Annual report cover, customer smilling with her son

Customer Annual Report 2021-22

Message from Glenn

Over the past year we’ve maintained our focus on providing high-quality homes and a great service to our customers. We’ve continued to invest in your homes, replacing over 1,000 new bathrooms and kitchens, maintained 100% safety compliance and made improvements in local neighbourhoods to make sure they’re places you want to live and stay.

You told us that you’d had issues with our repairs service and that it could be better, so we bought some of our contracts in-house and recruited new operatives at quite a difficult time. I’m very proud to say that satisfaction with our repairs service increased to a record 91% after these changes.

Together, we’ve taken huge steps towards making our homes more environmentally friendly and finding out what we need to do to reach government targets to reduce carbon emissions. Thank you to everyone who has taken part in our retrofit programme helping us to understand how new technology will work best for you in the future.

You’ve told us that accessibility is particularly important to you, so this year we’ve continued our investment in improving our digital channels, launching a new customer website and developing the app so that you can report repairs online.

During another very busy year, we’ve managed to maintain our 90% customer satisfaction score which recognises the pride that we take in making sure you have a great experience each time you receive a service from us. It’s really important to me that you continue to share your thoughts with us and I’d encourage everyone to find out more about how to get involved and shape your services.

Glenn Harris MBE Chief Executive


Our year in numbers

  • 97 years providing social housing
  • 70,000 customers
  • 34,000 homes
  • 1,112 employees
  • 3% overall satisfaction
  • 700 new homes built
  • 1,892 homes rented to new residents*
  • 2,497 money advice referrals made


My Voice

There are lots of ways for you to share your feedback with us. Depending on how much time you can give, you could join our survey mailing list, come along to one of our customer meetings, or review one of our services in more detail.

We really appreciate all the feedback you share with us. you’ve challenged us to keep improving and make sure we’re doing what we say we will.

  • 17,401 surveys completed
  • 76 customer meetings
  • 118 Estate Champion inspections

You told us you get a lot out of being involved – like gaining new skills, the chance to meet new people, and make a difference to your community.

One of our involved customers, Michael, says: “I was always told that if you aren’t happy with something, you can either put up with it, or change it […] I am grateful to Midland Heart for the home that I have. It's not perfect and nor is Midland Heart, but as an involved customer I have the privilege of helping to make improvements.”

You also told us that you weren’t sure how you could get your voice heard and that you wanted new ways to join in. So, we re-launched our MyVoice service and created some new customer groups.

  • Energy group – get advice on saving energy and reducing your bills, and share your tips and tricks with other customers
  • LGBT+ group – discuss how we can make sure LGBT+ customers feel safe and welcome, and help us learn from instances where people haven’t felt able to be themselves in their homes

Are you interested in giving us feedback and helping to shape our services for the future? Start by telling us what you think of this report


Contacting us

Our customer hub is your first point of contact if you have any questions or concerns.

Once again, we saw record levels of contact over the last year and our teams have worked hard to deliver vital services.

Below we've broken down the number of interactions we had by channel type.


Interaction Count




67 532

Social Media




Face 2 Face


Web Interaction


Grand Total



 How we can improve: We’re reviewing our telephone service to make it easier for you when you contact us. Changes will include making sure you have access to the right people to manage your query and we will also:

  • Give you the option to hang up, while you take your place in the queue so you’re not stuck waiting on hold. When your call reaches the front of the queue, we’ll call you back and connect you with a hub officer.
  • Ensure our Customer Hub officers have access to your information more quickly when you call us so you need to be on the phone for less time.


When things don’t go to plan

It’s important to us that you’ve got a clear route to raise your concerns and get them resolved quickly. Your feedback helps us to keep improving our service to you.

  • Total complaints – 560
  • Total complaints upheld – 429
  • Complaints per 1000 properties – 16

You told us the top three reasons for your complaints were:

  • Because of the way we’d communicated with you (20%)
  • Repairs had been delayed or not completed (17%)
  • You were unhappy with an action we’d taken (17%)

How we can improve – We’ve had a look at the things you contact us about most often and we’re changing the way we communicate with you at each stage of our process. We’re doing this to make sure each of our communications are clear, sent in a way that suits your needs i.e., letter/email/text so you have the information you need to hand and to make sure you always feel informed and know what to expect from our services.


