At the outset ng2 delivered its core services of close cleaning, bulk removal, and backcourt services; however over the last year we have expanded our range of services to the point where we also currently deliver:
- Void property repairs including Joinery, Painting and Electrical services
- An environmental 'Hit Squad'
- Recruitment and supply of concierge staff for ng homes
The Second Stage Transfer of housing stock from Glasgow Housing Association to ng homes on 28 March 2011 meant that the organisation more than doubled in size in terms of its housing stock, this meant that the number of closes to be cleaned weekly rose from 198 to 468 per week. The same dramatic increase in volume applied in terms of the bulk and backcourt services and clearly there was a proportionate increase in the number of void properties to be repaired given that ng homes housing stock increased from 2400 to almost 5,500 units.
Phase 1:- Core services : Close Cleaning, Bulk and Back courts The development of the company was effectively the 'pilot' phase whereby ng2 assumed responsibility for the core services of close cleaning and bulk pull-through and backcourt de-littering services in tenemental properties.
The 'pilot' project (close cleaning and bulk/backcourt services) ran from August 2010 to February 2011.
The Contracts Manager and 8 full-time staff were appointed in February 2011 and the next phase of recruitment in preparation for the Second Stage Transfer of housing stock from GHA was completed by March 2011.
Throughout this time robust quality control checks were put in place to ensure the quality of service was continued and developed.
Phase 2 - Additional services: General works and void properties. General works and void repairs services were introduced and carried out by our qualified joiners and electrician. In addition the phase 2 growth expanded ng2's capacity through the appointment of a painting supervisor to carry out work in void properties and a range of projects planned by the Association.
Electrical works comprise:
- Stair lighting
Painter work comprise:
- Close painting
- Decoration of flats in sheltered housing complexes
Environmental works delivered by the 'Hit Squad' comprise:
- Delivering a range of environmental clean ups as directed by our client ng homes
Recruitment and provision of labour:
- ng2 currently employs 10 Concierge staff who are deployed in ng homes multi-story flat developments
Development of future services will be a key part of Phase 3 of ng2's planned growth (2012/2013 and beyond). While we have achieved all of the initial targets identified during the first full year of trading we continually strive to identify and develop additional services that can be delivered for ng homes. Areas we will progress in phase 3 will include:
- Power washing
- Waste Management - Environmental
- Handy man services (Elderly or vulnerable tenants. Befriending)
- Provision of minor DIY / small repairs support to tenants.
- Tidy garden service
- Furniture collection / recycling
- Commercial waste.
- Link to professional / confidential clients, lawyers etc.
These complementary services are expected to further the original goals of ng2 to train unemployed local people, give them work placements and ultimately make them job ready for the new posts these commercial opportunities will provide.
The 'Hit' Squad is an example of ng homes & ng2 flexibly responding to the needs of local people and stakeholders. Local residents had made representations to our Board and raised the issue of dog fouling at its meetings on several occasions. GCC Land Services are also one of our partners and they too had many complaints regarding the matter. The local police also had complaints and we felt that the best way to address the problem was to assist Land Services to make improvements by putting on an additional street cleaning service with the main object of eliminating the dog-fouling by means of a fast response team employed by ng2. A Swingo machine was leased with grant funding being made available from 2 Area Committees to subsidise the service. However, again, ng2 has gone further by employing 2 more operatives to engage in handyman services for local disabled, infirm and elderly people. This service has become an invaluable means to this group of people and helps them sustain their tenancies while meeting the broader social aims of ng2 and ng homes.
It has become clear that the social enterprise model adopted by ng homes and ng2 has benefits far in excess of simply delivering a suite of services required by ng homes tenants and residents. ng2 now meets the broader Wider Role aims of ng homes and the local community and its regeneration partners. It operates in 3 main thematic regeneration fields:
The key factor in developing the company is planning and risk management. It is about doing what is right for the Company (ng2) and ng homes. The incremental growth of the Company is based on sound business ethics and the effective management and development of our people and services, it is about delivering cost effective and efficient services through ng2 rather than external contractors.
In addition to financial viability, where possible, we aim to demonstrate clear benefits to the community we serve, for example, by creating training & development and employment opportunities through ng2.
We continually strive to achieve 100% satisfaction across all of the services we deliver and will only take on new areas of operation when we are confident that we can deliver to the high standards set by our client, ng homes.
Clearly there is room to consider expanding the delivery of our services to other RSLs in the north of the city. We would be obliged to comply with their individual tendering policies and procedures. However, when selecting a contractor, the committees of RSLs are permitted, by the Scottish Housing Regulator to take into consideration any social benefit that the contractor might bring which, in the case of ng2, would be significant. However, this is not an immediate priority as there are plenty of opportunities to improve and grow our business concentrating on ng homes as our sole client in the short-term at least.