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    Southern Housing Group

    Value: £17.5 million over 5 years + £10m Regeneration Works
    Location: Throughout North London & Essex
    Form of Contract: JCT Measured Term Contract 2006
    Duration: January 2010 – January 2015


Project Brief

Breyer Group were awarded this contract to provide a Responsive Repairs, Void & Planned Property Maintenance service to 7,000 occupied homes across North London and Essex. As one of Southern England’s largest Housing Associations, Southern Housing Group own and manage an extensive corporate and residential stock portfolio with over 25,000 homes for more than 66,000 residents. Southern Housing Group’s mission is to unlock the potential of residents, people and places.

Scope of Works

To provide a Responsive Repairs, Void & Planned Property Maintenance service to 7,000 occupied homes across North London and Essex. As well as working in and around Residents’ homes on estate blocks and street properties, Breyer Group’s Specialist Responsive Repairs and Voids Division, B-Line, provides a call centre service and manages Southern Housing’s team of caretaker staff. We are currently carrying out around 300 void refurbishments every year and attending to 90 repairs each day. We are achieving void turnaround times below the 5 day requirement and our average turnaround for a major void is 10 days which includes kitchen and bathroom replacement, electrical re- wiring works and heating/boiler upgrades.

Key Challenges

The main challenge on this contract was to coordinate and resource the two distinct work streams of Responsive Repairs and Voids Refurbishment in order to ensure a high standard of quality and equitable service. Key issues to be addressed include:-

  • Co-ordinating the Change of Service Provider while managing Resident expectations
  • Duplication of processes and procedures as there are two work streams
  • Ensuring all systems and processes are linked to ensure we deliver the service as one contract
  • Managing our workforce to ensure we can deal with peaks and troughs in demand for work

Breyer Group appointed dedicated directly employed and multi-trade operative teams for both Responsive Repairs and Voids works; each supported by their own Supervisor and Building Surveying Teams respectively. All works are managed from a locally based Office and Storage facility in Leytonstone and are overseen by a dedicated ‘Whole Life’ Project Manager.

Delivery Targets

  • Deliver Customer Satisfaction – ensure that customer satisfaction for our voids, repairs and planned maintenance service meets Residents’ aspirations
  • Deliver Value for Money – develop an effective, affordable and efficient service that evidences value for money through robust financial planning and control 
  • Deliver an Effective Partnership with Southern Housing Group – development of an environment where team work and communication can flourish and where people are encouraged and supported to deliver mutual project objectives
  • Deliver Continuous Improvement – evidence improved service delivery through the use of effective systems, procedures and performance management
  • Deliver Community Investment – deliver training, work creation and community development initiatives of lasting value to the local community


  • Linking Responsive and Packaged Works: Packaged works are higher value than responsive works, as work can be carried out in bulk thus reducing the percentage of overheads required in the supporting trade Operatives and vehicles that are necessary in Responsive Repairs
  • Packaging work enables us to create a spend profile to fit with our client’s budgets in comparison to Responsive Repairs, where budgets are comparatively uncontrolled. We have developed good practice in proportioning the percentage of Packaged spend with Responsive, which should be 60:40. Best practice should aspire to a 70:30 split
  • Setting the proportion of Packaged General Maintenance to Responsive to assist budget control early on in the commencement of works and set targets accordingly
  • Formation of the ‘Green Doctor Programme’ initiative aimed at reducing fuel poverty and encouraging more efficient use of resources in the home. We have formed a partnership with Groundwork London and Southern Housing Group to deliver the Green Doctor Programme.

Key Outputs

Maintaining High Client and Customer Satisfaction: To minimise the disruption to residents on the contract, Breyer Group Operatives have access (via their PDA’s) to text messaging software, which allows them to contact Residents to confirm their impending arrival time.

Handyman Service: Breyer Group have employed local residents as Handypersons; they are managed by our CSA’s but with direct liaison with Building Managers and Wardens. They provide a range of services from Minor Repairs to property health checks and assistance with minor tasks such as fitting of curtain poles.

Local Recruitment, Apprenticeships & Training: Through its dedicated Community Development Team and Registered Charity, The Breyer Foundation, Breyer Group have successful recruited several SHG Residents onto our bespoke Apprentice Programme who are working towards NVQ qualifications in carpentry and plumbing.