Our Customer app

13,286 of you are now using the app           

How we can improve: You’ve told us that the most important thing you want us to introduce next on the app is the ability to report your repairs to us. We’re working to develop the app so that you can do this. Look out for more information about this over the next year.

We were also keen to understand more about what made you use the app and some of the other functions you’d like to see us develop in it. In a recent survey you told us:

  • 84% found it easy to sign up
  • 14% of customers who pay their rent directly to us pay via the app because it’s safe and convenient
  • you want more features – other than reporting repairs, you told us you were most interested in: getting important alerts (54%), online chat support (48%) and being able to update personal details (41%)

Download our app today! Simply search ‘Midland Heart’ on the App store or Google play or visit

CSE accreditation

In January we completed the second year of assessment for the Customer Service Excellence accreditation. This is an independent review to get feedback on how we can improve our customer service and is done by an independent assessor to make sure we’re providing a good level of customer service. We submitted 78 new pieces of evidence and achieved 100% compliance.

  • We were judged to be performing exceptionally in 12 areas
  • We were praised for our teamwork and commitment to customers

How we can improve: Our assessor did tell us we could do more to tell you about the level of customer service you can expect from us and to explain when things go wrong and what we’re doing to fix it. We’re in the process of reviewing our Service Standards and will make sure we also include this in our new standards.



Your safety is our number one priority, so we regularly ask for your feedback to make sure we’re getting it right.

You told us you wanted more information about fire and other building safety checks so we’ve worked hard to improve the way we communicate with you about building safety. We put together a new building safety action plan that sets out some of the things we’ll be doing in the future, including:

  • Updating building safety information given to customers when they sign up
  • Share a range of building safety campaigns across in different ways
  • Provide you with more information during safety checks
  • Do more to let you know when our teams will be in your area

Last year we sent out new fire safety posters, letters and leaflets to everyone living in a building with communal areas which were much more relevant to your own building and the actions we’re taking to keep you safe.

We also created a new Building Safety section of our website so you know what you can expect from us as well as what you can do to keep your home safe, you can find it at


Safety checks to keep you safe

We do regular risk assessments to see if we need to make any changes to make your building safer. Last year we completed all fire risk assessments and made sure any asbestos is safely contained.

  • We review the electrical safety of all homes every 5 years. Last year there were only 137 homes (out of 29259) that we couldn’t get into to do an electrical safety check. It is very important to give us access to undertake safety checks to keep you and your family safe.

In all our visits we’re reminding you how important it is to allow us access to your homes for safety checks. These visits may save a life!


Looking to the future

The government have issued new guidance to all Housing Associations about making high rise buildings even safer. We have 5 buildings that meet the government’s criteria for a high-rise building, these are:

  • Crocodile Court, Birmingham
  • Princes Chambers, Birmingham
  • Midland House, Leicester
  • Andrews House, Lichfield
  • Midland Court, Birmingham

If you live in one of these buildings, you’ll be hearing more from us over the next year. We’ll be asking for your feedback on how we communicate with you about the safety of your building.


An extra line of defence against fire

Although our buildings met the required safety standards, we found that some of our services would benefit from the additional protection offered by having a sprinkler system fitted.

In the first year of the programme (2021-22), we fitted eight blocks of flats with sprinklers. 

  • 8 buildings fitted with sprinklers in 2021-22 with more planned for next year
  • 93% customers said they feel safer having this extra line of protection against fire
  • 94% satisfaction with the installation works

The sprinklers will activate in the event of very high temperatures, limiting the damage to the building and ensuring nobody is hurt.

Customer testimonial: “I have been here for 13 and a half years, and always felt safe. However, these sprinkler systems have made a big difference. I would really recommend them to everybody.”


Keeping our technology up to date

Last year, we began a survey to find out what customers in 4,000 of our homes thought about the CCTV system that they have installed in their area through door knocking, telephone surveys and focus groups.

Once we have this information, we’ll be starting a review of our current CCTV systems to make sure that they work properly, need upgrading or if they’re still needed at all. The review will help us make a business case for better coverage of our buildings and better-quality images. We will also be considering some live monitoring of our CCTV so we can act more quickly if we see a problem.


