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Improving homes

Making sure your home is a safe and comfortable place to live is one of our key priorities. Every year, we maintain and upgrade homes through our in-house repairs service and our planned improvement programme.

This year, as well as upgrading properties through our improvement programme, we replaced a large number of boilers, carried out a major regeneration of one of our 50+ Living schemes and made it easier for you to book repairs.


Our improvement programme continues

In 2016, we began a five-year programme of improvement works in partnership with Engie. 2018/19 was the third year of giving our residents upgraded kitchens, bathrooms, roofs, doors and windows.

It has been an excellent year for the programme. As well as carrying out lots of upgrades, Engie has achieved a very high customer satisfaction score of 99.43% and an exceptional score under the Considerate Constructors Scheme, which measures the impact of contractors on the communities they are working in. Engie has also held training and work experience for local residents, and given their former apprentice, Watford Community Housing resident Kelsey Fox, a full-time job as an administrator.

Improving your repairs service

When something in your home goes wrong, we can send one of our operatives out to take a look and repair it. This year we made a few changes to make the service more efficient, as well as making it easier for you to book repairs.

One of these changes was to appoint a single supplier for all equipment and tools. Our contract with Jewson means we have better access to materials, so we can find the parts we need to carry out repairs easily and deliver an improved service to you.

We also made improvements to our online digital account system, which allows you to manage your tenancy quickly and easily. This year, we upgraded this service by giving you the chance to book the timeslot for your repair using a calendar system, so you have more control over when we visit.


Cutting energy bills

We continued to replace old, out-of-date boilers in our communal blocks and homes. Installing better, more energy-efficient boilers helps residents to save money and is better for the environment.

As well as installing more economical boilers, we also helped residents to reduce their bills by trialling a new smart thermometer device. The device measures your energy use and saves you money by helping to reduce the amount you spend on heating your home.

Increasing safety measures

We worked closely with Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue Service to further strengthen fire safety in our bigger blocks. This work included installing intelligent radio-linked smoke and heat detectors in the individual apartments in our high-rise blocks – Abbey View and Munden View – and our 50+ Living residences. We also installed full sprinkler systems in Abbey View and Munden View, helping to make people’s homes as safe as possible.

In addition, we replaced many of our door-entry systems as well as installing new CCTV for our high-rise blocks and the surrounding area. By repairing and updating the door systems used to enter our communal blocks, we have improved the safety and security measures in place for residents.


A new look for Combewood

Combewood is one of our 50+ Living blocks – and this year we spent £260,000 bringing the building up to date. Although the building was much-loved, it no longer met modern standards so we made a significant investment to deliver major improvements for residents. We improved the internal fittings, filling the lounges with modern furniture and features, and re-decorating the communal spaces. We also upgraded the external facilities, including the gardens.