Solihull Community Housing (SCH) has received a national award for a new service which has slashed tenants’ waiting times for housing adaptations.
The Trusted Assessor service, which fast tracks residents who require minor adaptations including handrails, extra stair banisters and bed raisers, won the Most Innovative Project award from the National Federation of ALMOs (NFA).
Working with Solihull NHS Care Trust, four members of SCH’s maintenance team have been specially trained so they can make home assessments and install the relevant equipment to resident’s homes. Using this service takes on average two weeks from the initial customer call to the installation of equipment.
In the first 12 weeks of the pilot, the SCH team were allocated 76 jobs, resulting in 58 cases not having to go on the occupational therapy waiting list.
At the awards SCH were also shortlisted for the Most Outstanding Young Person Award. Adam Farrell, aged 18, volunteers at SCH on the Youth Pod project which aims to engage local young people with SCH’s services and activities. Adam also administers SCH’s Facebook page and Twitter account.
The winners of this year’s NFA awards were announced at a ceremony on Thursday evening at the Midland Hotel, Manchester hosted by Janet Street-Porter.
SCH Director of Asset Management Peter Gardner said: “We are delighted that our commitment to improving service for our residents has been recognised by the NFA. Through working closely with the Care Trust we have been able to reduce waiting times for minor adaptations, which has made a huge difference to tenants.
“I would also like to congratulate Adam for being shortlisted for the Most Outstanding Young Person. He has been a real asset to the teams and has been hugely successful in getting young people interested and involved in SCH.”
This is the second year running that SCH has won the Most Innovative Project from NFA. Last year they won the award for their broadband project which provides free broadband to council tenants living in high-rise blocks.