The team have continued to do repairs and planned work to your homes safely, even though we had periods of covid restrictions and it being very difficult to recruit new team members during last year.

  • 9% Repairs satisfaction
  • 48% Repairs completed by our in-house team were completed in 14-days (81% completed in 28-days)
  • 82% Repairs completed first time
  • £24.6m invested in our homes

We completed the following upgrades

  • 353 Bathrooms
  • 865 Kitchens
  • 473 Windows
  • 96 Roofs

We regularly get feedback about our homes and communities from our residents, staff and sometimes other organisations. We use this to help us make the right improvements to where you live and make it somewhere that you want to stay.  These improvements often involve redecorating communal areas and tackling issues in the local community to make sure everyone feels safe and settled in their homes.

Case study: Priory Court in Wolverhampton

Before work began, customers living at Priory Court told us they were worried about anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping and felt unsafe in the area near their scheme.

We worked closely with other agencies like the local policing team and the homelessness outreach team to tackle issues in the area. We also held a community day and visited customers in their homes to talk about their tenancy agreements and check they had the support they needed.

Since gaining your feedback we’ve improved the lighting, upgraded the CCTV, and installed new doors to the main entrance. We’ve created a new bin store to reduce littering and fly-tipping and in some cases, new kitchens, bathrooms and windows were installed to refresh homes.

The changes have made a big difference and had a really positive impact on the Priory Court community and people are now pleased to live there, you told us:

  • 89% of customers happy with the look and appearance of Priory Court (40% before)
  • 78% said they would recommend the scheme to others (60% before)
  • 88% said they were happy with safety and security
  • 90% said they felt confident reporting ASB to us

Customer testimonial: ‘Midland Heart were welcoming and keen to address the issues raised, they clearly wanted to improve the property and to take the lead in doing so, I found this very refreshing to hear.’ Police sergeant from the local policing team.


Delivering a brilliant repairs service

You’d told us that some of our repair’s contractors weren’t always delivering the service you expected. So, in August 2021, we brought all our day-to-day maintenance in-house, which means our own team now complete most of your day-to-day repairs. You can read more about it here

To make sure our repairs teams are delivering a brilliant service to you, we’ve delivered some new training to all of our repairs operatives. The training was designed to make sure our teams treat you with fairness and respect and do all they can to make sure you we resolve your repairs as quickly as possible. This means our IHMT operatives should always:

  • Believe what you’re telling them
  • Understand the issue you’re facing
  • Investigate and take the correct action
  • Liaise with you and other colleagues so everyone’s updated
  • Deliver the repair you need

Aids and adaptations

  • Total spend: £109k
  • 79 adaptations

We keep working with local authorities to access Disability Facilities Grant to help you get grab rails, handrails, over bath showers and low and level access shower cubicles to make a real difference to day to day living in your home.

How we’ll improve – In the next year, we’ll be doing more to show you how your feedback shapes our repairs service by sharing performance information on our website. We’ll also have a repair reporting tool on our app and have a new plan to help us manage our properties for the next 10 years.

Tackling damp and mould

There are lots of reasons why you might get damp and mould in your home, and it can sometimes be difficult to identify and remove the root cause. We know how upsetting this can be, so we’re always looking for ways to improve our damp and mould process.

Last year, we created a new role, so you have a dedicated point of contact if you have a recurring problem with damp and mould. Our Customer Liaison Manager, Mo, has already been able to offer lots of support and advice in his short time in the role.

Mo says: ‘My job is to listen to you and identify any issues which may have been missed. I’ll remain impartial and do what’s right for you so that we can find the best way to deal with the damp and mould for good.’

We’ve also been trialling new technology including damp and mould sensors, which help us to track patterns in condensation so we can understand what’s causing the problems.

The brilliant news is we’ve seen a 30% reduction in complaints about damp and mould compared to last year.

You can find more useful tips about tackling damp and mould on our website


Tenancy: Homes to rent

Our dedicated website to find a home, Midland Heart Homes has continued to help us successfully match applicants with new homes. You can find visit the site here

  • 1,892 homes rented - excluding supported living
  • 39,000 people have searched for a new home with Midland Heart
  • 4% satisfaction with our lettings process

Over the past year we’ve rented lots of different types of property including houses, flats, bedsits and bungalows.

