Presentation on theme: "The Tricks of the Trade Yvonne Davies. Times are changing Tenant services authority (TSA) emphasis on financial regulation & governance TSA to become."— Presentation transcript:
The Tricks of the Trade Yvonne Davies
Times are changing Tenant services authority (TSA) emphasis on financial regulation & governance TSA to become part of the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) Backstop consumer protection if serious detriment Tenant panels to have role in complaints Less inspection and no Audit Commission National Standards remain Local Offers with tenants remain
What the Government says… “Landlords are accountable to their tenants, not to the regulator. Tenants must therefore have the information and opportunities they need to hold their landlords to account and to shape service delivery” “The review’s recommendations will result in the system becoming more co-regulatory – with a clearer role for tenants in scrutinising performance… while the regulator’s attention will be focussed on serious failures” DCLG Review of Social Housing Regulation
What are the rules for scrutiny? How will you know if your are doing it ‘right’? The only ‘rule’ is that arrangements are based on what tenants want Performance measurement that matters to tenants – linked to local service standards determined by tenants Scrutiny and inspection arrangements – must be tenant led if they are to be effective “The officers used to give us information and we provided comments. Now we are taking the lead – we say what we want to review and what type of information we want.”
Is scrutiny different to traditional tenant involvement? Revised tenant involvement & empowerment standard Greater tenant influence in the business direction, governance and overall service provision Wide range of activities might feed into scrutiny (eg tenant inspectors, mystery shoppers, service improvement panels) Fits into the structure of the organisation rather than an “add-on” Tenants reviewing performance and services and asking for change So yes - it is different
Yes but....what is scrutiny and what does all this mean? Tenants judging quality of services & deciding priorities for improvement Tenants having direct line to the Board and Senior management to insist on changes Debating in detail of each service important to tenants from a consumer perspective It is more than reviewing performance It is about testing that landlords meet national standards & local offers Tenants listening to other tenant’s concerns Tenant led improvement plans Scrutiny requires different skills
The circle of scrutiny Identify area to scrutinise and collect information Compare and challenge Recommendations – evidenced based Monitor and review – so what?
Starting the journey Find out as much as possible about the service Asking for Information from housing and repairs managers about the service offered How satisfied are customers? Ask for help from Mystery Shoppers; Empty Property Auditors & Estate Walkabouts Speak to tenants who recently received the service Shadow officers Speak to and interview staff for their ideas
Where do I find information? Interviews and focus groups Complaint, compliments and comments Performance & Benchmarking data National standards and Local offers Annual report and landlord self assessment Policy and Procedure Website information
Develop an understanding Understanding what works well, what does not and what needs to change Looking at costs and performance How do our services compare with other landlords? Where do we get good practice and benchmarking information What does this tell us?
Tenants making Decisions What are the strengths and weaknesses of the service? What changes would we like to discuss with senior staff? How shall we present our findings? And who to? How do we tell the tenants what we found and what will happen next? How do we write up our findings and recommendations Presenting our findings to different audiences – staff and tenants
Is that it? No - it all needs Monitoring & Evaluating Oversee progress Assessing outcomes for tenants Feeding back to tenants and officers Agreeing action plans Checking that actions are being delivered Review that recommendations have been implemented (about 12 months on ) And then start scrutiny of another service
A few tips Tenants need patience & time to invest in this Tenants need help and support to be effective Tenants who volunteer need good analytical skills Its better concentrate on the issues which will have most benefit and value if changes are made – choose discreet areas of services to work on It really is hard work for tenants Landlords should not delay responses to requests for information or delivery of action plans There are rewards in terms of skills for work and improved services