Great things to come
by Angela Davies, Chair of Wolverhampton Homes
During my last blog earlier this year, I reflected on the trials and triumphs of 2020 from a national and Wolverhampton Homes perspective. To many, it was the year of the pandemic, but also the year that we came together as a nation, clapped for our carers, and held virtual celebrations. Well, 12 months on, Covid-19 is still with us in 2021, and we continue to see a rise in the new variant. As I write this, well over 180,000 Wulfrunians have had their first dose of the vaccine, and close to 163,500 have had their second dose - this equates to 62% of the total population of Wolverhampton.
Wolverhampton Homes’ services continue to be impacted by the pandemic, particularly in completing repairs to customers’ homes. Tougher regulations around travel, testing and self-isolation, have more recently led to a national shortage of building materials that is affecting not only Wolverhampton Homes, but industry as a whole. As is the case for many private and social housing organisations, Wolverhampton Homes is still progressing through a backlog of repairs, but I’m pleased to say, they are working hard to close the gap.
As Chair of Wolverhampton Homes, it’s mine and my fellow Board members’ job to help the Senior Management team in making sure the company is supported in its strategic direction, and this means ensuring the services Wolverhampton Homes provides are fit for purpose and meet the needs of its highly diverse customer base.
With that in mind, I fully support Wolverhampton Homes’ ambitious repairs and maintenance transformation programme, which promises real benefits for customers, with enhanced systems and processes, as well as the recruitment of new talent into their Property Services teams. You may have noticed a recent surge of job vacancies for technical roles; this is to help ensure resource is directed where it’s needed so that we can deliver on our promises as we work towards great improvements for customers in the New Year.
Another key focus for Wolverhampton Homes is enhancing the overall customer experience. We received a huge response to the customer experience consultation back in July and August, and it was clear from your feedback that you value a range of contact methods. It is important for us to ensure Wolverhampton Homes is geared up to provide high quality services for the next generation of social housing residents. We recognise that the way people work and live has changed significantly over the past 18 months, and we are committed to ensuring services are flexible to meet customer expectations.
As we look forward to 2022, you will see the impact of the new customer offer as Wolverhampton Homes works to become more visible. Through an appointment basis, you can expect to see more of their staff out in the community, whether that’s in customers’ homes, holding drop-ins in community buildings, or getting involved with local community hubs. The goal is clear – to ensure Wolverhampton Homes is here for you, in ways that work for you, when you need them.
Many of you also said you’d like to get more involved. Wolverhampton Homes is soon to launch its new Corporate Social Responsibility and Community Development strategy. This strategy helps focus Wolverhampton Homes’ commitment to community development, bolstering resources and investment to help us work better together to achieve tangible benefits for local people and give something back to our communities.
More information will be shared about this in the New Year, but needless to say, these are exciting times, with Wolverhampton Homes committed to keeping you at the heart of its decision making.
Finally, on behalf of Wolverhampton Homes’ Board, I would like to wish you a happy and safe festive period and a prosperous New Year.
Stay safe and be kind.