A housing officer has been hailed a “local hero” for going the extra mile to help tenants under his watch.
Paul Frackleton is the “one point contact” between tenants of the Parc Peulwys estate in Llysfaen near Old Colwyn and housing association Cartrefi Conwy who manage the properties.
His new job is part of a new initiative launched by Cartrefi Conwy to restructure and strengthen its neighbourhoods team by combining various frontline roles of the organisation’s housing management service so they can become “champions of their communities”.
As a result, Cartrefi’s 16 housing officers now look after smaller numbers of homes which means they can spend more time supporting the tenants and communities where they work.
A number of Parc Peulwys tenants have already contacted Cartrefi because they wanted to praise Paul for his sterling efforts.
Among those who’ve been impressed with his hard work and helpful demeanour is Parc Peulwys resident Rob Redhead, a member of Llysfaen Community Council and a former Cartrefi Conwy board member.
He said: “In conjunction with Cartrefi Conwy, the community council arranged for some skips on Peulwys so that people could get rid of rubbish and other things they didn’t want.
“Paul went round the people who couldn’t move the stuff and he helped clear the gardens of the rubbish and he went the extra mile.
“He is proactive on Peulwys and he’s very, very approachable – that’s what the residents tell us – and he gets things done.
“Paul helps in all kinds of ways and he’s become a bit of a local hero because he’s there for people.”
Taking a break from visiting tenants by the large stone marking the entrance to the estate, Paul explained his new role.
“I’m up here most days and deal with pretty much all aspects of housing. I’m the one point contact between the tenants and Cartrefi Conwy.
“Generally with the new role I’ll deal with any rent enquiries and make any referrals to help with the financial side of that. I’ll address the support needs of tenants and deal with any incidents of anti-social behaviour to ensure the community is kept safe. “We do regular drop-ins with the community which help us identify any further issues,” he said.
Paul, who joined Cartrefi Conwy after spending several years running his own business in the building and landscaping industry, added he is responsible for about 240 properties on the Peulwys estate and about 1,000 people.
“This is a new reduced number and it allows us to keep track of things. It’s a great community to work in, the tenants are lovely and it’s nice to be able to spend more time on the estate and just notice the needs of the people and address them for their benefit.
“There’s so much diversity to this role and we’ve already had quite a few initiatives and special projects. We’ve had skips up here so that rubbish can be deposited and a food share scheme. We have a community cafe where I drop in on a regular basis.
Daniel Hall, the Assistant Director of Neighbourhoods for Cartrefi Conwy said the new way of working for housing officers had been rolled out across the entire Cartrefi Conwy portfolio of 4,000 homes, with the housing officers each having patch sizes of between 220 and 270 properties and they are set geographically.
He said: “We carried out a review of our service on the back of feedback from our tenants in the past couple of years, as well as our colleagues, in the way we deliver housing management in our communities.
“The feeling was very strong that we needed to reduce patch sizes and support colleagues but most importantly provide a better service to our tenants by being more on-hand more to meet the challenges we’re facing.
“We started this changeover in December and since Paul has been in place we’ve already started to receive positive feedback that he’s already having an impact on the area. The information that we give our tenants has improved and we’re building up the tenant/landlord relationship through Paul.
“We expect our housing officers to be spending nearly three quarters of their time out in their community to deal with issues that matter and take a proactive approach to housing management and pick things up before they are reported.”
Cartrefi’s Deputy Chief Executive, Adrian Johnson, said: “This important initiative is about concentrating our resources on our core mission to focus on great tenant engagement so we be even better at responding to their needs with comfortable, safe homes they can be proud of.
“As well as providing high quality housing, the wellbeing and the quality of life of our tenants is at the heart of everything we do and the new way of working introduced for our housing officers is already having a positive impact.”
Marketing and Communication Manager Adam Lemalle added: “We expect over time to see a decrease in the number of calls being received in our contact centre because queries will likely be picked up through their housing officer. This will save time for tenants and help them build up a positive working relationship with their housing officer.
“Our aim is to concentrate on our core responsibility looking after the wellbeing of our tenants and helping to create communities to be proud of.”