services £6.6m 10.1%
Rents, rates and taxes £1.0m 1.5%
Estate management £1.2m 1.9%
Income management £0.9m 1.3%
Anti-social behaviour £0.4m 0.7%
Tenant involvement £0.1m 0.1%
Other £0.2m 0.4%
Total £65.3m 100%

Focus On Income

Most of the income comes from rent but tenants and leaseholders are also charged for services and facilities that South Tyneside Homes provides. The contributions come from various sources such as the fee for collecting water rates from tenants:

Income 2019/2020
Income Amount Percentage
Property Rents £61m 93.4%
Charges for services and facilities £2.1m 3.2%
Contributions towards costs £1m 1.6%
Garage and shop rents £1.2m 1.8%
Total £65.3m 100%

Did you know, for every £1 of rent you pay...

  • 45p is spent on capital improvements to existing properties and provision of new properties
  • 24p is spent on repairing properties
  • 17p is spent on managing tenancies
  • 10p is spent on central services such as the warden call service
  • 2p is the cost of specialist housing services
  • 2p is spent on miscellaneous costs including rent, rates and taxes