Moving Forward Together Our Tenant Participation Strategy Update 2013/14

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1 Moving Forward Together Our Tenant Participation Strategy Update 2013/14

2 Charter Housing Association Local Tenant Participation Strategy Update Introduction In 2013 we conducted a mini review of our Local Tenant Participation Strategy (LTPS). The aim of the review was to consider the outcomes of the current strategy (2011) and develop a new action plan to further develop tenant involvement in Charter. The review was carried out in the following ways: In April 2012, Charter received feedback from TPAS about our LTPS and FTP held a session with TPAS Director John Drysdale in July 2012 to try and develop an understanding of outcomes based approach to improve our strategy. In April 2012, Charter carried out its three year Tenant Survey. The results of the survey were used to inform this strategy. In February 2013, we held a review day with tenants and staff to consider how the outcomes of the survey should direct our future service review and tenant assessor programme. The day considered four key areas: o How we should develop a service review programme and prioritise the services most important to tenants. o What a review should look like and what kinds of activates tenant assessors should be involved in. o How to recruit tenants to be Tenant Assessors and generally to tenant involvement. o What training and skills tenants needed to be involved and how to deliver this training. We carried out a self assessment of our Tenant Participation activities in preparation for our Housing Association Regulatory Assessment (HARA) which was useful in identifying areas where we needed to improve our tenant engagement. Throughout this year we have held sessions with The Forward Together Panel (FTP) to develop the strategy, including how to develop an outcomes based approach to our strategy and action plan, the development of new tenant groups and a new action plan. FTP had a session with the Corporate Director who outlined the results based accountability approach Charter is developing and the content of our self assessment for HARA. They also attended a training session on RBA and were involved in discussions to agree the 5 higher level outcomes which Charter works towards. FTP were given feedback on actions within the exciting strategy and each meeting and updates on the outcomes of activities such as the work of tenant assessors. From these discussions common themes emerged which have been considered in the strategy. 2 Celebrating our Success: What went really well? Some of the notable successes coming out of the strategy in the last 12 months are: 2

3 The development of the Tenant Insight Manager s role and a Tenant insight Strategy has made a significant difference to tenant involvement in service delivery. For example, we have been able to target information about involvement opportunities to specific groups, such as inviting only tenants with a disability to Adaptability, increasing attendance at meetings. The role has also enabled us to improve our customer satisfaction monitoring and tenant surveys, giving us the tools to interrogate and understand tenant s responses in more depth. The role has also developed our involvement in GIS and community insight partnerships. We have recruited 18 Tenant Assessors who have reviewed 9 services and made real improvements to those services. The approach has been very well received by the tenants involved. Our review day in February has refined the service review approach based on the experience of these first reviews. FTP has had a mixed year, with some valued and experienced members leaving when they moved home and landlord but some new and enthusiastic members joining. The group has recognised the need to set up some additional tenant groups to support its role going forward. They were involved in a number of strategic planning days with Charter and Seren. The Mypad project has been very successful in involving young people in developing the programme, winning a TPAS Award in We have developed strong links with the BME Housing Forum in Newport. We were finally successful in obtaining lottery funding of 224,000 to develop a time banking project in Newport and Monmouthshire over the next 4 years. Our Knowing Me, Knowing You activities were successful in late 2012 in recruiting new tenants to tenant involvement, with some of those attending becoming members of FTP, becoming Tenant Assessors or attending Adaptability. A new tenant group was set up to help us develop services, policies and effective communication methods for tenants affected by welfare benefit reforms. We have improved the communication methods and information we provide tenants in a variety of formats, developing a DVD, improving the content of Contact Magazine, reviewing our web site (though this is still a work in progress), developing a new format tenants handbook, developing a Facebook site, Twitter and an App to report environmental issues and communicating more with tenants via text which has proved a very responsive tool. We purchased an events vehicle, EVIE, which enables us to get out and about and talk to tenants on their doorstep. We have used EVIE to carry out consultation days based around the environment including skip amnesties and also to help tenants with managing their money and promoting the warm homes discount. To date the warm homes surgeries have enabled tenants to claim 11,880 in warm homes discount. All staff have been given the target to spend 7 hours a year on a Tenant Participation Activity. This has greatly increased the understanding of the importance and value of tenant participation across all teams. 3

