Welcome to the first update on our Major Works Investment Programme

We committed to sharing news and updates with you at least every three months, as well as offering the opportunity to join webinars throughout the year.

As you may know, we sent our pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) out to tender last month. This means that contractors can now express an interest in the programme, and we will begin to select some to take part in the Invitation to Tender (ITT) process, before choosing those who will carry out works to your home over the next 15 years.

The programme will cover all L&Q homes, so we’re pleased to say that at some point, you will see improvements carried out to your home. We’re sorry, but we can’t tell you exactly when this will impact you at the moment, because we’re currently agreeing the prioritising criteria for works. However, rest assured that we’ll get in touch with you as soon as we have more information to share.

In the meantime, we wanted to tell you a bit more about the programme, and how we’ve been working with residents to plan ahead. In this update we’ll share how we’ll make sure the programme focuses on delivering quality, resident experience and making a positive impact on the neighbourhoods we serve.

The programme

The main focus of the investment programme is making sure all our homes are maintained at the Decent Homes Standard – a technical standard set by the government for public housing.

As part of this, we’ll be carrying out mechanical and engineering works, estate and environmental works, cyclical decorations, fire safety works, works to specialist L&Q Living (LQL) homes, and we’ll be working towards Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) C status across all homes.

This will include all our homes, including new builds and street properties, and is in addition to what we’ll spend to maintain Trafford Housing Trust homes at the Decent Homes Standard too.

This year (April 2022 to March 2023), we’ll be carrying out the following works:

  • External works to 2,100 homes and internal works to 5,200 homes
  • Cyclical decorations to 12,400 homes
  • Work to several repair hotspots with disproportionate repair demands (the rest to be addressed in 2023/24)
  • 3,200 upgrades to residents’ heating systems
  • Improvements to 300 LQL homes
  • Replacement of some of the oldest and worst performing passenger lifts

When you’ll hear from us or contractors

Our Central Programme team or our contractors will write to you once we’ve finished validating contractors, which is currently still ongoing.

Once contracts have been agreed, you’ll receive a letter followed by another letter once the profile of the works has been agreed, but please bear in mind that this is just a guide.

If your home is included in this first year, we’ll write to you to let you know what to expect and when. As we develop the coming years’ programme, we’ll continue to update you through webinars, online updates and letters if the works will impact you. We’re sorry that this information isn’t available yet as we finalise the plans for this year.

When we spoke to residents at the Resident Conference in March, they highlighted the importance of local information sharing, accountability and transparency. We’re delighted that when our new ‘patch-based’ Neighbourhood Housing Leads are in place, they’ll be sharing a lot of this information and capturing your feedback.

How are these works being funded?

The works are being funded from the income we receive from rents and service charges, which we set aside and recycle to carry out improvement works.

For energy efficiency, net zero carbon and building safety works, we may also get some funding from government grants or from developers who are responsible for cladding improvements.

What is included in the programme?

All areas of work where we need to replace the following are in included in the programme:

  • Internal components, like kitchens, bathroom, electrics, heating, doors
  • External components, like windows, roofs and works to communal areas
  • Mechanical and electrical items, like lifts, door entry and fire systems

How is this linked to the building and fire safety programme?

The contractors we appoint will carry out most (if not all) building, and fire safety works in future years for us. Where those works are extremely specialist in nature, we’ve reserved the right to seek additional specialist contractors.

Focus on quality and partnerships

The Resident Services Board (RSB) is a formal part of our governance arrangements, reporting into our Group Board. They have been tasked by our Group Board to lead on overseeing the planning and monitoring of this programme.

The RSB has set out clear expectations to make sure a consistent, quality resident experience and consistent, quality information for residents.

They’ve made it clear that all who are involved with the programme, including contractors and subcontractors, have a role to play in working together to deliver on these expectations.

They’ve also been carefully considering what they’ll need to see from us and what we need to share with you to give everyone the confidence that we’re in fact delivering on your expectations.

We’re committed to building in different ways to capture ongoing resident feedback as a key evaluation tool, so we can check that the is doing what we said it would.

The RSB will continue to report to Group Board on progress with the Major Works Investment Programme, which Group Board will use alongside financial and other performance data to make sure the planned investment in homes is having the right impact.

They’ve also set out expectations that we’re identifying meaningful opportunities to involve you in the process from procurement to supply chain management.

Over the past few months, the focus has been on how we involve residents in the procurement process. Together, we’ve come up with a set of quality-focused criteria to use to set and evaluate questions to potential contractors. These include: effective communication with residents, minimal disruption, good quality materials, positive interaction with contractors and learning from resident feedback.

This means that the quality assessment criteria for big contracts have been designed with you in mind.

Ongoing resident feedback collected through surveys and local resident networks will be really important to understanding how the delivery of the programme is being experienced by you and what we need to do to improve.

Making a positive impact in the communities we serve

Key to this programme is the positive impact we make in the communities we serve. We call this social value.

In line with legislation, our Foundation developed a social value framework to guide potential suppliers on activities they could carry out to meet our social value priorities. However,  with such a huge investment into existing homes, we knew our previous approach wouldn’t be enough.

We want to create sustainable opportunities for the communities we work in and we want to be able to measure the impact of these along the way. This has led us to a new partnership with The Social Value Portal (SVP).

The SVP has developed a framework called TOMs (Themes, Outcomes and Measures), which will allow us to procure, measure and report social value.

We’re focusing on five key areas: jobs, growth, social, environment and innovation. Potential suppliers will be able to access our social value framework during the tender process. Successful contractors will track all their social value activities, and report back to us, throughout the contract – and of course, we’ll share these results with you.