Involving you in what we do
We are committed to continuously improving our services. To help us achieve this, we encourage resident involvement at every level of the organisation. Your opinions matter, that’s why in the past year we’ve been working hard to provide more opportunities for you to get involved with us and share your views.
Pop up events held from February to March 2020
Residents applied to join our local panels
New members joined our Local Panels
Chairs of the Local Resident Panels have become Customer Service Committee members
Launched our Residents for Change campaign
New fifth strategic objective for Network Homes on strengthening residents’ trust in us
Panels and people
During the year, our focus was ensuring residents had more opportunities to influence key strategic business decisions.
We ran a big recruitment drive for resident panel members which attracted interest from 147 residents keen to be involved in the Local Panels for London and Hertfordshire and Outer London. Due to this increased demand we increased the size of the Local Panels from 12 members to 16 members each. Residents who did not make it onto the Local Panel, were invited to join the Local Continuous Improvement Panels.
One of the changes we are very proud of this year is inviting the Chairs of the Local Panels to become members of our Customer Service Committee. This has given the Local Panel more influence and an informed voice within Network Homes’ Governance structure.
In the last year, we involved residents in a series of research projects and consultations including:
Design Brief Focus Group
Our Development Team invited residents to take part in reviewing and providing feedback on our design manual which is used by architects and designers at the start of a scheme development to describe our quality and design aspirations for new homes.
Charitable Fund Project
We worked with residents to identify ways to support vulnerable residents during difficult financial times. This resulted in our Board agreeing to launch a new charitable fund for 2020-21 with a budget of £100,000.
Rent Review Project
We involved residents in discussions in response to the Government’s rent increase on 1 April. We discussed the financial impact to our income, residents’ financial situation and reviewed what other members of the G15 were doing to help set our rent charges.
Stigma Research Project with the G15
Our Research and Policy team invited residents to discuss the impact and cause of stigma within social housing in response to the Social Housing Green Paper, published in August 2018. The feedback helped us make changes to our Transparency and Resident Engagement Action Plan and deliver internal training to staff.
In response to the Social Housing Green paper and Hackitt Review, we involved residents in the development of a Building Safety Resident Engagement Strategy. We held focus groups with residents of different tenures to ensure we created a strategy that covered the needs of people living in all our homes.
Customer Service Charter Consultation
133 residents took part in our Customer Service Charter consultation where they reviewed the content of the charter to ensure it was easy to read and clear about what to expect as a tenant or leaseholder.
In February 2020 we launched the Residents for Change campaign. Our goal is to hear from more people to improve customer service. To make this possible, we redesigned our resident engagement offer to improve the different involvement opportunities for residents and help us to:
- Offer services that residents need and want
- Work to a high standard, delivering quality services
- Achieve value for money across our organisation
- Enhance the quality of life for people living in your community
- Ensure staff and Board members carry out their work effectively.
Our involvement opportunities include Community Ambassadors, Resident Quality Champions, Mystery Shoppers, Digital Champions, Readers Group members, Young Ambassadors, Local Panel members and Continuous Improvement Panel members. In total, we recruited 64 residents to get involved in one of our involvement opportunities during the last year.
Resident Engagement Events
Between February 2020 and March 2020, we ran 12 pop-up events across London to meet and learn more about what residents need from us. From these events, we were able to gain a greater understanding of what’s important to you and which services you’d like us to improve.
During the pop-up engagements events, we took on board your concerns and ideas and shared how we responded in our You said, We did article on our website.
We were due to continue with our pop-up events in Hertford but had to cancel them due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. We’re still engaging with residents virtually via Microsoft Teams and will be running a total of 27 virtual events until January 2021.
Strenghtening residents’ trust in us
In August 2019, we worked with some of our involved residents to develop a new corporate objective centred around increasing levels of engagement and improving transparency and communication. As a result of this resident-led partnership we created our new objective, ‘Strengthening residents’ trust in us’ which was approved by our Board in January 2020.
Once the objective was agreed we started a wider consultation with residents to find out what trust means to them. We had over 500 responses to the survey. Residents said the biggest part of trust is being able to rely on us, but that integrity and openness were also key factors. We will use this information to develop a metric to track and measure how well we are doing on delivering the objective. Our ambition is to improve residents’ trust in us by 10% year on year.
“Network’s strategic objectives inform its decision-making at the highest levels, and new projects, plans and initiatives are always considered with them in mind. So, it's fantastic that residents have been central to creating this one.” Francis Haydon, Chair of the London Local Panel.
Read more about it in Francis Haydon’s blog on our website: Network’s new strategic objective, ‘Strengthening residents’ trust in us’