A new £3.7 billion joint venture (JV) between Wheatley Group and Glasgow City Council launched this week with a pledge to provide a modern, localised and even more efficient repairs and maintenance service to thousands of affordable housing tenants.
On April 1, Wheatley became a 50/50 joint owner with the local authority of City Building (Glasgow).
The JV will provide repairs and investment work to Wheatley’s Registered Social Landlords in the west of Scotland – GHA, Cube and Loretto – as well as the Group’s mid-market commercial housing subsidiary, Lowther Homes, and its property management company, YourPlace.
Bernadette Hewitt, chair of GHA, said the JV represented “an exciting opportunity to take the repairs and maintenance service to the next level”.
She added: “Tenant feedback has played a major part in shaping what will be a modern, more efficient service provided by locally-based repairs teams closer to their customers.
“The joint process review designing this new, improved service will ensure it is even better equipped to match and exceed customers’ needs and expectations.”
The JV, which will employ more than 2000 staff, will be responsible for Wheatley’s annual housing repairs budget of £33 million and annual investment budget of £27m, as well as carrying out £30m of repairs annually on behalf of the city council.
The GHA tenant chair added: “The launch of the JV is a very important milestone on our journey to achieving customer-service excellence.
“Customer research has shown consistently over many years the vast majority of tenants and factored homeowners appreciate the very good repairs service provided. Our aim in taking forward this JV with Glasgow City Council is to consolidate and further improve that customer satisfaction.”
Annemarie O’Donnell, chief executive of Glasgow City Council, said: “This ground-breaking partnership will build on the significant and positive impact City Building has already had on Glasgow over the last decade – delivering jobs, training and first-rate services for communities and tenants.
“We are securing 2,000 jobs and more than 2,000 apprenticeships for at least 30 years, including work for people with disabilities, through the RSBi workshop. The deal also delivers a £180 million investment in training and skills.
“That is a huge boost for the whole city, its economy and its people.”
Dr. Graham Paterson, executive director of City Building, said “The excellent skills, dedication and commitment of our workforce will bring added value to Wheatley Group customers.”
The JV will aim to recruit 60 apprentices per year over the next five years, with 35 of those apprentices coming from Wheatley communities.
Last month Wheatley and City Building launched a double recruitment drive for new apprentices, with Wheatley looking for 30 new Modern Apprentices and City Building taking on 60 trades apprentices.