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ACCORD HOUSING ASSOCIATION AND REDDITCH CO-OPERATIVE HOMES INSPECTION

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The Audit Commission has issued an inspection report for Accord Housing Association Limited and Redditch Co-operati...
The Audit Commission has issued an inspection report for Accord Housing Association Limited and Redditch Co-operative Homes; members of the Accord Housing Group.

Accord Housing Association has about 3000 homes for rent and 1000 leasehold and shared ownership properties in the West Midlands. Redditch Co-op Homes provides services and leases 122 homes developed by Accord to 5 Neighbourhood Co-operatives.

The Audit Commission's inspection team concluded that the two organisations are providing a satisfactory service to tenants. It found the following worked well:

- Accord and Redditch Co-op Homes are committed to involving residents and seeking new ways of encouraging wider participation.

- Accord works with other stakeholders to meet the diverse housing needs in the communities it works in. It enables self-build projects, and has produced housing to meet the needs of people from black and ethnic minorities, older people and people who need support as well as rented housing for families and smaller households. It provides housing for those who want to own or part-own their homes.

- Accord's work with other stakeholders is producing good results in addressing serious anti-social behaviour.

- Accord is an active partner in community initiatives including neighbourhood warden schemes.

To help Accord and Redditch Co-op Homes in their work to improve services the inspection team made recommendations in the following areas:

- Some aspects of procedure and practice in planned maintenance need addressing.

- Resident satisfaction with Accord's and Redditch Co-op Homes' response to anti-social behaviour needs investigation.

- Reporting to committees and the Board on complaints and anti-social behaviour should be enhanced.

- Some reactive repairs procedures and practice should be improved.

- Redditch Co-op Homes should produce a lettable standard and address some dissatisfaction with grounds maintenance.

- Accord and Redditch Co-op Homes are raising standard s in service delivery. Inspectors saw continuous improvement being driven by an annual programme of reviews and a service that was targeted and monitored. They saw many examples of changes to service delivery as a result of these approaches.

Philip Mills, principal inspector said: 'Accord and Redditch Co-op Homes, through their committed, well trained and supported staff are working with their residents and other stakeholders to address the diverse housing needs and aspirations of communities in the West Midlands.

'The pioneering structure of Redditch Co-op Homes is a model for the large scale provision of neighbourhood co-operative housing.'

NOTES

The Audit Commission is an independent body responsible for ensuring that public money is spent economically, efficiently and effectively, to achieve high-quality local and national services for the public. Our work covers local government, housing, health and criminal justice services. We have taken on inspection of housing associations since April 1 2003.

As an independent watchdog, we provide important information on the quality of public services. As a driving force for improvement in those services, we provide practical recommendations and spread best practice. As an independent auditor, we monitor spending to ensure public services are good value for money.

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