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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2021 Week 04 Hansard (Wednesday, 21 April 2021) . . Page.. 979 ..

Directly engaging with tenants is a key way that we understand the experience of tenants. It provides another opportunity to reflect on key issues and identify whether systemic issues are emerging in relation to the experience of engaging with the contractor around repairs and maintenance. A key mechanism for this is the tenant consultative group, which enables a representative group of tenants to raise issues and provide feedback on all aspects of Housing ACT. As referenced in the previous session, I was pleased to meet with members of the tenant consultancy group last week. Both Minister Berry and I attended a regular meeting of the group and heard from tenants about what was working well and areas where there could be improvements. This session was extremely useful and, once again, demonstrates the significant contribution Housing ACT tenants are making to their community. Complaints that we have talked about in previous interventions are an important mechanism, not only to respond to the individual issues but also to identify trends and groups of issues that may require a systemic response.

We have talked about some of the key performance measures that are contained within the contract in relation to repairs and maintenance. Customer satisfaction surveys are another way to collect data on the issues of maintenance as well as call centre satisfaction. This data is a really important driver for continuous improvement of services. Programmed are continually looking for ways to receive this information. Tenants who call the Programmed contact centre are asked to hold on and complete a short survey, and feedback is sought via text and email after jobs are completed. In addition, a sample of completed jobs is selected and followed up with the tenants as another way of finding out areas of improvements. These are all in addition to the thousands of audits undertaken each year that scrutinise the quality of work that is done.

Housing ACT is committed to providing a quality service and working closely with Programmed to ensure that there are robust customer satisfaction collection methodologies in place. In managing such a significant contract, we recognise the need to work with our contracted provider to ensure that there is excellence in performance, as well as ensuring there are further outcomes delivered through the contract. Housing ACT has, as Minister Berry outlined, unapologetically set the bar very high for the performance of Programmed.

As outlined by Minister Berry, Housing ACT has a commitment to the ACT government’s social inclusion policy and strategy by improving opportunities and outcomes from tenancy. This contract and the Total Facilities Management model are seen as an important vehicle for promoting social outcomes for tenants as well as leveraging opportunities for a wider range of disadvantaged cohorts.

Programmed has achieved and continues to exceed targets set for employment of identified cohorts. These include public housing tenants, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, people with a disability, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, especially new arrivals and refugees, and young people, especially those exiting justice systems or care programs. Programmed is currently exceeding the target by 22 per cent.

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