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Havering Council has appointed Mears as its new repairs and maintenance contractor, servicing the borough’s 12,000 council homes.
The new 10-year contract, which begins from Friday April 1, will see Mears carry out all repair work across Havering’s social housing estates.
They will also be carrying out work on empty properties, getting them ready to let to new tenants.
The council understands that tenants’ working and childcare patterns have changed, and the new contract will reflect this shift with extended, more flexible hours between 8am and 8pm Monday to Friday, and 8am to 1pm on Saturdays.
Customers waiting for a repair will be informed by automated text and have access to a live tracking system, giving up-to-date details on their repair, as well as a picture of the operator who will be visiting, adding an extra level of security for vulnerable tenants.
The software also provides the customer with an immediate satisfaction survey, letting Havering and Mears know how a tenant feels about the service they have received.
Mears are also committed to delivering social value for residents of Havering, including a focus on hiring local contractors and apprentices, visiting schools and educational institutions to provide careers advice and guidance. They will also run a regular ‘handyman’ service in the borough’s supported housing schemes, helping with odd jobs for residents with additional needs.
Councillor Joshua Chapman, cabinet member for Housing, said: “It is vital that our housing service puts the safety and comfort of our residents above all else. This new contract will ensure that repairs are dealt with swiftly, and that residents are communicated with properly throughout the process.
“I am also pleased to see that Mears will focus on sourcing materials locally and providing long-term skills and job opportunities for our residents, including apprenticeships and educational visits.”