We're working Together with Tenants!
Like other housing associations, Network Homes was set up to support people in housing need and we work hard to ensure that our residents have a say in decisions that affect them.Helen Evans, Chief Executive
We really want our residents to get involved in the way we run our business, that’s why we support two Local Panels – one for people living in Hertfordshire, and one for people living in London. We frequently consult the Panels about proposed changes to our services, and they monitor important ongoing issues like welfare reform. We’re recruiting for new members and a panel chair now – if you’re interested, you can apply here.
Sometimes we don’t get things right, and we don’t give you the reliable service you have every right to expect. When that happens, we offer a complaints process that we use to continuously learn lessons about how to do things better in future.
But we believe we can go further in involving you and empowering you to change things that affect you. Our resident engagement offer will never be “finished” – there will always be ways we can improve our relationship and build trust.
That’s why we’re becoming early adopters of the National Housing Federation’s Together with Tenants initiative. The Federation – which is the industry body for housing associations – is trying to improve housing associations’ accountability to tenants, giving them a greater voice and standardising the principles governing the way associations involve their customers.
At the moment the initiative is still evolving, so is subject to change based on feedback the Federation gets, but the current proposal is a four point plan:
- The Code of Governance, which is a document most housing associations sign up to outlining the key responsibilities of board members, will be amended to include a stipulation that boards must be accountable to their tenants and residents. We would need to produce a yearly update demonstrating how we comply with this standard.
- A new tenant charter, detailing what tenants can expect of their landlord in terms of redress processes, involvement offers, and support, will be published for associations to adhere to.
- To complement the updated Code of Governance and tenant charter, associations will be expected to involve residents directly in scrutinising performance against the standards set out in the Code and charter.
- The National Housing Federation will propose changes to the way housing associations are regulated, so that the Regulator of Social Housing can take action against associations in a greater range of cases, rather than only cases of the most serious detriment to tenants.
We’ll be working with the National Housing Federation and the other early adopters to shape the four strands of the Federation’s work. There’s an open consultation on the plans, so you can have your say directly too.
Overall, we hope this initiative will help to better balance our relationship with our residents, so that you feel in control of the housing service you receive and you feel you can trust us to take your views into account.