Westminster City Council launched a new service today, taking back ownership of the housing stock that CityWest Homes had managed previously since 2002.
Prior to this the council has been conducting a six month listening programme as a way to hear the views and learn about the problems experienced by more than a thousand residents living in council accommodation.
The decision to bring the responsibility for the housing stock back in-house was made in the Autumn 2018. This followed on from the council concluding that the existing CityWest service was not supporting the needs of the 12,000 social housing residents or the 9000 leaseholders occupying properties that had been under CityWest Homes’s management.
Five open door events and more than 13 listening events across the Westminster borough were attended by over 660 people. Attendees were able to have individual consultation time of at least 30 minutes and over 600 people took this opportunity to explain their issues and the improvements required.
In excess of 380 online surveys were submitted and around 335 elderly residents aged 85 years and over agreed to have a council representative visit them at home to discuss their concerns.
There are 12,000 social housing tenants and 9,000 leaseholders in properties formally managed by CityWest Homes, who will now be supported by Westminster City Council housing services.
Cabinet member for housing services, Cllr Andrew Smith at Westminster City Council cabinet has been overseeing the transfer of housing management and is keen not to waste time in implementing positive improvements to include recruiting more call centre staff, committing to more home inspections with residents and creating better feedback opportunities for residents.
Westminster City Council’s Cllr Smith said: “I am committed to putting our residents, at the heart of the new service. Many residents have been highly critical and feel they have been let down by CityWest Homes in recent years. While some things will take time to sort out, I hope you will see improvements very quickly.”