In 2013, Pinnacle PSG started a 10 year housing management contract (with a possible 5 year extension) for the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. The service commenced alongside a Borough wide soft services contract that was also awarded to Pinnacle PSG after competitive tender.
Pinnacle PSG successfully mobilised this contract in less than nine weeks, ensuring the team hit the ground running by placing mobilisation teams into the Borough six weeks before contract start. Simon Messenger, our Contract Director, was able to interview current staff and meet key resident representatives as part of the mobilisation which meant services continued seamlessly.
A key part of winning the tender was the added value we could bring to Hammersmith & Fulham. While resident engagement and excellent services are a given, we went the extra mile by promising to plough 0.5% of our management fee back into the community for improvements and initiatives/events. This started in April 2014 and will be worth over £1m by the end of the contract. Importantly, the money will be spent on community initiatives chosen by local people.
- Tenancy management
- Customer services
- Low level of anti-social behaviour
- Management of void properties
- Management of leaseholders
- Management of rent arrears
- Resident engagement
- Estate cleaning and caretaking
Dealing with tenancy fraud
We are particularly proud of our efforts to tackle tenancy fraud within Fulham. By Working with the Council’s tenancy fraud intelligence officer, our housing team have recovered 18 properties from tenancy fraud between April 2014 and January 2015. The sum of savings to the public purse equates to a total of £972,000. This saving is calculated in accordance with guidelines based on the Audit Commission annual cost of housing a homeless family at £18,000 pa, taken over a three year period.
London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham’s Tenancy Fraud Intelligence Officer, Paul Czarnecki said “I am pleased to confirm that H & F working closely alongside Pinnacle PSG housing management staff have achieved great success in the area of Tenancy Verification and related Housing fraud work. In fact, in 2014/15 Pinnacle PSG staff were pivotal in helping London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham recover 18 properties as a result of joint investigation work. I look forward to continuing going forward with this close working relationship.”
Who do we work with?
It is essential that Pinnacle PSG interacts with all stakeholders in the Hammersmith and Fulham community. These include:
- LBHF’s in-house housing management team – the in-house team manages the North of the borough, 50% of the total housing stock. We have monthly liaison meetings with the in-house housing team to discuss policy issues and to share best practice.
- LBHF’s Anti-social behaviour unit (ASBU) – We liaise with the ASBU on high profile and grades 1 and 2 ASB cases, working together on joint initiatives and action plans. We also control their legal budget so close partnership working is essential.
- LBHF’s Neighbourhood Wardens Service (NWS) – We work closely with NWS to identify, evidence and manage ASB on our estates. Our working with them is reviewed in monthly liaison meetings.
- LBHF’s Income Service team – Facilitating income collection is a key performance area under the contract and so we have worked closely with H&F Income Service team in reviewing particular tenancies, as well as promoting rent payments generally.
- MITIE – MITIE’s repairs and maintenance contract started in November 2013. We have worked closely with them in the management of voids, estate inspections as well as on individual repairs issues.
- Citizens Advice Bureau – We have a wide range of joint working initiatives including Advice Services Transitions and Digital Skills.
Pinnacle’s Community Pot
The Community Pot is a fund built up from ‘giving back’ a percentage of the housing management and caretaking fee Pinnacle PSG receives each month.
The Community Pot can only be used to fund things which are not already covered by the Housing Revenue Account. Here are some of the events that the Community Pot was used to fund last year:
- Trips to the National Maritime and Horniman museums
- Christmas party at Fulham Court
- Family entertainer and ‘Safari Pete’ at Sands End
- Halloween fancy dress party for all residents at Field Road
- Summer family fun day at Aintree Street
- 2015 Tenants’ Conference
Work, Learning, Life campaign
Over the past 12 months this campaign has reached out to 1500 of our customers in Fulham.
Work – There are many different roles in the housing sector requiring a wide variety of skills and personal attributes. To give residents a taste of what it’s like to work in the housing sector we have run an ‘Introduction to Housing Management’ course in our Fulham office. We have also developed a work experience programme for students attending local schools. This year we are offering 11 placements with each student being assigned a mentor for the duration. The experiences cover many aspects of housing management but this year we are also including mock interviews and CV writing.
Learning – We always try to include a learning aspect into the community events we arrange, especially when we’re able to introduce a new experience and spark an interest. Here are just a few:
- Our ‘Bling your Bike’ project taught young people how to repair and accessorise bicycles at West Kensington and Gibbs Green (and the lucky participants got to take away the bikes they worked on for free!).
- Over 100 people joined us on free trips to the National Maritime and Horniman museums during the school holidays.
- Residents at Sands End had a visit from Safari Pete who brought his mobile zoo of exotic animals to the area. Children were able to touch, feed and learn about the animals, many of which they had never seen before.
Life – Every fortnight we take our Neighbourhood Roadshow to a different community hall in the Fulham area. Many residents join us for a coffee, a chat and to socialise with their neighbours.