Tenant participation: Fold meets the challenge

Fold Housing Association – one of the largest and most innovative social housing providers in the country – relishes the challenges presented by DSD’s Tenant Participation Strategy.

 

Fold Housing Association manages over 6,500 apartments and houses in 60 towns across Northern Ireland. The award-winning housing team is committed to excellence in tenant participation, thereby ensuring tenants and residents have their say and are able to shape the services which impact on their tenancies.

Eileen Patterson, Director of Housing said, “We have long recognised that tenants and residents feel valued when they know they are being listened to.

At Fold, we seek to place tenants and residents at the heart of our business. People are more willing to get involved when they know that they can genuinely make a difference and influence decisions that are impacting on their homes. Effective tenant engagement means that policies and services are shaped by personal experience and input from our customers whilst being supported by good housing management.

She added, “We know that our tenants and residents are central to our business success and development. Creating genuine opportunities for them to influence decisions and increase levels of satisfaction makes good business sense. Fold’s Tenant Engagement Policy and Action Plan means tenants can plan their level of involvement by choosing from a comprehensive menu of options – from reviewing policies and literature, to giving feedback on maintenance issues – putting them in control of influencing what matters to them, their families and their homes.

“We currently have over 100 tenants and residents who have registered to give us their feedback on various issues facing people living in sheltered and general family accommodation, houses and apartments both in urban and rural areas. Our Maintenance Panel meet regularly to discuss all aspects of the service from day-to-day repairs performance to major projects like our recent £1million+ investment in solar technology aimed at reducing our tenants living costs. Participants in our Gardening Services Panel have recently been involved in reviewing Fold’s grounds maintenance contract. Their perspective on this has been invaluable, providing learning which will inform improvements in the terms of future contracts.”

“Other residents have joined our Literature Review Panel, giving us a fresh perspective from the end user which has led to a fundamental review and redesign of our Tenant and Leasehold handbooks. In addition, our new bi annual publication, The Update, which is distributed to all our tenants means we have a regular channel for sharing information, airing views and letting everyone know the importance their involvement has in shaping Fold’s services.”

Over the coming months, Fold has commissioned Supporting Communities NI to carry out an independent review of their Tenant Engagement structures. Ms Patterson added, “We want to ‘up’ our level of tenant scrutiny. This might involve tenant and resident panels market testing specific services and reporting their findings directly to Senior Management. We are very excited by this development – who better to tell us what we are doing well and what changes we need to make, than our customers.”

 

Fold Housing Association

Fold House

3 Redburn Square, Holywood, BT18 9HZ

Email: info@foldgroup.co.uk

Web: www.foldgroup.co.uk

 

 

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