4 3 Learning and Refocusing: What didn t go so well and where do we need to improve? Learning From our Tenants Survey Our 2012 tenants survey showed some improvement with the key tenant involvement indicator, listening to and acting on views with 64% satisfied. This was a significant increase on 2009 because there was a 12% increase in those very satisfied. However, this is still 3% below the benchmark with other landlords and an area we want to improve. 16% expressed clear dissatisfaction but 20% of tenants said they were neither satisfied or dissatisfied which would suggest that they have had no engagement with us or do not know how to get involved or receive feedback. We need to consider how we promote our involvement activities more effectively and make sure that there is an opportunity for everyone. Our aim is to reduce this percentage in future surveys and convert these people to being satisfied. Further analysis and profiling of the group of dissatisfied and those not expressing an opinion will help us to understand the consultation needs of this group and how we might address them. Also significant was the dissatisfaction with people in Monmouthshire compared to the other local authority areas. This would back up tenant comments we have received previously that we are too focussed on Newport and because their area is furthest away from us, we rarely visit. We need to work on establishing better communication links with our more remote areas and better promote the work that we do in all our areas and the purchase of our events vehicle is part of helping to address this issue. It was positive to note that our tenants with a disability or long term health problem were significantly more satisfied than other groups. The work we have done in developing Adaptability, incorporating a specific section in Contact Magazine for older people and articles aimed at disabled people, improving our adaptations service with the help of tenant assessors and the support of interest groups and social groups in sheltered housing will have contributed to this outcome. One of the key outcomes we hope to achieve through tenant involvement is improved services. It is pleasing that overall satisfaction with Charter services increased significantly between 2009 and 2012 by 10% to 87%. Those dissatisfied at 8% was lower than the previous score of 19%. However, we want to understand those who are dissatisfied and are focusing efforts this year on the main services where dissatisfaction was expressed, starting with our maintenance service. 4 Learning from FTP and Other Tenant Groups and Activities The key themes arising from FTP, our Tenant Assessors Review Day and other groups and activities echo the findings of our tenant survey. We need to improve communication and feedback to tenants and we need to understand why some tenants are dissatisfied with our services, involving tenants in the scrutiny of our services and setting service standards. The demands on FTP have grown considerably with the development of different methods of communication, tenant insight and tenant assessors involvement in service review programmes. FTP have 4

5 recognised the need to develop two new groups to enable focus on two key areas important to tenants, communication and feedback and tenant scrutiny. We will be developing two specific tenant groups which will feed into FTP. The tenant scrutiny group will be involved in reviewing our performance and tenant satisfaction information, overseeing the service review and tenants assessors process, reviewing service standards and monitoring them, overseeing our tenants profiling and insight work, ensuring policy reviews and development involve tenants and helping us develop outcomes based monitoring. We know that a major area we need to improve is to feedback to tenants on how we have acted on their views, this will be a focus for the new communications group, reviewing all our communication and feedback methods and developing new ones. They will take on tenant involvement in web site development, social media, Contact Magazine, reviewing the handbook, help us develop an easy to read tenancy agreement, develop texting, expand our use of films to get information across and consider how we are meeting the needs of specific groups such as those whose first language isn t English, those with learning disabilities and physical impairments. They will develop satisfaction monitoring of all our communication methods so we can establish their effectiveness and continuously improve them. 5. Aim and Objectives of the Strategy FTP took the opportunity to review the aims and objectives of the strategy, taking on board the need to develop clear outcomes which could be measured and demonstrated. FTP admit to struggling with the concept of Results Based Accountability and we feel that we will develop understanding over time as the approach becomes embedded within Charter. FTP have agreed Charter s 5 higher level outcomes: People live in quality homes People live in quality communities People can afford to stay in their homes People can stay in their homes for as long as they wish People can access a wide range of housing options to suit their needs For our Tenant Participation Strategy, FTP agreed the following main outcome: Tenants will influence the development and continuous improvement of Charter s homes, neighbourhoods and services. FTP have agreed the following indicators will demonstrate we have successfully achieved this outcome: Communication between Charter, tenants and customers is effective and minimises and barriers. Involved tenants feel and can demonstrate that they have made a difference and improved services 5

