Consultation and engagement

Last updated - 16 November 2018

What’s happened so far?

Resident promise

The consultation identified several main themes that residents consistently told us were important and that we need to address as a larger organisation. Specifically, we should:

  • Improve our repairs and maintenance service
  • Make better use of digital platforms and new technology to develop our services
  • Provide residents with more chances to move home if they want to
  • Create genuine resident involvement opportunities
  • Maintain a personalised service for those who want and need one
  • Provide greater training and employment opportunities
  • Ensure value for money and transparency around service charges

We subsequently held two events, which attracted about 50 residents, who provided rich feedback on each of these themes. They also had an opportunity to discuss anything else they felt was important at these events.

In addition, we have been engaging with our shareholders, who are residents, former staff, current and former board members and interested people from our local communities. Some have been involved with NHH and Genesis since we were founded in the 1960s. Their feedback largely reflects what we’ve heard from residents. They want us to:

  • Continue to provide genuinely affordable social homes in our heartlands
  • Improve our services
  • Maintain a local focus
  • Give residents a voice in our new organisation

In response, we have agreed that we will:

  • Preserve and invest in our legacy stock
  • Seek opportunities to provide new homes in the areas where we have our roots
  • Not sell off central London homes other than in exceptional circumstances
  • Introduce a local contact for each resident and a guaranteed annual visit
  • Use NHH’s expertise to create a financially strong organisation
  • Improve accountability through local resident involvement as well as by having two residents on our board
  • Finalise our resident promise and introduce a commitment to ensure that we are accountable to it

This shareholder feedback will be collated into our draft resident promise, which sets out our commitment to the services residents can expect post-merger. The promise reflects what our proposed new organisation will stand for and how we will be held to account by our residents. It is made up of three elements:

  • Our pledge about what our proposed new organisation will stand for
  • The improvements we will make to our existing services
  • The new services we are committed to developing with residents

We also need to do more work establish how the promise will work in practice as we build our new organisation.

You said… Resident feedback should be at the heart of designing new services

  • In designing the new housing model we've been led by the resident promise, and the insight we have on the things you told us you valued (or didn't), to improve things. We now have a vision of what that service will look like: a resourceful, empowered and accountable local officer who knows their residents, their history and their area.
  • We've held a series of workshops as part of developing the new service model and some residents have been working alongside staff on service areas such as the way we handle complaints.
  • We've been speaking to residents about how we involve them in scrutinising and shaping our services. We've held several workshops with residents who are already involved and back in May we held an involvement day for others who would like to become involved. We've used this feedback to design the new resident involvement model.
  • Residents on our health and disability group have been working with staff as we review our accommodation needs. They are helping us to ensure that office spaces used by the public meet the diverse needs of all residents.
  • Residents have been helping us to review how we deal with antisocial behaviour (ASB). This has included tasks such as reviewing the staff training programme, interviewing staff and ASB victims and carrying out mystery shopping.

You said…

  • We are extending the Household Member scheme to former Genesis residents. The scheme gives adult household members the opportunity to move into their own, separate one-bedroom property, if the family home is either too big or too small for the family. More information about this will be available on our website soon.
  • We are seeking more volunteers to help us monitor the quality of services such as cleaning and gardening and help us ensure that communal area repairs are reported and completed in a timely manner
  • We will also be advertising estate inspections in advance so that you have the opportunity to talk to staff on their walkabout if you wish to.

You said… You want services to be easy to access, personal and local

  • Great progress has been made on developing a new online self-service system as part of our WorkWise programme. Ultimately, the new system will enable you to access a range of services in this way. Staff have been testing booking repairs through the new system and we are about to introduce it for testing by residents at our Bolney Meadow estate in Lambeth, before rolling it out further.
  • We have also started to take rent payments via the new system. We're ensuring that these options are all built into the new service design.
  • Easy access for residents who don't or can't use online systems is also really important. The new housing management model is built around having a resourceful and accountable named contact, focused on getting things done. Staff will be supported by a range of back-office teams to ensure we even out fluctuations in the service.

What’s next?

We will continue to ensure that residents are involved in each stage as our work develops:

  • We will be seeking resident volunteers to undertake activities such as monitoring the quality of estate services and reporting communal repairs.
  • We will be testing the new digital repairs system in one area before we start rolling it out.
  • We will be speaking to residents about how we deliver services locally, including the opportunities for getting involved at a local level.
  • We will be looking at how we measure customer satisfaction, starting with a baseline survey across all tenures. As we roll out the changes, we'll be able to know we're impacting on the things you value.
  • We will be opening up opportunities for all residents to get involved in several different ways and will let you know about these via our regular bulletins.

There's a lot to do to make all of this happen but work is well underway. In the coming months, we'll tell you more about how we'll move people into the new service.

Some things can, of course, happen quicker, and we're making changes to bring things together for residents now wherever possible - the extension of the Household Member scheme is a good example.