The level of overall satisfaction amongst council tenants has increased by 3% since the last full tenant satisfaction survey conducted by the council – according to an independent market research company, Feedback Services. Over 1,000 tenants responded to the 2012 survey, with 88% of respondents saying they are satisfied overall with the housing services provided by Epping Forest District Council.
In March this year the council conducted a tenant satisfaction survey using a standardised questionnaire called ‘STAR’. This was developed for social landlords, including councils and housing associations, by an organisation called Housemark. The postal survey was sent to a random sample of general needs and sheltered housing tenants. Over 1,000 people responded, giving views on the council’s overall service as landlord, and on various aspects of the service.
Feedback Services gave a report on their findings, and high satisfaction ratings were given in all the following areas:
- overall satisfaction with landlord services (88% of tenants that responded were very or fairly satisfied)
- overall quality of repair work (90% satisfied)
- quality of the home (89% satisfied)
- their neighbourhood as a place to live (88% satisfied)
- condition of their home (85% satisfied)
- value for money, for the level of rent charged (84% satisfied)
- ability of staff to deal with queries (83% satisfied)
- being kept informed of things that might affect tenants (83% satisfied)
Individual aspects of the Housing Repairs Service were also highly rated, such as the attitude of workers and the speed of completion of works.
“We are pleased to see that satisfaction has increased once again, compared to previous levels that were already high” said Councillor David Stallan, Housing Portfolio Holder. “I would like to thank staff for their hard work and commitment in providing such a high quality housing service. We must not be complacent however. Respondents were slightly less satisfied in certain areas, and the council will need to consider if any improvement actions are needed.”
Until 2008 councils were expected to carry out a tenant satisfaction survey every two years and the results were compared nationally, using Government guidelines. The last full survey (general needs and sheltered housing tenants) was conducted in 2006, while in 2008 the Government asked councils to survey general needs tenants only. Tenant satisfaction surveys are no longer required by the Government – but with 6,500 tenants paying rent for housing services, the Council thinks it is important to continue seeking its tenants’ views. By using the ‘Housemark STAR’ questionnaire, Epping Forest’s results can be compared with the findings of other housing organisations.
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