6 Tenants skills knowledge and capacity enable them to become more influential in shaping what we do and how we do it. representative of our tenant profile; ensuring views are broadly representative of our tenant population. Services and activities are able to demonstrate value for money Information about Charter tenants and our services is accurate and better supports service delivery. improved and better meet tenants expectations. Tenants influence strategic planning, decision making and review processes. Tenants, staff and the Board work in equal partnership to improve services. Tenants are very satisfied with the environment around their homes FTP have used this outcome and these indicators of success to generate actions for our plan and have identified measures to demonstrate that each action has contributed to achieving the outcome. 6. Resources The Tenant Participation Budget for 2012/13 is 72,000. In addition, we continue to fund a permanent Tenant Participation Manager and from mid October 2013, a Community Engagement Coordinator for 4 years to run the Time Banking Project. The project is funded by the Lottery with a 224,000 grant. To boost resources, all staff will give a minimum of 7 hours to tenant participation activities each year. We remain keen to work with other landlords locally and will continue to work in partnership to share resources, good practice and develop projects for the benefit of our tenants. We will use the strong partnerships we have already established with other agencies to bring additional resources to our communities. 7. Action Plan Our Strategy Action Plan reflects the changes we need make in order to continuously improve our tenant participation. This plan incorporates actions set by FTP in

7 What do we plan to do to achieve our overall Outcome: Tenants will influence the development and continuous improvement of Charter s homes, neighbourhoods and services. Action Set up a tenant communications group Who will take the lead What Impact do we hope to have (indicators that we are meeting our outcome) Communication between Charter, tenants and Involved tenants feel and can demonstrate that they have made a difference and improved services Tenants skills knowledge and capacity enable them to become more influential in shaping what we do and how we do it. How will we measure whether we are having an impact tenants involved. % tenants involved in CG feel that they are making a positive difference to communication between Charter and tenants. % tenants involved who feel their skills and confidence have increased. Key things that need to happen to help us achieve this outcome Group set up by end Dec tenants contributing on line or via social media by Dec Report to FTP by Dec 2013 on progress and impact. Increase in satisfaction with listening to views and acting on them from 64% (2012) to 75% in Profile of CG tenants for key characteristics and areas. % tenants satisfied we listen to their views and act on them

8 (tenants survey star question) Mainstream use of mass texting as a method of communication and gathering satisfaction. Involve tenants in developing the web site CMT Communication between Charter, tenants and & CG with D of C Communication between Charter, tenants and Tenant satisfaction with methods of communication. Deeplake (texting system) analytics. % tenants responding to texts. Compared with previous responses to telephone surveys. Web site analytics ( no. hits, pages visited, satisfaction with articles). Tenant feedback from specific surveys. Texting being used across all services by Nov Web site testing June 2013 Website live July Review by CG Dec Involve tenants in developing social media & CG Communication between Charter, tenants and Sprout Social analytics. Number of Facebook followers CG members receive social media training and linking to face book by May 2014 Range of tenant involvement and type of engagement on Face book. 8

9 Introduce satisfaction monitoring of all methods of communication used for information and feedback. Use more films as a means of getting information across & CG, CG and H of C. Communication between Charter, tenants and Communication between Charter, tenants and % tenants satisfied with main methods of communication Specific satisfaction surveys ( Contact; Handbook; Lettings Pack) Number of films in use. Hits on films on web site. CG to review satisfaction reports regularly and report to FTP. 5 films on new web site by July 2013 Films being shown in reception by July Cost of films and cost of translation/subtitling. CG plan development of future films based on tenant priorities. Review content and cost of Contact Magazine Purchase software which enables tenants to see their information ( e.g & CG Communication between Charter, tenants and Services and activities are able to demonstrate value for money DH Communication between Charter, tenants and Information about Charter tenants and our services is Tenant feedback. Cost of each edition/tp budget allocation. Specific tenant survey of each edition to monitor usage and usefulness. % tenants using the service. CG to obtain and consider alternative quotes for Contact design, print and mail by April 2014 System in place and operating by April

