North East Connected

New services launch in Byker

Residents living in the Grade II* listed Byker Wall Estate in Newcastle have woken up to a new era this morning, with their landlord Byker Community Trust (BCT) Housing Association taking full control of managing their homes. 

Tenants will benefit from high quality services and better value for money with a new team of staff appointed to deliver a housing management service delivery model called the ‘Byker Approach’, which went live today (Monday, October 3 2016).

Following a comprehensive review of services undertaken by the BCT Board and Chief Executive, the Board explored how services to tenants could be improved.  The aim of the new service delivery model is to have greater control over standards of service focussing on improvement in quality and cost, to achieve better value for money and to complete the stock transfer promises made to tenants.

BCT is also a partner in a Cost Sharing Vehicle (CSV) known as Isos Complete Support, part of Isos Housing Group, which takes responsibility for all repairs and maintenance for BCT homes, provides income management and IT expertise, and also manages two sheltered housing schemes for the landlord. 

Every tenant living on the Byker Estate now has a named neighbourhood housing officer supported by a team of customer service advisors.  The new ‘Byker Approach’ allows the organisation to have a much closer working relationship with its tenants, which is what tenants asked their landlord for.  Every tenant will now receive an annual customer care visit by their dedicated neighbourhood housing officer, which allows BCT to listen to each person’s views on the services they receive and the neighbourhoods they live in.

In July, a new grounds maintenance and environmental response service was successfully launched and has already received positive feedback from tenants while tenancy and estate management plus those delivered through the CSV were launched on the Estate this morning.    

Jill Haley, chief executive of the BCT, said: “This year, the organisation has experienced significant changes but we have remained determined in our Vision and focus to deliver better value for money and higher quality services to our tenants. 

“BCT’s new ‘Byker Approach’ housing management model enables us to work much closer to tenants and create opportunities to listen to every person’s views and suggestions on how to improve services and their neighbourhoods, whilst making valuable efficiency savings along the way. 

“We are pleased to be partnering with Isos Housing in a CSV because they are a company who share similar values and ethos to ourselves.  This is a very exciting time for our tenants and BCT.”

Paul Fiddaman, group chief executive of Isos Housing Group, said: “We’re very excited to be taking on this new challenge, to deliver services in Byker.

 “We’re now delivering services to over 5,000 homes through Isos Complete Support and we’re pleased to welcome Byker Community Trust as a new partner.

“We believe Isos Complete Support, as a cost sharing vehicle, is blazing a trail for housing providers in our region, and we look forward to a long and successful partnership with BCT and its tenants.” 

The BCT, which owns over 1,800 homes, commercial property and land on the Byker Estate in Newcastle upon Tyne, was created in July 2012 following a stock transfer from Newcastle City Council after tenants on the Estate voted in favour of the transfer to the BCT in a ballot. 

Isos Housing Group owns and manages 17,000 homes across the North East and has an excellent track record for its repairs and maintenance services, which will now benefit the residents of Byker too.

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