Innovation Exchange

Mixed Tenure Scheme

Introduction

Key activities

Benefits and impacts

Learning

Further Information

East Renfrewshire Council’s Mixed Tenure Scheme was established to respond to growing issues within communities across East Renfrewshire around the estate management and routine maintenance of communal areas. It was developed to provide two key elements; a rapid response function which allows small local projects to be completed quickly and cost effectively; and larger maintenance projects which enhance local communities, protect council investment and ensure the long term sustainability of council housing across the area.

 

Due to a historic lack of factoring agreements across large numbers of mixed tenure properties, many of these properties have had necessary work neglected for 20 years. The Mixed Tenure Scheme has injected much needed investment to sharply declining estates.

Theme: Housing and Regeneration

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This was the first scheme in Scotland to tackle the management of mixed tenure issues in respect of work where owners cannot be mandated. The scheme aimed to overcome difficulties in maintaining common areas specifically in areas such as tree/hedge cutting, removing rubbish, painting, fencing and close cleaning,  There issues have often been neglected due largely to difficulties in enforcing any work to be carried out or a lack of clarity around responsibility.

 

The Mixed Tenure Scheme was developed to tackle some of the issues and develop solutions which work at a local level. The intended outcomes from the scheme included:

Improvements to the fabric and general appearance of mixed tenure properties/areas.

  • A potential reduction in Council voids in mixed tenure properties because they are in a more attractive environment.
  • Smaller local businesses getting an opportunity to quote for work through the Quick Quote system.
  • Work placements and job creation.
  • An increase in community pride and a reduction in anti-social behaviour.
  • Protection of the significant investment the Council makes in maintaining and improving its council house stock.
  • Creating a rapid response team that deals with local problems quickly and effectively.
  • Building relationships with all tenures within estates to improve communication, identify local issues and improve estate management.
  • Determining local priorities and developing ways of ensuring local input in to the ongoing running of the initiative.
  • Ensuring “Value for Money” through better procurement and use of local business.
  • Creating and sustaining employment opportunities both within the scheme and local contractors Improving the kerb side appeal of properties reducing void loss and ensuring communities are sustainable.

 

Council departments worked in partnership to deliver the scheme. The scheme partnered with WorkER in the recruitment of local unemployed youths to staff the Hit Squad. The Cleansing department co-operated in the development of the Craighead bin project.   The procurement team contacted over 400 local businesses who were not registered on Public Contracts Scotland in order that they could be invited to quote through the Quick Quote system. This allowed the scheme to derive best value in the procurement of the work to be carried out.

This work has impacted on over 3000 residents who have seen improvements to their properties and communities.  We believe ERC has delivered an innovative and replicable solution to some of these issues and concerns.  We have met, and in most cases exceeded, the initial targets and objectives set and local communities have seen the real benefits of this.

 

The biggest impact the scheme has had has been visual.  Clean, freshly painted closes, gardens regularly maintained and a range of small remedial works greatly improve the kerbside appeal of void properties and we have seen a measurable uptake in properties which are either part of the scheme or are scheduled to be included in the future.

 

This wide ranging initiative has already made considerable impact on the local community/estates:

  • Over 180 closes have been given an initial deep clean and are currently being cleaned on a fortnightly basis.
  • Hundreds of gardens receive fortnightly grass cutting.
  • Closes have been identified and received painting.
  • Properties have received winter or pre-spring garden maintenance.
  • Properties have had tree maintenance or removal.
  • Properties have been part of a gutter maintenance or cleaning programme.
  • Properties have had either new fencing or fencing repairs carried out.
  • Dilapidated bin stores and unused coal sheds have been demolished and removed with areas paved or grassed.

 

In areas where the hit squad operate we have seen better programming of resources and greatly reduced costs as they are trained in undertaking a wider range of work, including:

  • Hundreds of garden cuts and clearances within local communities.
  • One-off jobs completed, virtually all within one week of the request being made.
  • A range of large scale works such as brickwork repair, removal of outbuildings and slabbing.
  • Community inspections, cleaning programmes and responded to a range of local requests.

 

Feedback from clients has been extremely positive:

“I am housebound at the moment because of a hip operation and this is a big help.”

“I haven't been able to do the garden since my husband died so this is a great help.”

“It looked like a jungle before but now it’s great we can use the garden.”

“Once it was down to a manageable level it meant I could use my lawnmower.”

“Now my kids can play in the garden.”

We believe this to be the first project of its kind in Scotland tackling a range of issues around the management of mixed tenure properties through the active involvement of all stakeholders and a genuinely collaborative approach to identifying and resolving local concerns.  In the future, we will continue to strive to address:

• Ongoing difficulties in our ability to carry out routine maintenance in mixed tenure properties.

• Difficulties in determining responsibility for works.

• Protecting our tenants rights and maintaining our stock to a high standard.

• The need to better engage with other residents around mixed tenure issues.

• Asking residents to pay for services when money is a major consideration for all parties.

• Protecting the investment the Council makes in its properties and ensuring properties are not allowed to deteriorate.

• Increasing the appeal of our properties which may decline as they fall into disrepair.

 

We have shared the development of this project with our peers through the Tenant Participation Advisory Service and the West of Scotland Community Engagement Forum.  We have also actively sought publicity through the press which raises the profile of both the initiative and the issues around mixed tenure.

Contact details:

To find out more about this case study, please contact:

 

Brian Coles

Customer Engagement Officer, Housing

East Renfrewshire Council

0141 577 3695

Case study added to site: June 2016

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