Gateshead Council sees first improvement in tenant satisfaction since 2015

Gateshead Civic Centre
Gateshead Civic Centre -Credit:Newcastle Chronicle

Council tenant satisfaction in Gateshead has seen a 20% uptick for the first time since 2015, according to a local authority report.

A Gateshead Council survey has revealed that overall satisfaction of council tenants has seen an increase from a seven-year low of 44% in 2022 to 64% in 2023. Significant areas of improvement include tenant happiness with the council’s approach to anti-social behaviour and the satisfaction of tenants that the council makes a “positive contribution” to their neighbourhoods.

These areas have seen an increase from 31% to 60% and 34% to 65% respectively. The figures come from a randomised telephone survey of 1,050 tenants by Kwest Research Ltd.

However, the council’s report did highlight some areas of concern in terms of satisfaction including:

  • Waiting for repairs to be completed

  • Speed of response when issues raised

  • Damp and mould in the home

  • Communication and being kept informed

  • Quality of repairs

  • Other repair related issues

The survey also revealed some geographical discrepancies in rates of satisfaction. Tenants, for example, in the east (71%) of Gateshead are much happier with the time taken to complete their most recent repair as opposed to tenants in the west (57%).

In addition, eastern tenants (78%) feel more satisfied that their homes are safe than those living more centrally (69%).

The report read: “Key drivers of satisfaction including repairs and maintenance, and handling of anti-social behaviour have improved significantly. Whilst available comparative data is still limited, comparison with our peers show that in some areas we are performing well.

“Repairs and Maintenance and more specifically the time it takes to complete a repair is the key driver of satisfaction and an area to focus on. Linked to this is communication with the customer and more generally customer service.

“It should be noted however that social housing does not exist in a bubble and the expectations of tenants will be informed by their interaction with organisations and businesses outside of the housing sector.”

Councillor John Adams, cabinet member for housing at Gateshead Council, said: “It is clear that the improvement in tenant satisfaction shows that our investment and our strategy is working, and I am really glad that people are starting to feel the difference. The opinion of our tenants is central to what we do.

“It’s been a big job of work. An extra £206 million investment over five years, building capacity in our home repairs service, completing more repairs on time and on the first visit, more staff in our customer contact centre to make sure issues are resolved quickly, over £2million invested in improving the appearance and cleanliness of local communities.

“We’re also progressing the development of a number brownfield sites, providing much needed new housing stock for Gateshead’s residents. It’s important our tenants know we’re listening to them and acting on what they say, and I’m delighted the latest tenant satisfaction survey results suggest that all this effort is being is being positively received.”