Increasing the turn-around on empty homes was listed as a priority by Kirklees councillors.
Full Council last night reviewed the annual performance of Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing, which manages the council’s 23,000 social housing stock.
The report shows that in 2012/13 the days taken to re-let homes rose from 29.09 to 31.69 days.
However, rent lost from homes being empty reduced from 1.44% of rent debit to 1.38% because the average number of empty homes was lower than last year.
Councillors were told that the number of empty homes was a ‘snap shot’ of 300.
KNH is responsible for the council’s £76.7m rent collection and rent collection fell from 97.1% from 97.6%.
Overall rent arrears rose from £1.2m to £1.5m.
Clr Peter McBride, Cabinet member for housing, said: “No-one has been more critical of KNH than me, but when an organisation does some good work then credit where it’s due.
“With the damage of the welfare reform they we predicting losses of £9m but it’s much less than £3m.”
He praised KNH’s grass cutting scheme which has improved the look of the borough.
Conservative Clr Christine Smith likened Clr McBride’s comments as coming from Alice in Wonderland. She described the fiasco of district heating, rent errors and dubbed the report “one sided”.
She said: “Who do people call when they have problems? They call councillors, we take the flak not KNH because they don’t answer them.”
87% customer satisfaction rating in KNH.
8% reduction in staff/managers through voluntary retirement and redundancy in 2012/13.
£645,000 of EU funding for thermal rendering and heating works in north Kirklees.
£3.5m was invested in energy efficiency measures including thermal render, loft insulation and photo-voltaic installations.
£17m continued maintenance programme.
Council budget reductions and growing demand from an ageing population is placing pressure on services. KNH are involved in the Council’s Comprehensive Spending Review which will be outlined later this year.