06/11/2006Auditor General publishes Inspection report on Pennaf Housing Group
Pennaf Housing Group provides mainly 'satisfactory' services to its tenants, according to the Auditor General's latest housing association inspection report. The Group, which serves residents in Denbighshire, Flintshire, Conwy, Wrexham, Powys and Anglesey, was also found to provide good or excellent services in some areas. But, weaknesses were identified in its maintenance provision, its plans to secure continuous improvement and the monitoring of equality data.
The report found that Pennaf had satisfactory arrangements regarding its relationship with residents, its rents and letting service and its equal opportunities arrangements. It was found to offer an 'excellent' service in relation to housing people with support needs and had a good approach to providing and managing housing.
The Group demonstrated good practice in a number of areas. For example, it had a clear position on how it would respond to anti social behaviour. It had also introduced a Choice Based lettings scheme in Rhyl to tackle hard to let properties. And, the Group had effectively communicated and involved staff in its Business Plan, through producing a clear summary and organising a series of roadshows.
However, the report found considerable scope for improving Pennaf's maintenance services. Performance on responsive repairs was found to be poor and the management of statutory gas servicing was inadequate. However, the report found that arrangements for cyclical and planned maintenance to achieve the Welsh Housing Quality Standard were good.
Also, at the point of inspection, there was limited evidence of service improvement. Performance targets were not challenging enough and responsibility for performance management was unclear and its approach lacked focus. While the Group encouraged resident involvement, it also needed to demonstrate that residents were shaping service development and needed a more strategic and planned approach to finding out and feeding back residents' views.
The report makes a number of recommendations for improvement, including calls to:
• Ensure that residents have consistent access to comprehensive information on the full range of services provided by the Group.
• Develop a robust strategy to improve current rent arrears performance.
• Develop a robust strategy for improving responsive repair performance.
• Develop a wider and more useful range of performance indicators to be monitored at strategic and operational level
Pennaf Housing Group has produced an action plan which has been agreed with the lead inspector and sets out how it is responding to the inspection findings.
Auditor General for Wales, Jeremy Colman said today:
"Pennaf may be providing mainly satisfactory services to its tenants, but it needs to demonstrate that it has plans and processes in place to continually improve. My recommendations are designed to help Pennaf continue to develop in the right direction, so that residents and staff receive consistently good or excellent services."
Notes to Editors:
• The inspection of Pennaf Housing Group (the Group) was carried out in September 2005.
• The Group was formed in 2003 and comprises Pennaf Ltd, Clwyd Alyn Housing Association Ltd and Ty Glas Housing Society Ltd.
• The main focus of this inspection was on the services provided by Clwyd Alyn which manages over 4,000 properties and provides for general needs, care and support and low cost home ownership.
• The Welsh Assembly Government has appointed the Wales Audit Office to carry out the inspection of housing associations in Wales. Inspection is carried out under the Local Government Act 1998, as amended by the Public Audit (Wales) Act 2004
• The specific questions about each aspect the inspection covers are set out in the latest version of the Assembly Regulatory Code for Housing Associations in Wales. This can be found by clicking on the following link: http://new.wales.gov.uk/topics/housingandcommunity/housing/publications/
• The Wales Audit Office is independent of government and is responsible for the annual audit of some £19 billion of annual public expenditure.
• The Wales Audit Office was created in April 2005 through the Public Audit (Wales) Act, 2004, which expanded the functions of the Auditor General for Wales and enabled the transfer of staffs from the Audit Commission in Wales and National Audit Office in Wales to his employment.
For more information please contact Rachel Harries (Communications and Media Officer) on 02920 262 675 or email email@example.com