Better Homes Programme, Kingston

Client name: Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames

Services: Multi-disciplinary

Value: £11,500,000

RBK BHP 7

Keegans were appointed to develop and establish the initial contract for years 1 & 2 of a 5 year Better Homes Programme for the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames.  

The 2 years works programme consisted of:
Year 1 - internals - 400 properties
Year 2 - internals - 650 properties
           - externals - 400 properties

The strategic objectives for our appointment were as follows:

  1. Develop a detailed specification and “basket rates” contract package for use in the year 1 programme (carried out by existing term contractor).
  2. Carry out validation surveys on sufficient properties to ensure that the 2012-14 budget would be spent in the financial year.
  3. Develop and maintain effective project management and reporting procedures to manage 15 openings per week for the duration of the 9 month contract.
  4. Full project management of the contract.
  5. Achieve compliance with the Better Homes
  6. Based on experience of the initial project assist in the preparation of improved contract documentation for tender action for the Better Homes programme for 2013-2017
  7. Identify improvements in basket rate systems to ensure Best Value going forward


Validation surveys were carried out across a range of estates in the Borough.  525 properties were identified for validation and a “strike rate” of 80% has been achieved.  Additional validations were also carried out as the works programme moved to the specific locations and other tenants became aware of the opportunities.

From the validation surveys 340 kitchens and bathrooms were identified as requiring refurbishment in line with the Royal Borough of Kingston, Better Homes standards.

We committed to tender under OJEU directives to appoint service providers under a framework to deliver Decent Homes and other capital works over 4 years. Whilst our modelling had given confidence on the level of investment, we still required detail and understanding of exactly what works were required to the properties.

Based on the detail gained to date (with works to 159 properties being completed) we have developed improved basket rate scenarios in preparation for the future tendered work.  These are designed to ensure Best Value for the client whilst also ensuring that the contractual packages provide fair opportunities for the contractor to properly understand and price the packages.  The main changes are:

  • Clarification of specific inclusions
  • Addition of additional basket rates covering different types of bathroom and WC arrangements


We managed the contract effectively to date and Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames have expressed their total satisfaction in the methods employed and the quality of the service received and the manner in which we have developed a partnership approach to the work with their team and the contractor.

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