Last updated 05/03/2013
Asset Management Strategy 2012-2015
The Group’s stock of approximately 13,000 is spread over the North West; however the core of the stock is located in the Manchester, Wigan, Leigh, Chorley and Sefton areas.
The approach to effectively manage our assets is constantly evolving. This Asset Management Strategy reflects how we intend to manage our assets from 2012 to 2015. It also sets out the principles that underpin the varied services and directs the reader to the appropriate Asset Management policy or procedure.
On the 31st December 2010 all of the Group’s stock met the Decent Home Standard. The Chorley Community Housing stock improvement programme concluded in the Summer of 2011, 1600 properties in Miles Platting, managed by Adactus Housing Associaton have also undergone substantial refurbishment. The remaining AHA stock has comfortably met the Decent Home Standard via a consistent 5 year component replacement and improvement programme. Beech Housing Association’s stock is mainly leasehold and is also well maintained.
Unlike Adactus Housing Association, Chorley Community Housing is not a Homes and Communities Agency development partner and therefore does not require capital from elsewhere in the business to assist building new properties. The majority of the CCH properties are based on an estate layout with large densities in clusters around the Borough and are generally less than 60 years old. The challenges of effectively managing the assets at CCH are therefore focused on neighbourhoods, environments and communal space.
The core of the AHA stock is located in the Manchester, Wigan, Leigh, and Sefton areas. The remainder is pepper-potted in-between these areas. Approximately a third of AHA’s stock was built before 1919, the remainder is a mixture of quality sheltered housing accommodation and excellent ‘new build’ developments. The geographical spread of AHA’s stock is challenging in terms of responsive maintenance and the stock around North Manchester, Moss Side, Wigan and Leigh, built pre 1919, pose maintenance challenges around thermal comfort and condensation.
AHA have recently adopted the Group Property Disposal Policy of void properties that are considered beyond their useful economic life as part of the overall asset management strategy. The Beech Housing portfolio is mainly leasehold and therefore the main emphasis is on maintaining structure and communal areas.
Generally, demand for our sheltered and general needs properties is high. However, we do have some low demand for one bedroom and bed-sit flats in some of our schemes. There is also fairly low demand for terraced property around the Lightbowne and Openshaw areas of Manchester. The overall occupancy rate is consistently above 96% and the overall rent lost due unoccupied properties is consistently around 0.8%. Annually we let approximately 1000 properties across all areas of our business including supported and extra care, approximately an 8% turnover.
We completed a comprehensive stock condition survey of AHA properties in 2007, gaining 90% access to assess internal condition of the properties. Comprehensive stock condition surveys for CCH stock have been interwoven with the improvement programme and are set to be completed in 2012. These surveys are stored on a live asset database that is regularly updated with component replacement information. We have also introduced external scheme and estate surveys to capture necessary improvements.
The subsidiary property assets of the Adactus Housing Group are managed centrally by the Adactus Group Asset Management Department.The aim of the department is to provide efficient, quality services for our residents in order to maintain decent homes and neighborhoods.
Whilst the Group enjoys a good reputation for the quality of its maintenance service we recognise that we need to plan our spending in a manner that ensures we receive value for money. The maintenance services provided are efficient, value for money services as proven by the ‘Market Test Review’ undertaken in 2010. Similar market testing will be undertaken every two years. The Group is committed to employing its own workforce to carry out repairs and improvements.
The previous Asset Management Strategy, and therefore investment decisions, focused on meeting the ‘Decent Homes Standard’. The focus of the Decent Homes Standard was around thermal comfort, kitchens and bathrooms. Although the Group needs to continue to maintain internal elements to a decent standard, attention and investment is required to external elements and boundaries.
Over recent years the maintenance service has improved in quality and efficiency. This has been undertaken through the Direct Labour Organisation. In 2011/2012 we expanded the Direct Labour Organisation to undertake installations. Our commitment to the DLO continues and further expansion is planned to undertake our external works commitment, further installations, mobile cleaning services, caretakers and the Miles Platting life cycle works.
The recently adopted Property Disposal Policy enables resources previously employed on uneconomical void properties to be diverted into planned improvements and ‘one off’ replacements. The Miles Platting life cycle obligation commences in April 2012. A detailed programme of work on the estate has been generated to meet the contractual requirements and funding available. The majority of this work will be completed by the in-house Planned DLO team.
Through this asset strategy and the further regeneration framework process, we aim to respond to changing demand, changing markets, changing demographics and changing aspirations in a way that ensures the viability of the Group’s Association’s and contributes towards the sustainability and regeneration agendas.
We want our tenants to be happy with their homes and so we aim to provide good quality accommodation right at the start of the tenancy and then follow this up by providing a customer focused maintenance service.
