The handling of complaints about housing has been “reasonably poor” in the last few months, the head of Kensington and Chelsea ’s housing management told councillors.
Doug Goldring, who joined the council in the wake of the Grenfell Tower disaster , was briefing members of the housing and property scrutiny committee about the progress his department has made since taking over the Tenant Management Organisation.
He said: "There’s a lot still to be done in terms of quality in closing complaints down.”
The housing management service looks after the council’s tenants and leaseholders.
Work includes improving and maintaining properties, collecting income and managing the council’s estates across the borough.
It also adapts homes and provides sheltered housing.
Mr Goldring said working with residents was key.
Tuesday's committee was concerned to ensure that complaints were registered and dealt with.
Committee vice chair Matthew Palmer, Conservative, Queen's Gate, said: “We discovered there was this delightful complaints procedure that the previous administration had in the way it was dealing with complaints.”
Mr Goldring told the committee the department was in transition after taking over the work of Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation in March.
It is recruiting more staff and some people have left, he said.
Mr Goldring said he wanted to ensure that residents feel that things are moving forward.
“Listening is key to what we are trying to deliver.”
He said the team inherited a repairs backlog of 5,000 cases which has now been brought down to 1,000.
Staff drew up a list of 300 things to improve the service.
The council’s deputy leader Kim Taylor-Smith, Conservative, Stanley ward, who has responsibility for Grenfell and housing, said the council has reinstated residents’ meetings and “engagement” with them is crucial.
The Tenants‘ Consultative Committee, which is made up of residents associations and other residents groups, meet monthly. The council is also running a consultation asking people what they want to see in a new leaseholder service.
Mr Goldring said he was also working with HR to ensure that managers are receiving training.
He added: “What’s come out of this is there is an awful lot of work to do.”