Housing Partnership Contract
Axis was awarded a 5-year Housing partnership contract to deliver cyclical decorations and repair works for our client, PA Housing. Our Projects Housing division will be working across North, East, South and West London. Their properties – est. 700 in total, with over 1,000 residents – include single dwelling houses through to high story blocks.
Our scope of works included pre-decorative repairs, which consisted of time repairs to windows where rotten, and a programme of masonry and brickwork where needed. The team delivered specific works such as window renewals, boundary works, roof repairs, and bin shed renewals which often occur at PA Housing’s discretion. We also repair soffits, fascias and gutters. In addition, our housing partnership contract covers all decorations to previously painted external surfaces and communal areas. Our painting and decorating programme included class 0 painting. Additionally, we provided fire upgrades above 5 stories. To aid our works, we utilized a mixture of scaffolding, aluminium towers, and pickers.
Contract Managers in our team oversee the delivery of the housing partnership to ensure each location is completed on time and to budget, in line with PA Housing’s specifications. We use a variety of pricing models including Archtype for Property decorations and SORs for repairs items. The team uses several parameters to keep us on budget, such as monthly valuations and cash flow forecasting. Where costs exceed the budget, we conduct value engineering to determine the best ‘in-budget’ solution. For example, through planning and budgeting, we were able to identify that using specialist timber care resin would allow for a cost-effective way to return windows to working order, providing longevity without needing renewal. Using this process and adopting an alternative course of action enabled us to stay within our budget throughout year one.
There were no set phases for the works, but our team mapped out the contract geographically. We worked anticlockwise around London starting in the East, North, West then South.
We maintain a commitment to continuous improvement and always make room for contingency. Our effective planning has allowed us to stay on time and budget targets. For example, when we faced bad weather during the summer, we transitioned to carrying out internal works on a neighbouring site. This meant our operatives would not need to travel far, work did not stop, and our residents’ needs were met. The Contract Team successfully achieved 100% on-time delivery, 100% defect-free results and 100% on resident satisfaction. We maintained high levels of communication with both PA Housing and residents by conducting meetings to update all who would be affected by the change. Even when the client requested a higher output of completions per month, our housing team upped resources on the contract and provided more labour to accommodate.
Rather than adopting a “one size fits all approach” to resident care, our dedicated resident liaison team developed a bespoke engagement plan to ensure resident satisfaction throughout the project.
Using plain and easy to understand language, we provided updates via daily visits, communal notice boards, monthly newsletters, resident portals, social media, update meetings, email drops and posters. The team used a Resident Communication Tracker to monitor all resident engagement. We shared this with PA Housing to provide full visibility of activities and adherence to agreed plans.
One of the key challenges we faced was engaging with residents who were reluctant to attend group meetings. For this reason, we worked with PA Housing to put in place a Resident Champion. Our team engage with the Champion, who feeds back information to residents who don’t feel comfortable attending meetings. This allows us to ensure updates are communicated to everyone.
We worked with our Community Investment Manager to develop a Social Value Board in collaboration with PA Housing, other contractors, and resident groups. This plan covered a host of initiatives, including two 3-year apprenticeships, work experience placements, and resident DIY workshops. We also covered volunteering days, IT equipment contribution and Axis foundation funding.
Following a site assessment, we noticed that their Community Garden would benefit from renovation. Throughout Covid, our resident liaison officer led the renovation for the garden. It is now used by the local community for activities such as boy scouts and brownies. Ken Lee, Senior Project Manager at PA Housing, commented:
Axis is a fairly large company, but able to maintain that direct family company feel. They have very helpful staff, with an ethos of always wanting to do things right. There are always challenges with every contract, but Axis works with you to solve the problem, I feel that they are a team to deliver the very best service. Great company to work with.