A HOUSING association has come under fire over repairs to its stock of former council homes.
According to Audit Commission watchdogs, Wulvern Housing is not up to scratch when delivering key services which help tenants to be happy in their homes.
Wulvern, landlord to more than 5,000 tenants across Crewe and Nantwich, was awarded one out of a possible three stars for its overall performance, rated as 'fair'.
The commission sent a team of inspectors to interview tenants and Wulvern's management board before producing an in-depth report highlighting its strengths and weaknesses.
Wulvern was praised for promoting cultural aware-ness, to keep in touch with tenants through newsletters and meet promises made to them on transfer.
Nick Atkin, Audit Commission regional head of housing, said: 'Wulvern Housing is a relatively new organ-isation which is delivering a satisfactory service in income management. However, there are weaknesses in some areas which have resulted in the 'fair' rating.
'There is room for improvement in its responsive repairs and repairs to empty homes, and more work needs to be done to demonstrate value for money.'
It was the first inspection of rents and repairs since Crewe and Nantwich Borough Council's hand-over of council stock in March 2003.
Wulvern chief executive Sue Lock said: 'The inspection report provided us with 13 timely and useful recommendations which we began implementing with immediate effect through an action plan from December 2004.
'We are particularly pleased with the Repairs Helpdesk which went live while the inspectors were with us, and has gone from strength to strength helping customers to have one focal point to report repairs to.'
Andrea Lowman, director of asset management and regeneration, said Wulvern was implementing a plan to regenerate Crewe's West End, working with customers and other agencies.
She said: 'We are committed to ensuring our customers are placed first in all our activities.'