charities, housing, survey

Housing body gets top marks in new survey

A HOUSING body has been given top marks in a new survey.

Canmore Housing Association, which owns and manages properties in Edinburgh, Midlothian, West Lothian, Stirling, and Fife, polled 1800 tenants earlier this year.

The results, just published, show:
* 91 per cent satisfied with Canmore as their landlord
* 87 per cent happy with the overall design and layout of their home
* 80 per cent saying the association – a non-profit-making body – offered good value for money.

Canmore chief executive Alan Brown said: “We’re pleased with the results. But we don’t want to rest on our laurels. Our aim is to provide even better levels of service in the future.”

He added: “Market research is an important way of gauging levels of satisfaction and highlighting areas where we can improve things. The survey gives us a solid basis to develop our services in the months and years to come.”

The survey’s authors at Market Research Scotland said: “Overall, relatively high levels of satisfaction prevail and the association can be fairly encouraged by the findings. Some levels of satisfaction are very high, particularly those in relation to the association as a landlord.”

Canmore, set up in 1975, provides a range of homes for rent and shared ownership – the latter is where people can part-buy and part-rent a property. The association works closely with local councils and its main funder, the government agency Scottish Homes, to provide a range of properties to suit local needs.

Tenants vary from single people and families, to elderly and disabled householders.

Canmore last surveyed its tenants in 1997. Bosses are delighted that overall levels of satisfaction have gone up since then.

Although 73 per cent of those who responded to the latest survey said repairs had been carried out in the time given to them, there was a push for work to be carried out much quicker.

The report said: “Generally speaking, respondents were happy with the repairs service received, although the main issues raised were in connection with response times and getting problems resolved. Both quality and the service overall received a positive response.

“Satisfaction ratings are improving across the board and compare well with the findings of a 1997 survey.”

Residents also said they found Canmore’s twice-yearly newsletter useful, but said they would like the association to make improvements.

Mr Brown said: “We’re looking at ways to develop the newsletter and improve our services. The survey showed that 25 per cent of people had access to the internet and e-mail – or would have in the future. For this reason we’re looking at ways to develop a presence online in the months to come. We’ll also look at ways generally to keep people better informed about what we do.”

Mr Brown added that Canmore had recently been awarded Investors in People status for its commitment to staff training and development.

“We invest in our staff and they, in turn, pass on a high level of service to customers. The excellent satisfaction ratings in this survey show that people appreciate what we’re doing and what we’re offering to them. The challenge now is to improve on those high standards.”

NOTE TO EDITORS

Canmore Housing Association is a non-profit making body, which has its headquarters in Edinburgh.

It manages around 2000 homes for rent and shared ownership in east central Scotland and celebrated its 25th birthday last year. Named after Malcolm Canmore – one of Scotland’s earliest kings – the association has grown steadily, developing homes that adapt and cater for changing needs.

The organisation is also innovative, believing that successful and dynamic communities require an imaginative approach to housing development.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:

Contact Alan Brown, Canmore Housing Association, 193 Dalry Road, Edinburgh, EH11 2EF, Tel.: 0131 313 5444, Fax: 0131 313 4482 or email: alan.brown@canmore-housing.org.uk

Contact Adrian Mahoney, The PR Store, Tel.: 01506 823714, Mobile: 07967 150560 or email: canmore@theprstore.net

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