Habinteg tenants Dave Homer and John Sellen have been actively involved in the housing association’s tenant forums for over 10 years, first as tenant reps, then as Chairs of the Tenant Forum and Tenant Scrutiny Panel and, more recently, as part of a new group.
When Habinteg’s last tenant satisfaction survey revealed there’s more work to do to ensure all tenants receive a good service, Dave and John were asked to join the new Task and Finish Group as part of our drive for customer excellence.
“Working closely with Habinteg’s tenant representatives, our job was to provide a strong voice on behalf of tenants,” says Dave. “This voice is heard across all levels of the organisation: from frontline Neighbourhood teams all the way to the Board.”
Chaired by Board member and tenant John Knight, the Task and Finish Group ran from April 2020 and brought together Habinteg senior executives and one additional Board member, Mark Atkinson. Their task was to take a detailed look at the action needed to improve tenant services.
The Group looked into a range of issues, including repairs, communication and the quality of tenant’s homes. John and Dave provided the all-important tenant insight.
“It’s clear to us that some areas needed improving,” says John (pictured left), “So part of our role as involved tenants was also to question or challenge where necessary. We’re pleased to say that our input has made a difference.”
The Task and Finish Group recently presented the Board with their findings and recommendations focussed on improving customer excellence. And, while change doesn’t happen overnight, Dave and John are pleased to see things moving in the right direction.
“We, as tenants, feel listened to by Habinteg,” says Dave. “The way Habinteg communicates with tenants is changing for the better and it includes the development of a new, more streamlined complaints process.”
New work streams to improve tenant services, driven from the ground up with tenant experience at the very heart of Habinteg’s service delivery and improvement, are also underway.
Thanks to the work of the Task and Finish Group, Dave and John now meet regularly with Habinteg’s CEO, Sheron Carter, and Chair of the Board, Manny Lewis, to ensure the voice of tenants continues to be heard.
“These communication channels work well both ways,” says Dave, “and tenants should feel optimistic about the future.”
John agrees: “It’s been an excellent way for us to share what tenants are telling us and a really helpful way for us to update tenants, on the ground, about Habinteg’s future plans.”