Listening and acting upon your views – what's been done so far
Listening and learning from tenants helps us to continue to put you at the centre of our decision making. To make sure we get your thoughts, opinions and feelings to shape decision making and make sure you are satisfied with the services we provide.
In 2022 – 2023, we worked with you to get you involved in a way that suits you and it is important to us that you understand the positive impact your involvement has had in positively impacting the lives of social housing tenants.
Here’s what’s been done by listening to you and acting upon your views:
Our Customer Committee is made up of nine tenants and residents, they are part of our formal Governance Structures that are in place to who hold us to account and enforce the direction of the organisation and the decisions that are made. So far, they have been:
They have also recommended for approval:
All of the above champion tenant opinions, feelings and the things that matter to you. To make sure you are listened to, and that your views are acted upon.
Members of the Customer Committee also have links to Community Voice, to make sure issues that arise in communities are reported back and addressed at senior board level. To find out more about the topics mentioned above, click here.
The Community Voice is a group made up of tenants. We have a group in Fitton Hill, Salford and Stockbridge Village. They hold us to account for how we deliver services in their local areas, giving us valuable feedback that we can use to listen and improve. Members also make important decisions about funding applications to our Community and Local Area Improvement Fund, where money is granted to local projects.
In the last year they have:
Worked with local police in Fitton Hill and Stockbridge Village to feedback about key issues in their area and understand more about the importance of reporting incidents and issues so Police can allocate their resources
Reported numerous environmental issues and concerns such as overgrown vegetation, fly tipping and broken fences that were rectified by reporting to the local council, or by ForHousing taking action
In Fitton Hill, tenants engaged with local developers to discuss concerns about fly tipping on land and the need for the site to be fenced off, which was completed. They also set up a community response to fly tipping, engaging with the community to discuss how they’d like to see their environment improved and working with local schools to talk about the impact of fly tipping and what we can do to stop it.
Tested the new repairs app and website before they launched to make sure they are easy to use
Worked with ForHousing in Stockbridge Village to establish drop ins for local people to test the new touch screen computers which have been installed in the Community Hub, the Craigs Community Centre and Jackson Gardens
Approved their new terms of reference and the involved tenant code of conduct
Given their feedback about challenges in getting in contact with ForHousing which was used to support the design of the new Customer Connect Hub which is launching in September 2023
Supported the promotion of the Live Well fund through local community networks
After raising concerns about the complexity of the rent statements and letters, members supported the development of new, simplified, rent letters. The new design meant that there was 14% reduction of contacts to our Service Centre enquiring about the rent increase
Awarded £95,046 of grants to local community groups to deliver 152 projects in their neighbourhoods to support local initiatives and environmental improvements
Positively impacting the lives of social housing tenants with the Local Area Improvement Fund
Incredible Education were awarded £3000 to support the development and delivery of a community workshop that would support members of the local community, schools and youth groups to have a go at working with wood in a welcoming and safe environment. The workshop contains workbenches and equipment and delivers fun and engaging sessions. It also supported the organisation to attract more funding.
Everything about it I loved, the set square, the sawing, the impact drill. If I could do this every day of my life I would do, and if I could come to this place everyday I would
Measuring, sawing and drilling were my favourite parts, I never get to do these things and it was one of the best days of my life.
Positively impacting the lives of social housing tenants with the Community Fund
The Fitton Hill Food Club were awarded £500 to support their project that provided not only food boxes to locals who were struggling financially but also a place to connect with others.
Shelly joined Fitton Hill Food Club in Oldham in July 2020 and doesn’t know what she would do without it. She then began volunteering to help not long after. Shelly lives at home with her husband and son. She suffers from depression, fibromyalgia and social anxiety.
Shelly praises the club for the positive impact it has had on her life. Her confidence has improved, and she has come out of depression and her husband says she is like her old self. Shelly has also managed to secure herself a job.
“Accessing the food club every week has helped financially and I’ve been able to get food items I wouldn’t normally be able to afford. It also gets me out of the house and mixing with people. Food club has probably had an even bigger impact mentally on me than financially. It has become a very important part of my life.”Shelly
Tenants and Residents Associations & Building Safety Forum
Tenants and Residents Associations are able to access our health check grants, where the Community Development officer will undertake a ‘health check’ of the group, ensuring that they are legally compliant, and offer training in areas of development highlighted by the groups. We supported 15 groups with grants of £9,000 and provided training to 22 tenants.
Tenants who live in high-rise buildings have approved an engagement framework, that is xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx.
As part of this, they developed a forum where a group of tenants come together to talk about safety in high rise buildings. They will also be part of inspections to make sure that communal areas are clean and well looked after.
The forum has also supported the design of a ‘tenant safety information card’. It highlights what ForHousing does to support tenants to stay safe, but also gives guidance to improve understanding of what tenants in flats and apartments can do to keep themselves and their neighbours safe.
Our new approach to Scrutiny
Members of the scrutiny panel have developed a new way of undertaking scrutiny reviews to make sure that we hear from a wide range of people. Through our new Scrutiny process, you will be able to review what we do and why we do it, influencing what happens to your home and community, and putting you at the heart of our decision making.
The new model was approved by the Customer Committee and launched in April 2023.
To learn more about Scrutiny and what it is, click here.
Janette Ball, a tenant and Scrutiny partners said:
Scrutiny is our way of holding our landlord to account, to review what they are doing and why, to put our views and needs at the heart of decision making.Janette Ball Scrutiny partner
Launched the Together with Tenants Charter
Our Together with Tenants Charter was launched in April, and was developed with tenants over six-months, where we listened to you and gathered your feedback. A group of 14 tenant volunteers identified key issues that are important to you, that can help improve our services, and this shaped our Together with Tenants Charter. It sets out these issues into five key themes and under each theme, we made commitments to you.
We wanted to understand how we can make it easy for tenants to know how we are doing and for us to provide them with assurance that we are doing what we said we were going to do in the charter, so our tenant working group co-designed a way of measuring the delivery of our commitments. These performance indicators are reported to Customer Committee every three months, and we have created a section on our website specific to our performance against the Charter commitments, so that you can be informed and hold us to account. This will be reported on annually and quarterly.
Click here to see how we are performing.
Helen Wild, a Fitton Hill tenant who was involved in producing the Charter said: “From a tenant’s perspective, although we don’t own the property, it’s our home. As tenants, we ask for respect from ForHousing and want them to provide good-quality homes and services. That’s their commitment and the Charter is our way of holding them to it.”
Working with you, we have also improved the way we do things
You said, we listened…
Listening and acting upon your views – what’s next
- Our tenant Scrutiny groups will be investigating the tenant experience of our damp and mould and complaints services. They will also be looking into how we deal with noise complaints
- Our tenant Community Voice groups will be recruiting in September 2023
- We will be launching our new complaints and feedback panel. This tenant group will have oversight of how we deal with complaints and hold us to account for how we learn lessons and improve
- We will be undergoing the TPAS accreditation process, where we will have to prove to TPAS, an independent tenant engagement organisation that we support our tenants to get engaged, have oversight of how we’re doing and to hold us to account
- We will be working alongside a brilliant consortium of groups, including Unlimited Potential, We Make Places and Action Together to truly understand who lives in ForHousing communities and how we can support them to fulfil their aspirations for their neighbourhoods
- We will establish a repairs and maintenance customer review panel who will monitor, scrutinise and help to improve our service