L&Q statement in response to recent criticism over repairs
Yesterday, the Observer newspaper reported on a number of problems that residents have experienced at one of our new build shemes. We are also aware that important repairs remain outstanding at a small number of other schemes managed by L&Q.
First, we would like to apologise unreservedly to any resident who has suffered a service failure in resolving issues affecting their home. This is not the standard of service we aim to provide and we are sorry for the distress and inconvenience that has resulted from delays to essential repairs and maintenance.
We fully understand the impact that our service has on our residents’ quality of life. We recognised last year that we needed to improve and launched a new plan with the quality of our service and homes as our number one priority. We are working hard and investing hundreds of millions of pounds to deliver a better, faster and easier service, and to ensure that, when things go wrong, we put them right and learn from the experience.
This year we raised the quality standards for all our new homes and existing homes that become available for re-letting while we invest in those areas of our estate that are most in need of urgent repair and improvement. We have increased our maintenance budget by £80 million to £200 million a year and we are investing a further £150 million in new technology to make it quicker and easier for residents to report and manage repairs and for our people to respond more swiftly. And to ensure the voice of the resident is heard at the highest level, we invited L&Q resident and chair of our Complaints Review Panel Fayann Simpson to join our Group Board.
We understand this will be of little comfort for residents who are still experiencing problems. So, with effect from today, we have established an executive-led task force to resolve all outstanding issues as quickly as possible. This will include re-examining the case for compensation for the time, trouble and costs residents have endured when faced with unacceptable delays to essential repairs and improvements to their homes and a review of the level of service charge they have paid during such periods.
We are determined to learn from the issues that have prevented us from fixing problems quickly at this and a small number of other schemes. For this reason we are undertaking an independent review of our response and will report our findings and recommendations to our Group Board. We will also share key lessons with our residents and other stakeholders. L&Q residents will be closely and directly involved in this review.
As a housing charity, we invest every penny we make in achieving our social purpose: we want to ensure that everyone has a quality home they can afford. We know that we have more to do to ensure that when problems do occur, we resolve them as a matter of urgency and to the complete satisfaction of our residents. This is a year of change for L&Q; we are determined to deliver a service we can be proud of.