Fixing the repairs backlog

Hackney Council is making great strides in reducing the backlog of repairs to Council homes that built up during the Covid pandemic - but there is still more work to be done.

Around half of the 7,000 repairs open on our books at the end of November have now been completed, and the Council is committed to completing all outstanding repairs by July.

The Council has apologised for the accumulation of the repairs which developed as it was only able to provide emergency repairs across its properties during periods throughout the pandemic. 

As part of its efforts to clear the backlog the Council invested an additional £1 million into its repair service to recruit more staff to carry out the range of repair work needed more quickly, as well as call centre staff to provide tenants a more responsive service when calling with repair issues.

This week, Cllr Clayeon McKenzie, Cabinet Member for Housing Services visited the Council’s Florfield Road Depot to thank some of the new recruits brought in through the investment and a number of former apprentices who have recently qualified and secured roles at the council for their efforts.

Cllr Clayeon McKenzie, Cabinet Member for Housing Services

Throughout the pandemic our teams worked tirelessly to deliver a repairs service to our tenants. It was not an easy period for anyone and I am really grateful for their efforts.

However, despite their hard work I am acutely aware that as an organisation this Council let people down with many of our tenants and leaseholders waiting too long for a repair to be undertaken. For this I am truly sorry.

We have recognised the issues and have been working hard to rectify them - with the  additional £1m investment made last November beginning to bear fruits with nearly half of the outstanding repairs built up by then now completed.

Thanks to the additional resources we have brought in and the commitment of our teams we are on course to have undertaken all the outstanding repairs by July.  We know that going forward we have a big job to restore the trust of our tenants in the service we deliver and we are committed to doing just that.

Cllr Clayeon McKenzie, Cabinet Member for Housing Services

Between last July - when Covid restrictions were eased - and this January, 61% of tenants said they were very or fairly satisfied with the repair work undertaken. During the same period 68% said they were very or fairly satisfied with the way their issue was handled by the Council’s Customer Contact Centre.

To help reassure tenants and restore their confidence in the service a new repairs charter is being developed outlining the support they can expect when contacting the Council regarding a repair.

Anyone wanting to report a repair or find out how their request is progressing should call 020 8356 3691(Mon-Fri 8am-7pm; Sat 9am-1pm). You can also use the call back service – you will receive a call without losing your place in the queue). Or you can report online via the live webchat service (available Mon-Fri 9am-4pm) at hackney.gov.uk/repairs