The Audit Commission inspection team gave the Shrewsbury-based company zero stars out of a possible three stars because services are not accessible, there are a lack of service standards, and homes are not being improved to modern standards quickly or efficiently. Value for money considerations are almost non-existent.
Deborah Good, lead housing inspector for the West Midlands said: 'Severnside's tenants are being let down by their landlord. The housing services provided have not been well managed and are not delivering the things that matter most to tenants. It has a poor track record of delivering continuous improvement and its performance management arrangements are weak. This is why we assessed the service as having 'poor prospects for improvement.'
The inspectors found:
--Services that are not easily accessible for all tenants, with a lack of good quality written information and service standards
--Too many properties fail the government's decent homes standard - Severnside is among the worst performing housing associations in this regard
--The aids and adaptations service does not give a high level of support to enable tenants to live independently in their own homes for longer
--There is a lack of emphasis on delivering value for money to tenants
To help the service improve, inspectors recommended that Severnside should, amongst other things:
--Improve corporate planning arrangements and performance
--Put in place clear service standards across all areas of operation
--Improve value for money arrangements to ensure that all tenants receive a competitive and quality based service.
Severnside Housing is a not-for-profit registered social landlord, formed by the transfer of housing from Shrewsbury and Atcham Borough Council in 2001. It has 5,315 homes, almost all of which are in the area covered by Shrewsbury and Atcham Council. It has an equivalent full time staff of 242.
Copies of the report are available from Severnside Housing or on the Audit Commission website at www.audit-commission.gov.uk/reports.