The Better Social Housing Review (BSHR) 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”.

The Rethinking Repairs and Maintenance project (RERAM) was established by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and National Housing Federation (NHF) to support the social housing sector to implement this recommendation and improve the standard of repairs and maintenance services delivered to social housing residents.

Based on research with residents, social landlords, and wider stakeholders, the project developed good practice guidance, case studies and twelve guiding principles for how social landlords should work with their residents and colleagues to improve their repairs and maintenance services. These principles are grouped into six themes, covering:

  • Improving cultures and behaviours
  • Inclusivity and tackling discrimination
  • Structuring your engagement
  • Involving colleagues
  • Understanding your performance
  • Closing the loop.

Although you can look at each of these themes individually, they are intended to be approached in order, starting with a re-examination of your culture and how inclusive your engagement and resident scrutiny processes are, and then passing consecutively through each theme. Throughout the guidance, we have included examples of good practice and case studies that you can adopt in your own work.

Separately, the project also investigated how social landlords could work more collaboratively with their contractors, service providers, and inhouse repairs and maintenance teams to improve service delivery. We have consequently produced good practice guidance and case studies that can help you work more effectively with these parties to obtain better outcomes for your residents.

Read about our guiding principles on repairs and maintenance (R&M) services and how to implement them

Implement the guidance - read the report in full
The RERAM project has developed 12 guiding principles that social landlords can follow to implement recommendation three of the BSHR. Read how to embed them in your service review.
What does an ‘excellent’ R&M service look like?
Excellence means different things to different groups of residents, but our work has identified the main features of an excellent R&M service. Read how to define excellence in your own organisation.
Supporting residents to scrutinise your R&M service
There are a range of different ways that your residents can be involved in the scrutiny and review of your repairs and maintenance service. Explore what good practice looks like here.
Making your scrutiny activities more inclusive
Tackling discrimination was a key focus of the BSHR; evidence increasingly shows that some residents experience poorer repairs than average. Put their voices at the heart of your service.
Including colleagues in the review of R&M services
The BSHR recognised the critical role that staff play in the delivery of R&M services, and recommended they be included within service design and review. Read more about how to do this well.
Measuring your performance and progress
‘What gets measured gets done’ is an old adage in social housing, but does it get done well? Explore how to work with your residents to design KPIs and monitor performance effectively.
Getting procurement right with partnerships and collaboration
Getting procurement right is vital for building an excellent repairs and maintenance service. Your residents and the wider market can support you to do this effectively – read how here.
Good practice from the point of view of service providers
We've undertaken research with contractors and service providers to understand experiences of working with housing providers to deliver R&M services. Find out more about what they value.
Good practice case studies in repairs and maintenance
Read about how social housing providers are working with their residents, staff, and contractors to improve their repairs and maintenance services in house and externally.

How to get involved

Although the project is now completed, we continue to gather and share examples of good practice, as well as undertaking work to support the sector to follow our good practice and guiding principles. Here are some of the ways you can be involved in this work:

Join our community of practice

CIH have established a repairs and maintenance community of practice, open to all who have an interest in this work, to share good practice and discuss how we can overcome common challenges in repairs and maintenance service delivery. The group is co-chaired by Steve Tucker, Sutton Housing Partnership, and Annie Clark, Norwich City Council. 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 Better Social Housing 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

Tell us about how you are implementing our guiding principles

We are interested in hearing from any social housing providers who have engaged with our good practice guidance and guiding principles. This will help us understand how the guidance is being used and any ways it can be improved. Please contact to arrange a conversation.

More about the Rethinking Repairs and Maintenance project

The Rethinking Repairs and Maintenance project was 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. Expand the sections below to find out more.

Our project

As part of our 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 completed a project to examine and share best practice on repairs and maintenance. The aims of the project were:

  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 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 has worked to define 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. To support its work, the group consulted with a wide range of experts, stakeholders, and residents, including housing associations and local authorities who own and manage social housing.

Group members

Between July 2023 and March 2024, the Rethinking Repairs and Maintenance project working group was formed of the following individuals. Although the formal project has concluded, members of the group continue to work together to support the sector to implement the guiding principles and good practice guidance.

  • Stephanie Allen, head of asset strategy and delivery, Riverside Group
  • Lisa Birchall, head of policy, National Federation of ALMOs
  • 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
  • Chloe Fletcher, formerly director of policy, National Federation of ALMOs, now director, Housing Quality Network
  • 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, executive director, Cardo Group

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

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