Work of the National Housing Maintenance Forum

The NHMF is a forum of maintenance professionals drawn from all parts of England and Wales and all housing sectors. It meets four times a year to review the Schedule and advise on improvements and the development of...

National Housing Maintenance Forum

from 2001 Bulletin

Kevin Pease Peabody Housing Trust (chair of NHMF)

The NHMF is a forum of maintenance professionals drawn from all parts of England and Wales and all housing sectors. It meets four times a year to review the Schedule and advise on improvements and the development of related products to assist maintenance managers in meeting the changing demands on their services. Its members are elected each year by subscribers to the schedule at an Annual General Meeting held at the NHF Asset Management and Maintenance conference. It is chaired by Kevin Pease of Peabody Trust (020 7928 7811).

The NHF Schedule of Rates is a user-controlled product, partly owned by its subscribers and managed by the NHMF. This is a good example of a successful partnership. The maintenance practitioners that run the NHMF know what they want, and their commercial partners are responsible for delivering it to them at a reasonable cost. This has resulted in “package solutions” that reduce a Social Landlord’s dependency on consultants, whilst providing the flexibility to tailor the products to the Social Landlord’s own needs.

As the range of products has expanded, the NHMF have re-structured their committees so as to draw on the best expertise in developing each product, with the Forum in overall control.

The Development Fund is managed by the Finance Sub-committee, chaired by Kevin Pease of Peabody. The fund holds the revenues built up from annual licence fees on the NHF Schedule of Rates, and has grown from a turnover of £5,000 a year in the early nineties to over £50,000 this year. The priorities for the fund can be summarised as:

  • To pay for upgrades to the NHF Schedule of Rates to keep at the leading edge of best practice and pricing.
  • To meet the costs of the Forum in managing development of the Schedule and related products, and the delivery of related services by Rand Associates and Housing Software Services.
  • To pay for a support service to users of the NHF Schedule.
  • To keep members informed of the activities of the Forum, and the development of the full range of products, and policy issues affecting repairs and maintenance through conference exhibitions, and the publication and distribution of Bulletins and Reports.
  • To pay towards the cost of research and development of products related to the NHF Schedule of Rates that will enhance performance and encourage best practice in the provision of repairs and maintenance services.
  • To fund activities that represent the interests of NHF Schedule of Rates clients in providing a repairs and maintenance service to regulatory and other relevant bodies and to support the work of the National Housing Federation in developing repairs and maintenance policy.

The Locator User Group meets at around Easter each year to decide on improvements to be implemented in the autumn. This is chaired by Graham Teed of Yorkshire Metropolitan Housing Group (Tel 01484 440 901).

The Checkmate Working Party meets three or four times a year to agree improvements to the Checkmate questionnaires, and the way the analysis is reported. Its membership is drawn from the Direct Works Forum, ACSCO, and members of Checkmate. It is chaired by Mike Mehaffy of Westlea Housing Association (01249 466000), with Malcolm Parker of Swaythling (023 8058 4661) representing the NHMF.

The Guideline Working Party oversees the development of Guideline, and is chaired by Mike Cleavely of Orwell Housing Association (01473 218 818). Peabody Trust are leading the development of the policy content.

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