Last year we built 700 new homes across the East and West Midlands. There is very high demand for affordable family housing and that is what we’re focusing on when building new homes.

We helped 173 people to buy their own home through shared ownership properties and we built 56 new retirement living homes. View our shared ownership properties here

Last year we introduced a new way for you to swap your homes with others, House Exchange. The service makes it easy to find a match and 172 customers successfully exchanged their homes last year. If you’re interested in swapping your home with someone else, you can find out more about how to do this through House Exchange

This year we’ve created a new role to give specialist advice to anyone who contacts us with questions about lettings. In 2021-22, the new advisor dealt with 6,829 enquiries.

How we’ll improve - We’re working to make important documents about your tenancy accessible to all customers in different languages, large print and braille.


Our money advice service

Over the past year, the cost of living has risen, and many of our customers have had money worries.

Our Money Advice team not only do their best to make sure customers can afford to heat their homes and pay their bills. They also help to reduce the stress and anxiety caused by money worries. They’ve continued to offer free, confidential advice to anyone who needs it:

  • 2497 referrals received
  • Of the customers seen, 9% sustained their tenancy
  • £2.5m extra money for customers – this means helping you claim benefits you’re entitled to, and reducing your debts. Those who had support got an average of an extra £60 per week with the teams help.
  • Claimed Universal Credit awards of £505,918.15
  • £608,928.48 claimed in Housing Benefit

As well as supporting with debt and benefit claims, the team have secured over £56,000 of support payments from charities and funds, issued fuel and food vouchers, and helped customers to purchase essential items like beds, fridges and cookers.

If you’re worried about paying your rent or need support with financial problems, please contact the Money Advice team:


Doing our bit to tackle climate change

One of the biggest challenges we’re facing as an organisation is making sure we’re doing our bit to reduce our carbon footprint and slow the impact of climate change. To do this we carry out an Energy Performance check of our homes to see if there are things we can take do to make our homes more energy efficient. These measures help make sure you’re able to heat your home, and that you have to use less energy to do this. This is even more important as the cost of gas and electricity goes up.

Some of the measures we ‘ve introduced to make our homes more energy efficient include:

  • additional insulation (in lofts and to the outside of homes)
  • upgrading heating systems,
  • fitting solar panels to generate free electricity

As a result of the work, we have done this year, 2,710 additional homes had a registered EPC at band C or higher.

“It makes me feel better as I do not need to put heating on as much”

Our Carbon Reduction Action Plan

We’ve set ourselves ambitious targets to reduce our impact on the environment, and we’re committed to becoming a carbon-neutral landlord by 2050. You can find out more on our website

Some of our staff have completed Energy Awareness qualifications so that they’re able to give energy advice to customers and colleagues to help them reduce how much gas and electric they need to use and manage bills better.

We’re also looking at making our homes warmer and cheaper to run  by continuing to put in more insulation, solar panels and better heating systems, we plan to spend  £100m between now and 2030. Where we can we’re making use of grant funding to maximise the work we can do and we have a new team who are making this work a priority.

How we’ll improve - We’ll be launching a new customer group and offering ‘green’ awareness sessions for all customers – register your interest here


Your Neighbourhood

We’re constantly reviewing the services that matter most to you to make sure your neighbourhood is place you like to live and want to stay.

Tackling anti-social behaviour

You told us that we could improve our anti-social behaviour (ASB) process, so we’ve updated our ASB policy, improved the information available on our website, and introduced specific ASB training for new colleagues in the Customer Hub.

We’ve already seen some great results, with 81% of customers who’ve reported ASB agreeing that they have confidence that we’ll act on and respond to any future ASB reports. (up 27.7% on last year)

Overall satisfaction with our ASB service was 65.1% in 2021-22, which is an increase of almost 10% since the previous year.

We know there’s still lots we can do, and we’re continuing to gather feedback from customers who have been struggling with ASB and are reviewing the way that we communicate with customers throughout this process.

How we can improve: Our team keep building relationships with other agencies like local community police teams and local authorities to make sure that you can access the support you need in your community.

Pests and vermin

You’ve told us that the way we tackle issues with rats, mice and pests wasn’t working as well as it could. We’ve introduced a new way to record these issues so that we can closely monitor your case, and work closely with you and our contractors to make sure we get to the bottom of any problems as quickly as possible.

