Our repairs backlog and action plan

Posted on the 28th September 2021

Why do we have a backlog?

During the early COVID lockdowns, we stopped doing all but the most urgent repairs to limit when we were entering customer’s homes and reduce the risk to our customers and staff. During this time, the backlog of work that we weren’t able to attend grew.

When we restarted our full repairs service, lots of customers took the opportunity to log new repairs. We had 2000 more repairs reported in the first three months of 2021 than during the same period in 2019!

We started clearing our backlog, beginning with people who had been waiting the longest. This seemed like the fairest way to prioritise the work but has meant that more people have waited a bit longer than normal, rather than fewer people waiting even longer.

There has also been a shortage of materials. This is for lots of reasons, from supply chain disruption prompted by the Suez canal blockage, to Brexit, and even the lockdown DIY boom! This has meant that sometimes we have had to wait for materials or travel further to collect them, reducing the time available to carry out repairs.

So what are we doing about it?

We have made money available for additional contractors. The contractors will work mainly on longer duration jobs; less urgent things like fencing and plastering, so that our in-house team have more capacity to continue to speed up our response time for repairs.

However, other housing associations are in the same position as Paradigm and are also looking to take on additional contractors to help clear their own backlogs. This, along with the current shortage of construction workers, means that it may take us a bit of time to find contractors who have availability to take on work.

We are confident customers will continue to see a reduction in repair times and this will continue to improve. We are aiming to catch up on the backlog, so that our repairs service is running to our normal timescales, by early 2022.

Thank you for your continued patience and understanding.

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