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Previous editions of the newsletter can be found in the Resident Involvement Library
On 22 May 2021 residents’ recommendations for the Southern Housing Group’s approach to environmental sustainability and net zero carbon were presented to the Groups’ Board. During the summer, the Sustainability Team will be drafting a Strategy and Roadmap to identify the key actions to make progress towards better energy efficiency, lower carbon emissions, and enhance local environments.
In Autumn 2021, the Sustainability Team will share the draft Environmental Sustainability and Net Zero Carbon Strategy with the Resident Scrutiny Group and provide feedback on residents’ recommendations.
Alterations and Improvements policy
Thanks to all the residents who took part in helping the Project Team shape this policy. Following two further lockdowns, the team have now been able to re-prioritise the work to progress the Alterations and Improvements policy. Following residents’ feedback, they will be linking the policy with the Adaptations policy and will be sharing residents’ experiences with teams when asking about repairs, home improvements and adaptations that residents are responsible for.
The same residents will be asked to review the alterations and improvement form and the policy once it has been developed. The Adaptations policy is also being scheduled for a review.
The evaluation process to assess the tenders (bids) from contractors for the proactive and reactive works to trees has now been completed. The reports for the Review of the Current Process and Evaluation of tenders can both now be found here
In May we met with the Estate Care team to discuss local communications to inform residents about the new tree contracts. All residents with any concerns about trees in their areas should contact the Service Centre direct. The contractor appointed for each area will undertake proactive works to maintain trees and reactive works to attend to problems reported.
We are currently working with the Estate Care and Policy Team to discuss residents’ recommendations for communications about the contract to be shared locally. Residents can contact the Service Centre to report concerns about trees in their area. The Service Centre will forward these concerns to Estate Care.
Procurement- Kennaway, The Mannings and Careline Monitoring Services
In 2020 a group of residents attended Tpas training for procurement. So far, we have been working with the reinvestment team to involve residents in the tendering of services for two regeneration projects. Kennaway in Hackney and The Mannings in Shoreham. Each project involved 2 residents in the scoring, interviews and awarding of the contract. Residents were also involved with the same process for our Careline Monitoring Service. Residents involved included our trained residents and residents that will be directly affected by these.
Contract reviewers - Alliance contract
The Alliance contract covers planned maintenance, cyclical works and other small works to our resident’s home. Residents that received training from Tpas have been involved with representing the resident voice in core and strategic quarterly meetings with teams and contractors.
Home Owners Panel
At the end of last year, we began work with residents to set up the Home Owners Group.
A Terms of Reference has been drafted setting out how we will work together to explore the issues raised and is available on request. The first meeting will be held virtually in April 2021.
Residents completed a survey telling us what they wanted the Group to consider. The final report can be found on the website here
The first priority and theme for home owners’ is “communications”. The group will explore this further with members. If you are a Home Owner and would like to find out more, please contact Resident.Involvement2@shgroup.org.uk
Reasonable adjustment policy
As part of our involvement with Resident Groups, we are sharing a copy of the Reasonable Adjustment Policy and the Equality, Diversity and Inclusion policy. The Project Team has publicised this policy to all teams. Plans to further promote the policy include sharing a residents’ article with staff on the difference Reasonable adjustments make to residents.
An action plan is being agreed with the Project Team. A further update will be provided.
Anti- Social Behaviour Service improvement
So far, we have involved residents with a review of our webpage and online leaflet review, we asked how easy residents found to report ASB using these. We are now working with our Communications Team to form a project group and review recommendations that were shared. Residents have also been involved with trialling and feeding back on the noise app, residents involved with this had reported noise nuisance before and during the trial. The report for this is with the project team who will be providing feedback on the recommendations. Finally, we have also consulted with involved residents on the ‘Dear neighbour Card’ initiative and whether this should be an option on our ASB service to empower residents to address low level noise ASB.
Complaint Handling Code
Last year the Housing Ombudsman issued new guidance called the ‘Complaint Handling Code’ that promotes progressive use of complaints, providing a high-level framework to support effective handling and prevention alongside learning and development.
The purpose of the Code is to enable landlords to resolve complaints raised by residents quickly and to use the learning from complaints to drive service improvements. Within the code it sets out ‘accessibility and awareness’ to ensure landlords are publishing information in a way that is accessible to residents and promoting how and where residents can make complaints.
We have split this into three parts; Part 1 to look at other Housing Associations complaints webpages and answer 3 short questions; Part 2 to look at our complaint webpage and complete a questionnaire and Part 3 to look at our Triathlon Homes complaint webpage. Triathlon Homes is a joint venture between the public and private sector where we are a partner.
The Artisan in Hove – Action Group
Residents decided against forming a Tenant Resident Association at this time following the success of their meetings with teams within the Group. We are currently exploring with residents and teams how they would like to continue communicating with each other.
Estate inspections and the role of estate inspectors:
We are currently reviewing the recommendations made to the Group by the working parties formed of residents and colleagues from teams including housing, maintenance and estate care.
If you have not informed us of your interest in the role of estate inspector and would like to be sent details when the role has been defined, please contact us: Resident.Involvement2@shgroup.org.uk
An overview of “The charter for Social Housing residents- Social housing White Paper
The White paper was published by the government on 17 November. The key aims are to deliver the improvement in transparency and accountability promised in the 2018 green paper.
It also sets out a Charter for Social Housing residents, outlines plan for new regulation, reinforces the speed of dealing with complaints for the Housing Ombudsman and sets out a number of resident satisfaction measures that we will have to measure against.
Watch the video below for an outline of the key messages included or click here if you would like to read the White Paper.