We’re already seeing a positive impact. In the first six months of the new programme (September 2021 to March 2022):

  • 118 cases involving pests and vermin were resolved
  • Customers who were reluctant to let us into their homes are now working closely with us, allowing us to provide more support where needed.
  • 49% reduction in complaints about pests and vermin

If you’re interested in looking out for the building you live in and improving your local area, become an Estate Champion. You’ll report any issues directly to us through a monthly form so our Estates team can deal with these promptly.


Retirement Living

We get regular feedback on our retirement living offer to make sure residents have everything they need to live a happy, independent life.

  • 4% overall satisfaction in retirement living

You told us:

  • Our retirement services are an inclusive place to live (98.9%)
  • You want us to continue to improve external communal areas and your repairs service

This year, we continued to make improvements to our retirement schemes, improved our guest rooms, commissioned mobility scooter stores, and redesigned our noticeboards to make sure you can easily access all the information you need.

Case study: Going cashless

After a successful trial which included regular feedback from customers, all our retirement living plus schemes are now take card payments. This has helped to make sure paying for things is safe and convenient.

Getting you talking

We have residents’ committees at some of our schemes for customers to get involved in improvements and social activities where they live. We’re now offering some training and support for committee members. If you’re committee would like us to support you with training, please speak to your scheme manager who can help you arrange this.  

Last year, following your feedback, we also successfully introduced a retirement living forum for our Coventry customers. This involved bringing people from the four larger retirement properties in Coventry together to discuss how they feel about the services they receive, such as catering, lifestyle activities, repairs and events. It’s been a great chance to meet new people, raise any concerns, and influence changes.

How we can improve: We’re hoping to roll out forums along with new involved customer groups in other areas in the future.

“The best thing that has happened to me was to move into my lovely flat. I’m really happy here. Thank you, Midland Heart, – your staff have made me very happy.” Customer at Chatham Place, Northfield, Birmingham

“Staff are kind and understanding and willing to help – this approach makes an enormous difference to the elderly and frail among us.” Customer at James Beattie House, Wolverhampton.

If you’d like to know more about the Retirement satisfaction surveys, or about our forums, get in touch with us.


Independent Living

In the last year we’ve supported 343 customers to move on to live independently. You also told us that:

  • 6% overall satisfaction with our service
  • You felt our buildings were kept clean and tidy (97.7%)
  • Your scheme is an inclusive place to live irrespective of customers backgrounds (97.7%)
  • you rated the facilities as good (96.9%)
  • you feel safe from harm or abuse from staff/customers (96.2%)



Consulting with you

Whenever we’re thinking about making a change to a service, we consult with anyone who might be affected to make sure your views are heard.

For example, this year we’ve consulted on:

  • Refurbishments to our buildings and services
  • Rent increases and how we can support with them
  • Additional safety features like sprinklers and CCTV

Case study: Rent consultation

Every year, the annual rent increase is set by the government. In help us support you with the rent increase in April 2022, we gathered customer feedback through a survey and a focus group.

Based on your feedback, we’re:

  • continuing to promote the support we have available
  • working with local authorities to encourage them to increase the grants they offer
  • reviewing whether we can increase our hardship fund further
  • making investing in our homes a priority

 How we’ll improve – We’ll regularly share performance data on our website so you can keep an eye on how we’re doing and know what you can expect from our services.


Improving our digital services

We’ve been working hard to improve our digital services for both customers and colleagues. In January 2022, we launched our new website, using your feedback to:

  • Improve the layout and focus on pages you use the most
  • Make it easier to find important information
  • Improve search function
  • Make the site more accessible on a mobile device

Reinvesting in your services

In 2021-22, we had a turnover of £207 million.

We retained our G1/V1 rating, which is the highest score possible from The Regulator of Social Housing. This means we’re a strong and stable organisation, and we’re in a good position to be a good landlord and make sure your homes and safe, secure and well maintained.

Customer Annual Report - Value for Money table






Service Charge


Supporting People





Managing your home and neighbourhood


Repairs & Planned Investment


Loan costs for new developments



We want to hear your views on our latest Customer Annual Report, so we can review whether we're giving you the information you'd like to see, and start to plan ahead for next year's report. The survey should take no longer than five minutes to complete