In November 2020 the Government published the conclusions of its 2018 housing consultation green paper ‘A new Deal for Social Housing’ to address the lessons learnt as a result of the Grenfell Tower Tragedy.
The White paper, which is a statement of government policy, continues a strong focus on health and safety and customer involvement in how we deliver their services. It builds on the themes of a continued strong focus on Health and Safety and placing a greater emphasis on tenant satisfaction, engagement and how we listen to our tenants in the delivery of our services.
It presents a charter setting out seven commitments that social housing residents should expect from their landlord.
- To be safe in your home.
- To know how your landlord is performing.
- To have your complaints dealt with promptly and fairly.
- To be treated with respect.
- To have your voice heard by your landlord.
- To have a good quality home and neighbourhood to live in.
- To be supported to take your first step to ownership.
In 2019 we became early adopters of the National Housing Federations (NHF) ‘Together with Tenants Plan’, which underpins the Government’ White paper.
What is Together with Tenants?
The Government intend to put tenants at the heart of how social housing will operate going forward.
Together with Tenants is a sector-wide initiative focused on strengthening the relationship between residents and housing providers and embodies all the great work happening across the sector to create positive relationships with customers.
This emphasis is very much aligned with Torus priorities. We already have a clear vision for tenant engagement, with Tenant Voice, a dedicated team of staff and involved customers, which looks to ensure that tenants are at the heart of everything we do.
Torus officially adopts the Together with Tenants Charter
Over the last 12 months, 130 early adopter organisations - including Torus - have been working with their residents to test out the charter, adapting it to their own local contexts, and sharing what they’ve learnt in order to support even more housing associations to adopt it.
Together with Tenants have developed a four-point plan, that sets out in clear terms what customer can and should expect from their housing provider:
- A new requirement in the National Housing Federation Code of Governance for boards to be accountable to residents – this will help ensure all organisations value the voice and experience of residents and use their insight to inform decision making.
- A new Together with Tenants charter – this will ensure all residents know what they can expect from their housing association landlord, regardless of where they live, the type of home they live in, or who their landlord is.
- Resident oversight and reporting of progress against the charter – this will give residents a stronger role in holding their landlord to account, and boards would be expected to take action where required.
- Giving residents a stronger collective voice with the regulator – issues that are uncovered by resident oversight and reporting could be referred to the regulator, so that action is taken where appropriate to protect residents’ rights and interests.
The charter is designed to ensure that all customers know what they can expect from us as their housing provider, regardless of where they live, what type of home they live in.