ASW Property Services, a property services specialist covering Wales, the Midlands and the South West of England, has signed a three-year partnership with Valleys to Coast, a not-for-profit organisation that manages almost 6,000 homes, to provide reactive, void and planned maintenance services to its portfolio of properties.
The partnership, which could be extended for a further two years making it five years, creates job security for more than 130 staff employed by ASW, and will enable the company to invest in apprenticeships. Some 45% of its workforce live within a 10-mile radius of Bridgend.
It also provides certainty of a quality service for the tenants of properties managed by Valleys to Coast based on ASW’s expertise, experience, quality controls and investments in technology it has made in recent years to ensure a seamless service for tenants.
The agreement was signed this week by Anthony Thomas, Managing Director of ASW Property Services, and Joanne Oak, Chief Executive, Valleys to Coast, which develops and manages homes for thousands of people across the Bridgend area.
As a result of the partnership, tenants will be able to access a responsive, emergency hotline available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, which they can call if they have problems in their homes. They will also have access to Smart Home technology designed to provide real-time proactive maintenance information that will reduce repair costs and allow devices to work for longer.
ASW will also be responsible for refurbishing void properties when tenants have moved out, making them available as quickly as possible to the next residents. Its target in terms of turnaround time is just ten days – significantly faster than the industry average.
The partnership also means that ASW can invest in training a new generation of apprentices. ASW’s Thomas estimates that in the duration of the deal, up to 15 apprentices will work on properties owned by Valleys to Coast.
ASW has also made a substantial commitment to community engagement and social engagement as part of the agreement. This includes a Handyman Service whereby vulnerable and elderly residents will be offered help and assistance with a range of tasks from basic repairs to collecting their shopping.
It will also arrange and participate in food bank donation events, organise IT Workshops for residents that want to improve their use of technology, arrange DIY Workshops to help residents learn how to conduct basic maintenance tasks and offer home makeovers for residents suffering with their mental health.
Local schools in the area will also benefit thanks to ASW’s participation in the Bee1 initiative, which involves helping local schools set up and maintain beehives, enhancing the education of pupils while also producing honey.
Anthony Thomas said:
“Agreements such as this are important to both organisations for several reasons. It gives the tenants of Valleys to Coast a reliable and high-quality service they can call on at any time and know they will receive a high quality and responsive service, which puts them first.
“For us, it allows us to plan in terms of our workforce and training. We will be able to invest in training apprentices while offering job security to our existing staff. On top of that, all our staff live locally and therefore also spend their wages locally, keeping wealth in the area and boosting the local economy in a way that does not happen if larger companies from further afield are awarded such work.”
Joanne Oak, Chief Executive, Valleys to Coast, said:
“We went through a very comprehensive tender process, working closely with our tenants at all stages and are delighted to have appointed ASW Property Services to provide our day-to-day repairs service and empty homes repairs management.
“We look forward to building on our strong existing relationship with ASW to deliver a repairs service that makes a positive difference to the lives of our tenants and the communities they live in.”