10 rent account/contact details) on line and update details where needed. Introduce a phone AP for reporting issues and repairs. accurate and better supports service delivery. HofCR Communication between Charter, tenants and tenants about the service. % tenants with up to date profiling information. Number and range of uses of the AP. Effectiveness of the response to the issues raised. AP to be in place by July Develop the use of the kiosk in reception CSTM Communication between Charter, tenants and tenants using the AP. specific surveys of tenants using reception. By Mar Review all Charter leaflets and find a more sustainable way of producing leaflets Develop the use of the TV in reception. CMT Communication between Charter, tenants and CSTM Communication between Charter, tenants and % tenants using the kiosk finding it useful and easy to use. tenants. Cost of different methods of producing leaflets. specific surveys of tenants in reception. Leaflets reviewed by Sept CG to consider alternative formats for leaflets by May Surveys via consultation cafe to be conducted every month. 10

11 Review the Tenants Handbook H&CM with CG Communication between Charter, tenants and tenants via specific surveys. CG to look at good practice in landlord handbooks by Aug Develop a quality mark for all communications approved by tenants. Priority to work on removing professional language from our communications. Use profiling information to ensure people s communication needs are met language/disability etc. and CG TIM & CG Communication between Charter, tenants and Communication between Charter, tenants and % tenants satisfied with the handbook. No. Publications with a quality mark. % tenants satisfaction with specific publications. General feedback and comments from tenants about quality of publications. % Tenant profiling information complete (ethnicity; language; disability) Targeted surveys to specific tenant groups to establish if needs are met. Full review of handbook to be completed by Oct Quality mark logo to be designed by Jan List of key publications for review by CG with timescales developed by Feb CG to receive report on tenant profile and census information by Feb CG to review Provision of information in alternative formats policy and methods of translation an interpretation by Mar No. Requests for information in alternative formats and response. Set up a & Tenants influence strategic planning, decision making % tenants satisfied Agree structure and scope 11

12 performance scrutiny group H&CM and review processes. Services and activities are able to demonstrate value for money with Charter services overall ( tenant surveys) % tenants satisfied with specific services (tenant surveys) of the group by Jan Agree recruitment process by Feb First meeting to take place by April Tenants, staff and the Board work in equal partnership to improve services. Involved tenants feel and can demonstrate that they have made a difference and improved services tenants and staff involved. Review the tenant assessors process H&CM Tenants influence strategic planning, decision making and review processes. Involved tenants feel and can demonstrate that they have made a difference and improved services Tenants Assessors Review Day put into practice. tenant assessors on new process. New Tenant Assessors Guide and process in place by Jan Recruit and train more Tenant Assessors % satisfaction with services. Number of tenant assessors undertaking reviews and profile. Recruitment and training programme completed by Aug Tenants skills knowledge and capacity are developed to enable them to become more influential in shaping what we do and how we do it. Number of reviews undertaken and specific outcomes. 12

13 % satisfaction with services. Develop a new service review programme SMT & SG tenants involved in reviews Number of reviews completed and outcomes. New programme published in Summer Contact Magazine July Train staff and tenants in delivering focus groups. Develop a bi-annual tenants survey ( move from 3 years) TIM TIM tenants involved in reviews Number of focus groups undertaken and outcomes. Number of tenants involved and profile. % satisfaction with services. tenants involved. Course completed by April First Focus Groups undertaken by July SG to be involved in developing questions. Survey to be planned for April Develop more regular, short tenant surveys to gauge satisfaction and TIM Outcomes delivered as a result of surveys. % satisfaction with services. First survey to be completed by Dec

14 tenant priorities more regularly. Report performance/satisfa ction information and how we have responded more regularly to tenants via all communication methods. Develop revised service standards for all service areas. Ensure tenants influence on all policy and strategy development or review is clearly demonstrated. Increase profiling information on tenants CMT CMT CMT TIM tenants involved. Outcomes delivered as a result of surveys. % tenants saying we listen to views and act on them (tenant surveys) Service standard monitoring. CMT meetings agreement of policies to include assessment of how tenants views taken into account.. % tenants with accurate profiling information held. Performance/feedback version of Contact July Revised service standards in place by Sept Implemented as each policy due for review. Tenants Profiling Strategy in place Aug Run focus groups to understand why tenants are less satisfied with maintenance/listeni ng and acting on TIM % tenants satisfied with maintenance % tenants satisfied with listening to and acting on views. First focus group July

