or following abreakdown (whichever is the earliest event). Following removal of the appliance, CA will make good the space to allow the occupants to fit their own white goods.

There are in the region of 1500 SFA that have been fitted with integrated appliances. However,future builds will be fitted for,and not fitted with, white goods and DIO will try to limit appliances with any future purchases. Future occupants will be advised on move in of this process.

Combined Accommodation Assessment System (CAAS). Since the distribution of revised CAASband letters in May ‘17, we have seen arise in the number of CAASChallenges occupants are making. Changes to the location criteria seem to be the main, but not exclusive, theme and Ithought it might help to provide asummary of the official explanation for how decisions are reached, especially as some of the letters we have seen announcing achange have not been particularly clear about the reasons why.

The Location Factor for CAASis described in JSP 464 Vol3Part 2Chapter 5, and provides the MOD policy for calculating that component of CAAS.

Put simply,arriving at the Location Factor is a4-step process:

Step 1. Geographical Classification – This considers the Urban to Rural classification as defined by the Department for Communities and Local Government geographical classification system, base-lined at the 2011 Output Areas. The Output Areas were calculated from the 2011 Census data and are unlikely to be recalculated until after the 2021 Census. In other words, there’s some science behind the calculation and it’s not just a‘finger in the wind’ judgement call.

Step 2. Accessibility – assesses the relative proximity to 8key amenities considered by government as essential requirements in everyday life and accessible to the wider civilian population.They are: Food store, GP, employment centre, primary school, secondary school, further education institution, hospital and town centre. The assessment is based on the public

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transport/walking mode of travel to each of the eight amenities to give an overall measure of average accessibility and does not relate to the amenity that the SFA resident may choose to use; rather it relates to the amenity that is recorded as closest to or within the postcode.

Step 3Broadband – The issue of broadband speed and connectivity is one of the criteria that has caused most fuss.The data for broadband speed is provided by Ofcom and it is the statistic for the best broadband speed available from an Internet Services Provider,not the broadband provision that an occupant may elect to take up (so it’s about availability,not use or cost) that is used as ameasure. However,the data does not allow for the degradation of signal bandwidth at peak periods of use –an obvious disadvantage. The baseline for broadband is set at the national average level of provision (17.8 Mbps), against acurrent government recommended provision of 2Mbps (due to rise to 24 Mbps in 2018). The policy requires broadband speed and connectivity to be re-assessed annually and we know of at least one unit where the introduction of high-speed broadband in the last 12 months has led to rent increases, even though occupants have to pay more to access the new broadband service.

Step 4–Indices of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) – this measure sweeps up many of the other factors that are used across society to provide away to evaluate things like accommodation charges. Calculated from the National Census every 10 years, they are not adjusted outside this time interval. The factors are weighted and include: income; employment; health and disability; education; skills training; barriers to

housing and services; crime; and living environment.

That’s it in anutshell, the Location element of CAAS. The 2other areas of a CAASChallenge are on Condition and on Scale but I’ll save those for another day – if you have the appetite!!

Fire Safety – In light of the tragic Grenfell Tower fire earlier this year, we would recommend that, should you have aconcern about the safety of your electrical appliances –such as arefrigerator,washing machine, microwave, cooker,dishwasher or tumble dryer,that you contact the manufacturer to see if they have issued asafety recall. You’ll need to provide the make, model and serial number of the equipment.

We are aware of at least one SFAfire this year that was started by afaulty fridge- freezer.Itcaused around £50k worth of damage to the kitchen in the SFA. Fortunately the family concerned were not injured but it’s atimely reminder to think seriously about taking out the recommended liability insurance for SFA–details are on our website –as damage to the quarter will not normally be covered by contents insurance.

Next time …………….. Ground maintenance –Headless families, ISS. Compensation scheme progress report.

Finally –weurge you to continue to contact us on any SFAand SLA issues that may be of concern to you…..and please be on the lookout for our online surveys.

Further information:;

Autumn 2017 Envoy 21

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