The Regulator of Social Housing has today (9 July) published the results of its third monthly survey of housing associations and local authorities about how they are coping with the coronavirus pandemic.
The responses indicate the sector is continuing to maintain adequate levels of service delivery in the areas surveyed and has begun work towards recovery. Emergency and urgent repairs are being completed, where lower priority health and safety checks had been paused they are being rescheduled, repair backlogs are stable and plans are being made to address them, and care and support settings continue to maintain safe staffing levels and essential services.
Over 90% of providers are reporting either all or most gas safety checks are being completed although due to continuing challenges accessing some properties, a slightly increased number of providers are completing most, rather than all gas safety checks. Providers report starting to address backlogs, but this is balanced in some cases by the number of properties where the gas safety check has just expired.
Fiona MacGregor, RSH Chief Executive said:
We are pleased that housing associations and local authorities are able to report continuing stable service delivery for tenants and further progress towards recovery.
We recognise that some operational challenges still remain and will continue to monitor the situation through these surveys for the time being.
The short survey asked providers to answer a single multiple-choice question on each of five key areas: emergency repairs; statutory gas safety checks; statutory fire safety checks; asbestos, electrical, legionella and lift checks; and care and support staffing levels. For each area it also asked them to identify any key constraints, risks and mitigating actions and the scale of any backlog and how this has changed since the previous survey.
The survey and supporting guidance were made available for providers to complete on RSH’s online data collection portal NROSH+ from 19 to 25 June. It was issued to all private registered providers with 1,000 or more properties, local authorities, and to some smaller private registered providers with over 500 properties and/or a high proportion of care and support activity. The next round of the survey will take place between 17 and 24 July.
We intend to run the survey monthly for as long as is necessary and will keep the frequency under review. However, where providers believe tenant safety is threatened or viability is under strain, we urge them to inform RSH immediately through their key contact at the regulator, or our Referrals and Regulatory Enquiries team