Barnet Homes has slashed the length of time it takes to provide housing for those in need, reducing the period from 28 days to 19 days. This puts it amongst the top performers for social housing organisations in London.

The improvement follows the launch of its Housing Options service in April 2012, which saw the transfer of the Housing Needs and Resources Team from Barnet Council, resulting in a more efficient service for applicants.

Derek Rust, Director of Operations at Barnet Homes, said: “We’ve achieved this amazing result, despite a difficult year with all the preparations for welfare reform and the generally poor economic conditions. It wouldn’t have happened without the hard work of all the teams concerned. My sincere thanks go to everyone who has helped make this happen.”

Barnet Homes’ repairs and maintenance contractors, Mears, also played its part by getting empty properties cleared and prepared quicker for new tenants to move in.

The nine day improvement can make a significant difference to a person’s life if they are in housing need. Mr Fitzpatrick was homeless when he was referred to the Housing Options service by Homeless Action in Barnet in March. He said: “You could say I was in dire straits. I had to leave the accommodation where I was living and was homeless. I went to Homeless Action in Barnet and everybody there was very helpful. They put me onto Barnet Homes and I was housed relatively quickly. I actually got the keys to my new flat in Mill Hill on my 60th birthday.”