A new way of delivering the council’s housing service has proved a hit with customers during its test phase.

Housing+ offers a more personalised service that can extend beyond just housing issues.

Each tenant has a named Housing+ Officer who can offer extra support and advice, tailored to meet the needs of individual people and households.

The Officer covers a particular geographical area, helping to build up strong relationships with tenants.

The test phase started six months ago in the South East of the city and early customer feedback has yielded promising results.

A telephone survey with customers who had experience of Housing+ showed that 96% would recommend a Housing+ visit to other tenants.

92% found it helpful having just one person to deal with and 91% said their Housing+ Officer was able to help resolve any issues raised.

As well as dealing with housing issues like rent arrears or anti-social behaviour, the Officer might help sort out anything from gas supply problems or filling in forms to signposting of other services.

“Customers overwhelmingly support the Housing+ model and the positive feedback provides a clear endorsement for this approach,” said Councillor Harry Harpham, Cabinet Member for Homes and Neighbourhoods.

“This is in no small part due to the dedication and commitment of staff involved in the test phase. This has been a huge learning curve and they have risen to the challenge admirably, without compromising performance or customer service.”

“I think Housing+ is brilliant,” said Christine Lupton, Secretary of Beighton Tenants and Residents Association. “The Housing+ Officers have more of a presence walking around the estates and are picking up on issues quickly.

“I know of one tenant who was having problems with noise nuisance and his Officer sorted it out so efficiently. He now trusts her completely to deal with any more issues.

“I really do think Housing+ will go from strength to strength.”

“It is clear from customers’ comments that they view Housing+ as a valuable service, particularly the 1:1 relationship,” added Cllr Harpham.

“The test phase has produced a huge amount of learning that will be invaluable as we further develop the Housing+ model and look towards a roll out citywide next summer.”