The Audit Commission inspection team gave the service two stars out of a possible three because there was a consistent and responsive service provided across the group and residents were generally satisfied with the service.
Adrian Brown, Audit Commission senior manager, said:
'Hyde provides good quality homes for its tenants that are well maintained and supported by an easy to use repairs service. Tenants are provided with clear and comprehensive service standards. However, to continue to improve Hyde needs to involve tenants more and provide services more tailored to local needs.'
The inspectors found:
properties were in good condition and had been maintained to high standard over a number of years;
good quality information for residents available in a wide range of formats;
a well run service for vulnerable residents;
an accessible repairs service with good levels of tenant satisfaction;
gounds maintenance was of mixed quality;
performance trends across the group were mixed; and
there was a lack of challenging but realistic targets for the group particularly at a local level.
To help the service improve, inspectors made a number of recommendations, including:
involve residents in the setting of service standards for estates and for cleaning and grounds maintenance, and also in the monitoring of service delivery;
improve the approach to continuous improvement to ensure it is sufficiently challenging to service delivery and develop a written strategy which meets Regulatory Code requirements and has Board approval; and
introduce local and more detailed targets for housing management and maintenance services to help drive up improvements.
The Hyde Group is one of the largest housing associations in the country, owning over 20,000 properties and managing a further 9,000 on behalf of local authorities. The group includes three housing associations - Hyde Housing Association, which is the major stock holder and the 'parent' association for the group, Chichester Diocesan Housing Association and Hyde Southbank Homes. It operates in London and the south east regions, with concentrations in south east London, Kent, Sussex and Hampshire. The association employs over 800 staff.
Copies of the report are available on the Audit Commission website at www.audit-commission.gov.uk