The 2011 – 2031 Adactus Group Business Plan details the overall objectives for the Group and the targets are updated annually to reflect current targets. The medium term goals that are influenced by this strategy are:
• Ensure a sustainable future for the business: achieve efficiency savings of £1m during 2010/11from the existing business (i.e. excl the benefits of expansion) and maintain these savings to 2015
• Do our bit for the environment: reduce our carbon emissions by 25% by 31 March 2015 (from a 2009/10 baseline of 7,203 tonnes of CO2)
• Increase resident satisfaction: achieve a 4 percentage point increase in resident satisfaction with overall service by 31 March 2015 (from a 2008 baseline for AHA of 80%, 84% for CCH in 2009 and 86% for Beech in 2010).
• Help improve neighbourhoods: increase neighbourhood satisfaction to 80% (from 2009 baseline for CCH of 70% and 79% for Miles Platting in 2010) within the neighbourhoods we hold condensed stock holdings by 31 March 2015.
On a more local level, the key measures for Adactus Housing Group are to:
• Continue to meet the Decent Homes Standard in all our properties
• Improve information to tenants about the planned maintenance programme
• Expand the Direct Labour Squad and have less reliance on external contractors
• Deliver estate and scheme improvements based on our customer’s wishes, wider regeneration activity and areas of vulnerability subject to the overall financial plan
• Improving the physical, social and infrastructure of our neighbourhoods
• Include measures that add to the long term sustainability of our homes and neighbourhoods
• Achieve at least 90% satisfaction in all areas of maintenance
• Effective consultation with our residents, tenants and other stakeholders
• Disposing of properties that are beyond their useful economical life
All of these factors have to be taken into account in deciding upon the most effective strategy that will maintain, improve and sustain the Group’s assets in the most cost-effective manner and support the overall Business Plan Objectives.
The annual Heath and Safety Action Strategy outlines how the Health and Safety Department will work towards delivering the Adactus Housing Group's Strategic Plan to provide a safe environment for staff and customers.
Progress on meeting the targets is reported regularly by the Group Health and Safety Manager to the Commercial Manager (Asset Management). There will also be quarterly Operational H&S Steering Groups and Health and Safety Committee meetings ensuring robust health and safety management communication at all levels of the Group. Minutes of these meetings and quarterly health and safety reports will also be provided to the Director of Asset Management and presented at Group Board Meetings.
The recently achieved BSOHSAS 18001 management system will also be reviewed on an annual basis by an external British Health and Safety Council consultant to ensure compliance.
There have been significant improvements in responsive repairs over the last two years. DLO productivity has increased by 30%, repairs are getting completed quicker and satisfaction with the service is high. The introduction of mobile technology has significantly increased productivity and control of the workforce.
The aim for the next few years is to continue improving the efficiency and quality of the service. Two specific areas that will be focused on will be right first time completions and further reducing reliance on using contractors.
However the timescales for completion of repairs and the appointment slots available are;
- Category A - Emergency - 24hrs
- Category B – Urgent – 3 working days
- Category C – Routine – 15 working days
- Category D – Non Urgent – 30 working days
Available appointment slots are:
- 8am – 10am
- 8am – 12pm
- 10am – 2pm
- 12pm – 5pm
- 8am - 5pm (all day)
Relet work on our void properties has improved alongside responsive repairs. The works are programmed in the planning system in much the same way as responsive repairs and have benefited in terms of efficiency, control and quality. Our aim for the next few years is to undertake major relet work that may have been passed to contractors previously. The major installation work will be completed by the Planned DLO team and then finished off by the regular Relet DLO team. We aim to return all voids available to let within 28 days.
The Relet Standard governs the condition of a property right from the start of a tenancy. This standard has been improved in the last year so tenants feel that the property is more of a home rather than short stay accommodation.
A review of the Sheleterd Relet Standard will be undertaken in 2012.
Annual property audits will be introduced in March 2012. Over 80% of our properties are accessed each year to undertake gas servicing. It is proposed that on these visits our Gas Engineers will collect data on property condition and on market information on our tenants. Obtaining general property condition information is a proactive approach to managing disrepair, insurance claims and Housing Health Safety Rating System (HHSRS) commitments.
The percentage of properties that have a valid gas certificate consistently meets upper quartile performance. There have also been increases in the productivity of the Gas Service Engineers, who have benefited from mobile technology. Gas safety certificates are recorded electronically on the Gas Engineers mobile device resulting in less back office administration. During 2012 the gas service teams are considering purchasing laptops or notebooks that will allow them to see boiler diagrams and technical detail more clearly.
Recent analysis on the percentage of successful first time access has uncovered an area where efficiencies could be made. Further work will be undertaken in 2012 to eliminate the inefficiency and increase productivity.
The Grounds Maintenance DLO maintains approximately 280 sites over the North West. During 2012 a number of sheltered scheme sites will be maintained by Caretakers and will be removed from the regular grounds maintenance Rota.
