We regularly monitor the performance of the Housing Needs and Enabling Service, as well as seek the views of our customers on how we can improve the quality and delivery of our service. We will publish the results of any surveys carried out on these pages, as well as provide feedback on the actions we intend to take as a result.

Housing Needs Service Standards

Our Housing Needs and Enabling Team aim to provide the best possible service to our customers, and have developed a set of service standards in consultation with customers, staff and best practice from similar service providers, to ensure this is realised. However, we are particularly keen to hear from our service users and would welcome your feedback on the service standards.

Housing Needs and Enabling Service Standards

Housing Needs Interview

A leaflet has been prepared for customers visiting the Housing Needs Service to explain to them: "What to expect at your Housing Needs Interview."

What to expect from your Housing Needs interview

Summary of Customer Satisfaction Surveys

We regularly conduct customer surveys to understand what our customers think of our service.  Below is a summary of the results when considering how satisfied the customers were with the service overall.

Satisfied

2012/13

Satisfied

2011/12

Satisfied

2010/11

Satisfied

2009/10

Housing Options 95.8% 94.4% 94.2% 91.5%
Housing Triage 95.2% 93.9% 95.4% n/a
Housing Register n/a n/a 95.4% n/a
Temporary Accommodation 64% n/a 58.3% 41.7%
Rent Deposit – Tenant 100% 100% 100% n/a
Rent Deposit – Landlord 100% 100% 100% n/a

 

Key findings

  • The recent surveys indicate a general improvement in levels of customer satisfaction.
  • When replying to every question that we asked across all the different surveys, the majority of our customers told us they were satisfied.
  • For the majority of questions 90% or more of customers were satisfied with the service.
  • Our customers visiting us in person at Merton Link tell us that they are satisfied with the service provided by Housing Triage and Housing Options staff.  Almost all questions for both surveys achieved in excess of 90%.  When embarking upon the survey process our assumptions were that that those customers who were unhappy with the outcome of the interview would be more likely to complete a survey and register their dissatisfaction.  The data indicates that this has not been the case and that satisfaction levels are generally good.
  • 100% of Tenants and Landlords using the Rent Deposit Scheme indicate that they are satisfied at sign-up.
  • Temporary Accommodation customer satisfaction levels have significantly improved, however at 64% this is the lowest satisfaction level within the service.  As there is a shortage of permanent housing many TA households are likely to be dissatisfied until they are re-housed.  Despite this, we will continue to try and make their stay in TA as smooth as possible.
  • The lack of available housing and dissatisfaction relating to the length of time waiting for a home is the most recurring comment on service provision.  To try and mitigate our customer’s dissatisfaction we attempt to realistically set our customers expectations, via letters to applicants, the housing register newsletter and our website.

Performance against our standards

Our Standards Target March
2012
March
2013
If you telephone us, we will answer your call within ten rings. 95% 99% 97.4%
If you come to our office you will be seen within15 minutes if you have an appointment and within 30 minutes if you do not. 70% 77.1% 83.5%
We will process your housing register application and let you know the result within 20 working days of receiving it. 70% 96.3% 73.3%
If we are responding to your housing need as a homeless person, we will ensure you receive a decision within agreed timescales. 70% 95.3% 80.7%
If you need advice on a housing problem, we will interview you by appointment within ten working days of your request. 90% 96.9% 95.8%
Make sure that families do not stay in bed & breakfast accommodation for more than six weeks 1.0 week
(average)
0.25 1.06
Help to prevent you from becoming homeless through our Housing Advice and Options service. 525
households
560 529
Make sure that the maximum number of families who stay in bed & breakfast accommodation do not exceed four at any one time during the year. 10 1 3
Complaints responded to within agreed timescales 95% 98.2% 98.4%
Information requests responded to within agreed timescales 90% 100% 100%

Responding to the needs of our customers

You said:
More homes should be made available for households that are working.

We did:
Changes have been made to our Housing Register and Nominations Policy that has introduced a “Working Plus” category whereby 10% of properties will be available to families that are working.

 

You said:
There are not enough housing association homes advertised to let.

We did:
We worked with housing association partners to ensure 593 households secured a home in 2012/13.  

 

You said:
Greater priority for housing association homes should be given to households that have not recently moved to the borough.

We did:
Changes have been made to the Housing Register and Nomination policy to ensure that applicants not living in Merton are denied access to the Housing Register and it will no longer be possible to bid for a housing association home unless the household has lived in Merton for a minimum of 1 year.  

 

You said:
A number of customers were concerned about becoming homeless as a result of changes to welfare benefits.

We did:
Customers were invited to a Welfare Reform Day to discuss their options and explain how to lessen the impact on them.  We have two dedicated officers to work with households affected by welfare reform changes and they are carrying out a programme of visits.

 

You said:
A large majority of comments made about our staff were very positive and complimentary.  We also had a small number of customers telling us that they were unhappy with the service they received.

We did:
We have provided additional customer focussed training annually for our staff.

 

Performance Summary

2012/13

Summary of Performance and Achievements

2011/12

Summary of Performance and Achievements

2010/11

Summary of Performance and Achievements

2009/10

Summary of Performance and achievements

 

Contact us

Housing Advice and Options
Community and Housing Department
Civic Centre
Morden
SM4 5DX

Telephone: 020 8545 3636

Email: housingadvice@merton.gov.uk