The Scottish Housing Regulator wants to build on its successful work to empower tenants and sees tenant led scrutiny as an important way to do that.
Speaking today at the TPAS Housing Professionals Conference, the Regulator’s Chief Executive Michael Cameron said, “We believe effective tenant-led scrutiny is an important way to empower tenants. It also helps landlords better understand tenants’ views and priorities, and helps them to identify where they can improve. We can support tenants by providing good information on their landlord’s performance in easy-to-access formats.”
Michael told delegates that the Regulator looks to landlords to be responsive to tenants’ voices, inclusive and open to challenge. He urged housing professionals to keep working with tenants to give them the tools they need and the confidence to challenge.
For the last year, staff, customers and representatives from the Board of Hanover Scotland, have been working on a strategy to enable more innovative, meaningful and fun ways of engaging with residents and service users. The purpose of this strategy is to ensure that Hanover has the structures and mechanisms in place to facilitate effective customer engagement. This in turn will empower customers, improve service and create robust accountability.
Thursday 25 May saw the launch in Edinburgh of a customer facing document, called ‘Getting Involved’, which sets out a wide variety of options for customers to engage with Hanover. Copies of this document will go out to every single Hanover resident. The document contains illustrations by award winning cartoonist Tony Husband. Tony’s cartoons have appeared in many newspapers, magazines, books and websites, and in several TV and theatrical productions. These include Private Eye, The Times, Punch, The Sunday Express and The Spectator. He has also written a very moving illustrated book about his family’s journey through his father’s dementia, called ‘Take Care Son’.
The event in Edinburgh began with a moment of silence in remembrance of those affected by the atrocity in Manchester earlier in the week. Tony’s speech then took the audience through his father’s story and was both humorous and incredibly moving, resulting in a standing ovation. Tony, who hails from Manchester, said later that it was, “a very emotional moment in an emotional week”.
Hanover Chief Executive Helen Murdoch said;
“Our aim is to establish and implement a Customer Engagement Strategy that puts customers at the heart of shaping our services by creating opportunities for them to support or challenge our performance and to work with us to achieve our vision. Everyone can get involved with Hanover Scotland. The range of customer involvement opportunities set out in this document today mean that no matter how little or how much a customer wants to help in shaping Hanover, the opportunities are there.”