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IT'S ALL 'ABOUT YOU' AS COAST AND COUNTRY CONTINUES TO IMPROVE

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The delivery of housing services by Coast and Country Housing Association is 'good' and has 'promising prospects' t...
The delivery of housing services by Coast and Country Housing Association is 'good' and has 'promising prospects' to improve, according to an independent report released today by the Audit Commission.

On a scale from zero to three stars the Audit Commission inspection team gave the Redcar and Cleveland-based housing association two stars.

Alison Brown, a senior manager at the Audit Commission, said:

'The association had made recognisable improvements to service delivery since stock transfer. Significant investment has taken place in the stock to meet tenants transfer promises and reduce the number of properties not meeting the government's decent homes standard. The organisation has a strong customer focus and is building up a comprehensive picture of its customers through the, 'about you', survey and regular customer feedback which is helping to tailor future services.'

The inspectors found that:

. A wide range of informative, easy to understand and accessible information is available for customers.

. The organisation has a very strong understanding of its customer base and is starting to take positive action to reshape service to meet users' needs; . There is comprehensive knowledge of the condition of their stock which is being used in conjunction with a sustainability matrix and cash modelling system to inform future investment.

. The management of empty homes has seen significant improvements in the last few years with improved re let times putting it in the top 25 per cent for performance.

. It is able to demonstrate a good track record of delivering change since the transfer in 2002.

. Human resource issues are being addressed to ensure the organisation has the capacity and skills to deliver improvements.

However:

. There are a number of significant weaknesses in the delivery of the responsive repairs service.

To help the service improve, inspectors made a number of recommendations, including:

. Continue to embed performance management systems across the organisation.

. Develop clear aims and objectives for service reviews to embrace the four 'Cs' of challenge, compare, consult and compete.

Coast and Country Housing (CCH) was established in 2002 after a large scale voluntary transfer initiative (LSVT). CCH operates in the Redcar and Cleveland areas and has 10,781 properties and employs 650 staff.

Copies of the report are available on the Audit Commission website at www.audit-commission.gov.uk/reports

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