Merthyr Valleys Homes was established with the primary purpose of managing and improving former council homes. Capita was chosen as their technology partner in this venture and the changes at the organisation have already resulted in better financial management and improved customer service.
Key benefits at Merthyr Valley Homes:
- Customer satisfaction levels for repairs has improved from 95.6 per cent to 98 per cent, and 98.9 per cent of repairs are now completed on target
- Improved accuracy in financial reporting
- Reduced rent arrears average
- Improved resolution of anti-social behaviour issues.
Commitment to residents
Merthyr Valleys Homes was created in 2009 to manage nearly 4,300 former council homes. One of its key objectives was to bring all its homes up to the Welsh Housing Quality Standard by 2014.
“From the outset, our aim was to improve the quality of the homes, deliver better customer service and make the repairs process more effective. We also wanted to maximise our revenue so we could reinvest this back into our housing stock and the wider community,” Sharif Biharie, head of ICT, Merthyr Valleys Homes.
A trusted friend in times of change
Merthyr Valleys Homes selected Capita to be the technological heart of the organisation’s new structure. “The local authority had used Capita Housing for many years so we knew what it was capable of. As we were implementing so much change, we wanted a system we could rely on. Capita had already demonstrated this is what they could deliver,” comments Sharif.
Responding effectively to residents
The new system allows Merthyr Valleys Homes to establish a single contact point for customers as all information is centrally held. This means any member of staff can answer an enquiry and manage it effectively and efficiently.
The Capita system has also made it easier to ensure issues are dealt with inside set time frames. “For instance, we can now deal with anti-social behaviour very effectively. If we receive a complaint, we log it on the system and this guides us through a process.”
The finance and reporting tools provided by Capita have helped improve the business management of the organisation. “We will spend nearly £70 million on property improvement over the next three years and we need to track where every single pound goes. The interface from Capita Housing to our accounts system is excellent so now we know exactly what has been spent week by week. Before this was done on spreadsheets and input manually either monthly or bi-monthly,” comments Sharif.
The reporting tools have also been useful in identifying where improvements can be made in the management of housing. “We have a better understanding of what we do well and what we need to do better,” says Sharif. “We can also spot rent arrears sooner. Highlighting this early on reduces long term arrears as it is quite easy to come up with a plan for someone to pay outstanding amounts of under £100 but much more difficult when the figures get higher.”
“As a result of this work, the average rent arrears has already dropped from 2.64 per cent to 2.4 per cent and is forecast to continue this downward trend.”
The future online
Looking into the future, Merthyr Valleys Homes will offer tenants the facility to raise repair requests and pay rent online using Capita’s technology. “The relationship with Capita is not just a working relationship for now or next year, but a strategic partnership that will be key to us reaching our objectives over the next 30 years,” says Sharif.
See the savings for yourself
If you would like to find out more about the benefits and savings Capita’s housing software solutions can deliver your organisation, please contact us.