Helping Barnet Council manage and maintain some 15,000 council homes including 3,900 leasehold properties.
Barnet Homes was launched in 2004 by Barnet Council to manage and maintain the council homes in the borough. A non-profit making company (an Arms Length Management Organisation), it is100% owned by the Council. Its goals are to provide decent homes, improved services and tenant satisfaction.
Barnet Homes is responsible for a budget of £80 million and almost 400 staff from the Council’s former Housing Services Department. Value for money through effective organisation and cost savings is a major priority. Efficiencies in housing capital expenditure have directly resulted in £2.6 million savings for 2006-07, and a further £2.5 million expected for 2007-08. This places Barnet Homes among the top five in the country.
Barnet Homes is managed by a board of fifteen members who work remotely, away from the organisation’s head office. The board is made up of five Council nominees, four tenants, one lease holder and five independent members with professional skills and extensive experience. Crucial to the operation are 21 sheltered housing officers who act as affiliates.
Swift, secure and reliable IT support is vital to this small team of key personnel. Market research carried out by Barnet Homes supported their idea to contract out this service. Following the tendering process, Lifeline IT won the business, some six years ago now.
Barnet Homes’ principal support requirements include the ability to communicate with non-IT professionals and understand their needs and concerns. They also need value for money and transparent costings.
Lifeline IT’s role is to act between Barnet Homes’ Head Office and their remote clients based in numerous locations throughout the Borough. We are also trusted with the security of a variety of sensitive documents and information, and speed of response is critical for this senior management team.
The feedback from Barnet Homes has been exceptionally positive: ‘Lifeline IT genuinely cares for its customers and goes the extra mile. No task is too small or too much trouble’. Officers working from home feel well served and less remote from their colleagues. They also appreciate our fast and efficient fault resolution, which works in tandem with our remote backup service.
Barnet Homes and Lifeline IT enjoy a close professional relationship, which includes monthly meetings with the Head of IT to monitor, service and plan work.