Housing Have Your Say

The Occupants Consultancy Group met on 8th March 2011 in St Georges Church to field questions and complaints relating to housing within the families accomodation. The meeting was well attended and a range of issues were raised to the panel that included representatives from DHE and MHS.

The first issue that was raised was that of failed engineering appointments and making sure that they were recorded as such. If an appointment has been made with the MHS Help Desk for an engineer to visit or correct a problem and they fail to turn up or they come to the job without the correct tools or parts then Mike Baldock from MHS management stated that the occupant should contact the MHS Help Desk and raise a complaint. It is the occupants right to insist that a complaint is raised and that they are given a complaint reference number. It is important that all occupants who have raised a complaint get this number as it allows MHS to identify how they can improve their service and is required for the complaint to be registered.

Occupants also commented that some jobs would be completed only to generate another fault, leading to the need for another appointment; frustratingly however this appointment can not be added to the same job number resulting in an incomplete picture of the problem. MHS assured the attendees of the group that if they informed the Help Desk, although the job can not be raised on the same number it can be linked to the previous works. If an occupant is not happy with the work that is completed then they should not sign the PDA at the completion of the work.

The inconvenience of having to stay in all day to wait for an engineer with the potential loss of earnings and time was also raised as a serious issue. Mike from MHS responded that all MHS engineers have been informed that they are to call ahead of the appointment and that if the door is not answered on knocking they are to wait for 15 minutes. Any failure in this process should be reported to the Help Desk.

The parking of cars on grassed areas was also raised as a concern as it damages the grass. Sarah Williams the DHE Regional Housing Manager reiterated to the occupants that the parking of cars on grassed areas is prohibited and that if caught by the Housing Officer action would be taken. Occupants can also contact the Housing Information Centre (HIC) to report infringements confidentially so that action can be taken.

An increase in litter on the patch has also been noticed, Mike from MHS assures occupants that his team check the area weekly but if a litter trap is identified it can be called in to the helpline and action will be taken. Occupants are asked to try and ensure that the lids to any external bins are securely fastened after use as it is believed that weather conditions are a part of the cause.

Grass cutting was raised and it was confirmed that this is contracted to MHS who have a remit to cut the grass once it reaches a certain length. The problem is that this sometimes means the grass is cut when wet which is far from ideal and can lead to patching. Although the issue was discussed, MHS would be failing in their contract if the grass did not get cut as dictated by the contract. Tree pruning where required can be booked through the MHS helpdesk. All occupants should be aware that if you want feedback from MHS and DE this can be requested from them when you’re making your appointment.

MHS Help Desk: 0800 707 6000
HIC: 0800 169 6322
PCSO: 0845 456 4567
SCSO: 01760 337261 Ext: 6052

Something to Add…
Were you unable to attend the OCG? If so don’t worry because on the third Friday of every month in the Chaplaincy Centre DHE and MHS will be available to listen to any problems that you may be experiencing. Just drop by between 0930 and 1200 noon to have your say and see about getting any issues resolved. If they are already speaking with someone you can also grab a cuppa and a bacon sandwich while you wait from the Home Alone team.

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