We value the opinion of our residents on how we deliver our services and understand their needs. Our residents are experts in this field: they experience our services every day. Their feedback led us to develop the Soho Standard and this strategy has been created to help deliver key parts of that standard.
We have developed the Resident Engagement strategy in consultation with a selection of residents as well as with staff and board members. It is designed to be used for the next three years (2018-2021) and its purpose is to:
- enable us to provide choices, information and communication that is appropriate to the diverse needs of our residents
- ensure that tenants are given a wide range of opportunities to influence Soho Housing’s policies and business priorities
- provide choices, information and communication appropriate to residents’ needs
- adopt a clear simple and accessible approach to complaints to resolve them promptly politely and fairly
- make sure residents have a meaningful say in how their homes are managed by helping shape Soho Housing’s service delivery
We will deliver the strategy by the following means:
- residents’ meetings
- “Meet your Property Manager” meetings
- residents’ forums
- a new “Residents’ Collaborative Assessment Panel” (or “ReCAP” for short)
- open days
- residents’ newsletters
- other resident engagement activities
These provide opportunities for residents to discuss a range of topics, including maintenance-related issues, specific to a particular block(s) or issues of broad concern in the surrounding environment.
Meetings provide residents with an opportunity to raise issues they have been unable to resolve through the usual day-to-day channels.
Examples include meetings held on a scheme-by-scheme basis with the property manager present or meetings on a specific topic, perhaps with a guest speaker invited.
“Meet your Property Manager” Meetings
Our property managers will be available to meet with residents at our office during a dedicated time slot each week. Residents will be able to book dedicated time slots to discuss issues as a group. The property manager will take notes of the meeting and share these with attendees.
Our property managers will also advertise regular times when they will be available to meet with residents in their own blocks as part of their regular local visits. Residents will be able to contact their property managers in advance or during the time of the visit.
These meetings should ensure that any block-related issues are discussed and dealt with in a timely manner.
These two-hour meetings will be held twice a year and are open to all residents to discuss a range of topics and meet with staff.
As we now have ‘meet your property manager’ meetings to address the repair/block related issues that previously dominated forum meetings, these sessions are to be focused on:
- Subjects raised by residents
- Subjects brought by Soho Housing
- Subjects brought by the “ReCAP” Group (See ReCAP Meetings below)
- Opportunities for residents to provide Soho Housing with creative/innovative ideas on how it may improve its services and continue to work towards achieving the Soho Standard
Residents’ Forums will be held at different times of day in different areas to reach a wide audience. Meetings will be advertised in advance using a variety of media.
Residents’ Collaborative Assessment Panel (ReCAP)
Made up of six residents and leaseholders, this new panel will be responsible for assessing and reviewing housing related priorities and policies. ReCAP represents the views of the total resident body from Soho Housing’s wider residential portfolio, rather than a single perspective and works in collaboration with Soho Housing’s employees.
It will have the following role and objectives:
- assessing Soho Housing’s performance in housing related services using information reported by Soho Housing and resident feedback
- highlighting areas of service that could be considered for improvement
- providing a resident perspective to strategic issues
- offering residents’ views into Soho Housing’s operational planning
- supporting the procurement of new contracts for outsourcing reactive maintenance
- producing an end-of-year review
- recommending agenda items for residents’ forums
- encouraging greater resident engagement across Soho Housing’s residential properties
Full terms of reference for the ReCAP panel are available on request. Details on how to apply will be included in the September 2018 newsletter, on MySoho, the residents’ portal or by contacting the housing team
Open days will be an opportunity for all of our residents to meet Soho Housing staff in an informal setting, get to know “who does what” and discuss matters of interest on a one-to-one basis.
These events will be held in a variety of locations across our portfolio, and at different times of day to attract a wide audience from our residents. We may also invite other guests or speakers on occasion, such as local councillors, or members of the police or fire service. Open days will be advertised in advance using a variety of media.
We value residents’ feedback and carry out a range of surveys in order to improve our services. Surveys include
A monthly satisfaction survey provided to at least 20% of residents who have received maintenance services from our contractors.
We will send surveys to all residents in blocks where we have carried out cyclical decorations (e.g. painting the interior or exterior of a block every 5-7 years).
We will seek feedback from residents who have refurbishment works, e.g. replacing kitchens and bathrooms.
Overall satisfaction / all services
Every two years we carry out a survey of all housing related services provided by Soho Housing to all its residents.
We will ask new residents’ about their experience within the first six months of moving into one of our properties.
We aim to carry out surveys of residents’ experience within one month of them moving out of a Soho Housing property.
Ad hoc surveys
We will carry out other surveys to obtain residents’ feedback on a number of different subjects, e.g. other specific services or new policies.
We will carry out surveys to obtain residents’ detailed feedback and suggestions on how we can improve our service provision if residents have provided negative feedback.
We will use a range of methods of communicating and capturing feedback from residents in order to meet their diverse needs.
Soho Housing will publish newsletters, which will report on matters of broader interest to Soho Housing’s residents including advice, events and community activities.
Newsletters will be published in March, June, September and December every year and posted on the residents’ portal, MySoho, and on our main website.
Other Resident Engagement Activities
End of Year Report: We will report to board each year on the activities which have taken place and progress made from any engagement process.
Consultations: Before major works or cyclical decorations take place Soho Housing will consult with residents living in affected blocks in advance to offer choices of colours and materials where possible. This may involve a vote being carried out to decide which communal colour is used in a block.
Residents Associations: These are formed by residents who want to work to together to address various matters in their block. Residents wishing to obtain Soho Housing’s support should contact their Property Manager who will provide them with details of the application process.