The rethinking repairs and maintenance project has been established by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and National Housing Federation (NHF) to support the social housing sector to improve its repairs and maintenance practices.

The Better Social Housing Review found that resident dissatisfaction with repairs and maintenance services is a major issue in the sector, with only two thirds of social renters satisfied with the repairs service they receive. Poor practice has also been increasingly highlighted across news media outlets and in severe maladministration judgements by the Housing Ombudsman. This has underlined the need for the sector to re-examine the basic components of what an excellent repairs and maintenance process should involve.

In response to these issues, the Better Social Housing Review recommended that “Housing associations should partner with residents, contractors and frontline staff to develop and apply new standards defining what an excellent maintenance and repairs process looks like”.

About the project

As part of the action plan, published jointly by CIH and NHF in response to the Better Social Housing Review, we committed to taking forward several actions to help the sector respond to the issues identified by the panel.

To support the sector’s response to the recommendation, CIH has set up a project to examine and share best practice on repairs and maintenance. The aims of the project are:

  1. To collectively rethink and redefine how to design an excellent repairs and maintenance service in partnership with residents, contractors, and frontline staff, with a particular focus on improving outcomes for black and minority ethnic residents and residents that may be considered marginalised, disadvantaged, or vulnerable
  2. To develop and encourage the sector-wide adoption of new standards and metrics that will drive improved repairs and maintenance performance and better support board and resident scrutiny of performance at the landlord level
  3. To share learnings and best practice across the social housing sector and to key stakeholders to enable the sector to implement positive and impactful changes in how it approaches repairs and maintenance processes.

To do this, CIH has established a best practice group formed of representatives* from registered social landlords, tenant representation bodies, equality and diversity bodies, and procurement and contracting experts.

Together, the group is initially defining the guiding principles that social landlords should use to inform the co-design and delivery of repairs services and share examples and case studies of how landlords can consult with their residents, staff, and contractors to do this. The group will also develop new standards and metrics that landlords could use to measure their progress and enable better board and resident scrutiny of performance.

The group is not doing this alone; it is consulting with a wide range of experts, stakeholders, and residents to inform this work, including housing associations and local authorities who own and manage social housing.

Outputs and resources

To support the sector to respond to Recommendation 3 of the Better Social Housing Review, we have published case studies of housing associations, local authorities, and arms length management organisations (ALMOs) who have worked with their residents, staff, and contractors to improve their repairs and maintenance services.

The case studies focus on the journeys that each organisation has been on, how their engagement led to significant changes to their repairs and maintenance services, and the good practice that others in the sector can learn from.

View the case studies

In spring 2024, the project will publish a major report that will focus on defining and sharing good practice and practical guidance on how social landlords should respond to Recommendation 3.

How to get involved

Engagement with social landlords, contractors, and the wider housing sector will be important to the development of this work. We are keen to hear views from CIH members, NHF members, and the local authority sector to help us shape our work. Here are some of the ways you can be involved:

Join our community of practice

We are establishing a community of practice, open to all who have an interest in this work, to share our developing findings and test our ideas. The community of practice also functions as a space to share good practice and talk through challenges with other professionals working in repairs and maintenance. If you would like to be a part of this network, please contact

Tell us about how you are responding to the Better Social Housing Review recommendation on repairs and maintenance

The review highlighted many examples of existing good practice in the sector, and we are keen to develop these examples into more case studies. If you would like to meet with us to tell us about what you are doing, please contact

Group members
  • Stephanie Allen, head of asset strategy and delivery, Riverside Group
  • Emma Brooker, head of maintenance services, L&Q
  • Rob Bywater, head of assets, Ashton Pioneer Homes
  • Hazel Edwards, head of customer voice and value, Wrekin Housing Group
  • Lisa Birchall, policy lead, National Federation of ALMOs
  • Mushtaq Khan, chief executive, Housing Diversity Network
  • Jenny Osbourne, chief executive, TPAS
  • Annie Owens, policy lead, National Housing Federation
  • Adam Pearce, property and repairs manager, Northstar
  • Angela Perry, executive director of assets and development, South Liverpool Homes
  • Paul Price, chief executive, Association of Retained Council Housing (ARCH)
  • Alan Scott, assistant director of Programme and Cyclical Delivery, Believe Housing
  • Liane Sheppard, director of property services, Live West
  • David Smith, head of business partnerships, South East Consortium
  • David Taylor, executive operations director, Midland Heart
  • Mike Turner, non-executive director, Ian Williams

The group is chaired by James Prestwich, director of policy and external affairs at CIH, and the secretariat is provided by Matthew Scott, policy and practice officer at CIH.

Delivering an effective maintenance and repairs service in Ireland webinar
Exclusive for CIH members, watch the recording of our recent webinar to hear from a range of providers and organisations as they explore effective maintenance and repairs service in Ireland
Watch now
An overview of the Better Social Housing Review
Go back and read more about the Better Social Housing Review, its origin and the recommendations outlined by the independent panel.
Learn more
What you need to know about the Social Housing (Regulation) Act
Exclusive for CIH members, read CIH's response to the main aspects of The Social Housing (Regulation) Act.
Download publication

Got a question for the policy team? Contact us today.