The contract to maintain CCH grounds expires in March 2014 and re-tendering exercise is likely to be required.
The open space in Miles Platting is maintained to a high standard as set out in the PFI contract Annex 2 of the Output Specification of the Project Agreement.
In 2011 the mobile cleaning service was formalised and regular definite routines introduced. This resulted in communal blocks being regularly cleaned, inspected and checked as per the Regulatory Reform Order. Other additional sites in Chorley are set to be added to the Rota during 2012.
Another operation under consideration is introducing a Sheltered Scheme Caretaking Service. Several caretakers would be employed and generally operate over two or three local sheltered schemes undertaking general caretaking duties and scheme improvements.
Another aim for 2012 will be to introduce a Window Cleaning DLO. Currently windows on schemes, flats and offices are cleaned by contractors. An exercise will be undertaken to examine the current service and determine if it can be operated more effectively by employing operatives direct.
A comprehensive stock condition survey of over 90% of AHA stock was completed in 2007. The data is maintained and updated to reflect installations and any property acquisitions/disposals. Stock condition information for CCH stock has been interwoven with the recently completed improvement programme and all data is set to be captured in 2012. The data will be maintained in the same manner as the AHA database.
The planned replacement programmes are run from the database based on age and condition. Other planned works are derived from stock knowledge, condition, one off inspections, scheme surveys and repairs history. An up to date survey is always undertaken prior to works commencing. Over the next few years it is intended to undertake general external scheme improvements. The majority of the schemes over the next few years will also receive internal communal facelifts. The scheme improvement programme.
Previously the majority of AHG’s planned works has been programmed by the asset management team and delivered by contractors, as per the Planned Maintenance Policy and Procedure. The larger projects were often procured through a partnership agreement. However in 2011 we employed a Planned DLO to undertake kitchen, bathroom and gas central heating installations. This has proven successful both in terms of efficiency savings and satisfaction. The efficiency savings generated by using the Planned DLO in 2011/2012 were approx £400,000 with satisfaction levels at 97%. The Planned maintenance Policy and Procedure has been altered to reflect the introduction of the Planned DLO.
On the back of this success it is proposed that during 2012 the Planned DLO is expanded to undertake more installations and major repairs. A significant amount of programming has gone into delivering a Miles Platting Life Cycle Schedule. This schedule details the planned works over the next 25 years on Miles Platting and is designed to meet our contractual requirements. The significant work required on the estate will be undertaken by the Miles Platting Planned DLO team, which we hope will bring similar benefits to the other planned works that we have brought in-house.
The Adactus Housing Group Resident Involvement Framework sets out our commitment to informing and consulting our tenants, leaseholders and other residents within the neighbourhoods that we provide services to. It provides details of the broad issues that we will provide information about and those that we will consult our service users on. We provide a wide range of opportunities for people to influence, monitor and scrutinize our Services as summarized in the Framework, including issues on governance, service development, local issues and market research. The Planned Maintenance Policy and Procedure details the involvement residents have in choosing products, style and contractors.
Our ‘Local Offers’ are our agreement with our customers about how we will tailor the services we deliver in the neighbourhoods we work.
They cover the themes of 'Home', 'Neighbourhood' and 'Tenant Involvement & Empowerment'. They were developed in partnership with residents so they are based on evidence of what is important to our customers.
The offers aim to give real influence to residents and are bolstered by a substantial amount of residentcontrolled money: the Neighbourhood Fund. £200,000 of Neighbourhood Fund money has been made available in the current financial year to fund community projects and make neighbourhood improvements across the North West.
The majority of the Group’s legislative requirement work is organized under this heading. The Group have a statutory obligation regarding Legionella, the Regulatory Reform Order, Asbestos Management, Electrical Testing and Lift Servicing.
Others areas that are covered under their own Policies and Procedures and falling under this heading include Fire Equipment, Warden Call and Door Entry Systems.
A programme of lift, fire equipment, warden call and door entry replacements is set. These are due be replaced over the next few years, see Scheme Priority List.
Any changes to legislation will be carefully monitored and policies and procedures altered accordingly.
The Group is committed to providing essential adaptations for our tenants to help stay in their homes. Significant investment will continue over the next few years. AHA and BHA tenants waiting for major adaptations have to wait approximately 110 days and no longer than 20 working days for minor adaptations or aids.
Over the next year we have agreed with Manchester City Council to contribute 40% to the Disabled Facilities Grant process. This effectively means a significant increase to our Aids and Adaptation budget. However, we are in discussions with Chorley Borough Council to see if a similar arrangement can be undertaken across Chorley properties following the end of the Capital Investment Programme. The waiting list at CCH for major adaptations is significantly longer than AHA and BHA. Our aim over the next few years is to reduce the waiting times at CCH in line with AHA.
