The NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC) owns and manages the largest social housing portfolio in Australia, with more than 125,000 properties across NSW. Maintaining this portfolio ensures our residents live in homes that are safe, clean and well maintained.
Our priority is to provide safe, secure and habitable homes for residents and, when needed, we repair and maintain properties as quickly and cost effectively as possible.
We spend more than $1 million per day on repairing and maintaining homes. Around 640,000 maintenance requests were received and actioned in 2020/21. That’s an average of around 1,750 requests every day.
At LAHC, through the Asset Maintenance Services contract, maintenance is undertaken by local contractors who engage directly with residents and see the job through from start to finish.
We partner with contractors to deliver this high volume of maintenance work within strict timeframes, and to meet stringent requirements. That’s why we have compliance officers in the field every day checking the work of our contractors.
We’re committed to maintaining our properties, with most of the maintenance work being undertaken by local tradespersons and local disability providers, as well as Aboriginal-owned businesses, who play an important role in the delivery of property maintenance and garden services.
We have firm budgets for maintenance and are required to closely manage our finances to ensure LAHC remains viable and responsive to the safety and maintenance requirements of the portfolio.
To do this, the timing of repairs and maintenance jobs is determined in a fair and equitable way with a priority focus on safety, security or resident wellbeing.
*All figures current as of 30 November, 2021. Resident satisfaction survey period July-Nov 2021.
Greater investment in social housing maintenance
The NSW Government has also made additional investment into social housing maintenance, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- $200 million in the 2020-21 NSW Budget. Of this, $160 million was allocated to LAHC to undertake capital works on homes in our portfolio, and $40 million distributed to community housing providers (CHPs) for maintenance on properties owned by LAHC but managed by the CHPs. As of June 2021, more than 6,600 social homes across NSW have benefitted from improvements
- An additional $59.4 million was invested into an enhanced cleaning program for social housing properties between April 2020 and December 2021. A further $1.669 million investment has been approved to extend the program to February 2022.
- $60.5 million for capital works on LAHC properties managed by the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) and CHPs (March-June 2020).
Responsive repairs are for urgent maintenance, such as a leaking pipe or a broken window.
To report urgent repairs, tenants need to call the Maintenance Line (1800 422 322) and will be connected to their local maintenance contractor. The maintenance contractor will ask questions about the maintenance issue to determine the appropriate trade and action, and its priority based on the criteria of safety, security and the wellbeing of tenant.
If they determine repairs are needed, the work is generally undertaken between 4 hours and 20 days.
A maintenance request can be made by another person on behalf of the tenant or the private owners of an adjoining property, especially when dealing with vegetation issues.
Maintaining a large property portfolio is costly work. Planned maintenance is non-urgent work or replacement of an item within a property, such as painting, replacing floor coverings or upgrading kitchens or bathrooms.
To ensure efficiency and value for money, these maintenance or upgrade jobs are scheduled and packaged into works programs. The timeframes for this non-urgent work can be up to 12 months for completion.
Lift maintenance and service disruptions
LAHC has 163 lifts across its portfolio and has contracts in place with specialised lift maintenance providers to ensure our lifts stay in optimal condition. Various routine checks and servicing is completed to all lifts in our properties on a monthly basis.
These contractors also respond to any reported lift outages or service disruptions on an urgent basis, to minimise inconvenience to residents. Dependent on the situation, our lift technicians will attend to urgent matters in a 30 minute to 2 hour timeframe.
We have a robust regime of monitoring of lift performance and outages, and ensure that, where there are any extended service disruptions or outages, DCJ is aware so it can communicate with tenants.
Residents are encouraged to immediately report any faults with the operation of a lift or lifts in their building to the Maintenance Line on 1800 422 322 or use the lift maintenance call number shown on the panel inside each lift.
Fire safety program
LAHC is committed to the safety and wellbeing of our tenants, and continues to implement a program that aims to enhance fire safety in buildings across our portfolio. Works undertaken include:
- High-rise buildings fitted with additional active and passive fire safety measures to reduce fire risk, such as fire hose reels and hydrants, early alert systems, sprinklers, fire indicator panels and smoke alarms
- Annual inspections from our maintenance contractors, to ensure the building components and equipment, including fire safety measures, are functional and operational
- $15 million invested into upgrading and enhancing fire safety to over 2,000 properties in 2021-22
- More than $300 million spent since 2005 through risk-based fire safety programs
- Production of three short, animated videos to enhance the fire safety awareness of our residents.
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