15 views. Introduce RBA monitoring for all tenant involvement activities. Review the terms of reference for FTP and membership. Involved tenants feel and can demonstrate that they have made a difference and improved services Tenants, staff and the Board work in equal partnership to improve services. RBA measure and reports in place. FTP membership profile and numbers. All FTP members inducted and trained. Outcomes from FTP work. RBA measures agreed with assistance of consultants by Aug Membership reviewed by April Induction training complete by Aug Use Events vehicle to get out into communities and talk to tenants Number of events Number of tenants contacted and profile. EVIE delivered June 2013 Programme of events starts July 2013 Run a programme of knowing me knowing you activities. Outcomes of each event. Number of events Number of tenants attending and profile. Events to commence August 2013 Outcomes of each event including tenants getting involved in other events. Set up a tenant H&CM Tenants are very satisfied with the environment around % tenants satisfied Group set up July

16 environment group Barrackswood pilot their homes with the neighbourhood as a place to live in Barrackswood and increase in satisfaction over time. Action plan in place August tenants involved in the group. Carry out more involvement activities outside normal working hours in social locations Contribute to Newport Residents Festival Use profiling information to target consultations/ & TIM Communication between Charter, tenants and Number of out of hours events. Number of tenants attending and profile. Outcomes of each event. tenants at the event. Number of tenants attending. Event evaluation, including VFM measure and future outcomes. Profile of involved tenants compared with tenant profile. Repairs focus group to be organised in the evening July Festival event in September Profiling information used for each event/consultation in 2013/

17 recruit tenants/demonstrat e representation. Profile of tenants involved in each consultation. Use every point of contact to recruit tenants introduce involve a customer days across teams Develop Tenant Mentors to help recruit more tenants Develop stronger links with Newport BME Housing Forum Introduce accredited training for tenants in involvement skills Develop a Personal Development/self H&CM Communication between Charter, tenants and Tenants skills knowledge and capacity enable them to become more influential in shaping what we do and how we do it. Tenants skills knowledge and capacity enable them to become more influential in shaping what we do and % increase in new tenants involved. Number of new tenants involved. % increase in number of new tenants involved. Number of tenant mentors. % new tenants recruited Number of Charter BME tenants joining forum. Positive outcomes from forum for Newport BME tenants. Number of tenants achieving qualification. tenants. tenants. 4 Involve a Customer days in 2013/14. Tenant Mentor role clarified by Nov Attend each meeting in 2013/14. Assist with identifying funding. Training course in place by Feb Assessment process in place by April

18 assessment process for involved tenants. All staff to spend 7 hours on TP activities Carry out exchange visits to other landlords and attend conferences to research good practice in TP Develop a time banking project in Newport and Monmouthshire. Explore how incentives encourage involvement. Develop good practice code of conduct/constitution /terms of reference for groups to use. Monitor value for money and effectiveness of CMT & FTP how we do it. Tenants, staff and the Board work in equal partnership to improve services. Tenants, staff and the Board work in equal partnership to improve services. Services and activities are able to demonstrate value for money. % involved tenants saying they have developed new skills. % staff volunteering for TP activities Number of hours given to TP activities by staff and approximate cost. Number of visits. Outcomes of visits. % increase in new tenants involved. Time given/rewards obtained and used. Project evaluation And outcomes. tenants and staff involved. TP budget spend. VFM evaluation of Report to FTP and Board Jan 2014 Attend TPAS Conference Nov good practice exchange events by April Project Worker recruited by August Reviewed documents in place by Aug Finance Sub Group report to FTP every meeting. 18

19 individual TP activities. Report regularly to Board on outcomes of Tenant involvement. H & CM & Tenants, staff and the Board work in equal partnership to improve services. Tenants influence strategic planning, decision making and review processes. projects and activities. Board Reports and Minutes. Board Report by Jan Improve feedback on outcomes of TP to tenants, staff and outside agencies. Tenants influence strategic planning, decision making and review processes. % increase in tenants satisfied that we listen and act on views (tenant surveys). Performance/feedback version of Contact July Key: Tenant Participation Manager H&CM Homes and Communities Manager CG Communications Group SG Scrutiny Group AG Adaptability Group FTP Forward Together Panel CMT Charter Management Team ( all Charter s managers) CSTM Customer Services Team Manager TIM Tenant Insight Manager DH Director of Housing HofCR Head of Community Regeneration SG Scrutiny Group SMT Senior Management Team ( Directors and Head of Community Regeneration) D of C Director of Communications RBA Results Based Accountability VFM Value For Money. 19

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