We also intend to negotiate with other Local Authorities, who do not operate a Disabled Facilities Grant scheme, to contribute to the cost of undertaking adaptations within their Borough.
AHA have recently adopted the Property Disposal Policy for disposing of void properties that are considered beyond their useful economic life as part the overall asset management strategy. The procedure for dealing with this process is contained in the Void Disposal Procedure.
In the majority of other cases all empty properties are relet. However if local area teams consider a property should be disposed of it is discussed between members of the Regeneration Framework Panel, which meets on quarterly basis. The panel also discusses wider regeneration and sustainability issues.
Adactus Housing Assocation has a number of lease arrangements with different private landlords under different schemes such as HAMA and HALS that are due to be returned to the Landlord these have been budgeted for over the forthcoming years.
The focus of the Adactus Housing Group strategy is built upon four cross-cutting themes: Economic opportunity and social cohesion, Environment, Energy, and Efficiency & Waste. These priorities are outlined in the 2008 – 2011 Sustainability Strategy, which re-states our commitment to the principles of sustainable development, reviews our progress over the last two years, and identifies our objectives for the period from 2008 to 2011. This strategy provides a key corporate goal contained in our Business Plan, namely to reduce the Group’s carbon footprint by 25% by 2015.
The 2008/2011 Sustainability Strategy is currently being reviewed and will confirm the increase of the average SAP rating of the Group’s stock form SAP 66 to SAP 77. This significant increase is mainly as a result of the CCH capital investment programme, the Miles Platting service works and AHA’s regular planned maintenance and improvement programme. The aim is to achieve an average SAP 78 by the end of 2012/2013 and a further increase of one year after year.
It is the intention that properties with a low SAP are targeted over the period through CESP, CERT and the Green Deal initiatives.
The Group has approximately 400 properties below SAP 65. The majority of below SAP 65 properties are electrically heated. These include a number of sheltered schemes. These schemes will be reviewed over the year and considered for fuel switching.
CESP targets households across Great Britain, in areas of low income, to improve energy efficiency standards, and reduce fuel bills. CESP promotes a “whole house” approach i.e. a package of energy efficiency measures best suited to the individual property. The programme is delivered through the development of partnerships between housing associations and energy companies, via a house-byhouse, street-by-street approach.
AHA has teamed up with EON to carry out energy saving works to 205 homes in Gorton and Moss Side. EON has been chosen by Adactus to deliver this programme with the aim of helping tenants cut their fuel bills.
The energy efficiency works will commence in March 2012 and include, Boiler Replacements, Double Glazing, External Wall Insulation, Internal Wall Insulation, Loft Insulation and Draught proofing. The improvements will be carried out to the homes regardless of which Energy Company supplies their home.
Adactus Housing Group partnered with the Carbon Trust on this programme in 2010 to realise substantial carbon and cost savings. Our Carbon Management Plan (CMP) sets out a 5 year programme of action designed to reduce our carbon emissions by 25% by 31 March 2015, focused on four areas:
- Buildings: reduced energy consumption in communal housing schemes and offices and local generation of energy.
- Travel: lower carbon vehicles and improved journey management.
- Cultural change: communication, awareness raising, training and policy development.
- Information management: efficient and systematic monitoring of all energy usage.
The cornerstone of the programme will be a comprehensive programme of energy efficiency improvements to over a third of our sheltered housing schemes.
Contracts will be procured in a range of ways. The procurement method will depend on the type of work, availability of contractors, the timescale to complete the work and the contract cost. The methods include: Partnering arrangements, negotiated contracts, measured term contracts and tendering for a Schedule of Rates contract. An Approved List of Contractors will be maintained.
The two main areas of procurement in asset management are Vehicles and Materials.
AHG spend in the region of £2m on materials for the in house DLO's. These materials are obtained through a Partnership agreement with Jewson Builders Merchants. To avoid the costly and time consuming OJEU process, the already negotiated OGC buying solutions framework was utilised.
The agreement has a contract duration of 5 years and commenced in December 2008 with the introduction of a bespoke store at Chorley. This was followed with the opening of a second bespoke store in Manchester in July 2009. The two stores are solely for the use of AHG and also provided welfare facilities for DLO staff.
In 2013 the contract will be either renegotiated or tendered in a similar way as in 2008.
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Updated by Athanasios Protopapas on 05/03/2013 08:41:55
Comment: Following the review of the Strategy at the Board on 25 Feb 2013 the repair timescales have been included under the repair section.Details: (show)
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Updated by Elesh Makwana on 02/01/2013 10:44:20
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Updated by Elesh Makwana on 02/01/2013 10:03:01
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Updated by Admin on 28/06/2012 14:33:31
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Updated by Elesh Makwana on 22/06/2012 15:46:45
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