The Cabinet Member for Housing and Asset Management and the Housing Policy and Projects Manager gave a presentation on the results of the Tenant Survey.
During Public Participation, in summary, the representatives of TACT asked questions and raised comments, which were responded to where appropriate:
· Residents of sheltered housing were reluctant to be kept in a long queue on the telephone to access Housing Services.
· There were continued challenges in engaging young tenants to become involved with TACT.
· The views of those undertaking the survey would be analysed in depth.
· In answer to a question on Social Housing Green Paper: A New Deal for Social Housing it was commented by the Strategic Director: Services (Interim) that the Government was rethinking its housing policy.
Members raised questions and also commented regarding the following:
· There were lower levels of tenant satisfaction in Stanmore and could these results be attributed to the demographics of the area, for example tenants being younger and not on benefits.
· In depth analysis was required to establish why Stanmore delivered lower results of tenant satisfaction as this area contained a high number of council houses and the figures from Stanmore affected the overall total results.
Internet and WiFi
· It was established that WiFi was directly provided at all sheltered schemes by the Council and that general needs tenants self provided. An outcome of the survey might be to identify take up of the Internet at the sheltered housing schemes.
· It was enquired whether access to the Internet also had a link to the take up of benefits.
· It was asked if the Council encouraged tenants that were not on the Internet to take up this provision to enhance their access to Council services and was there a range of other methods of communication including paper form?
· It was requested that the results for the reporting of faults online through the customer portal be circulated to Members.
· It was asked how the demographic makeup of tenants was changing across the District over time and what the trend for those receiving benefits was.
· It was commented that other registered housing providers had comparatively higher rates of dissatisfaction from tenants. There was evidence of demand from tenants of other registered housing providers wishing to become council tenants which could impact on the Council’s future strategy.
· It was commented that the public’s understanding of the difference in the level of care provided between extra care and sheltered housing should be improved so that provision could be matched with tenant expectation.
· It was noted that tenants that received benefits were more satisfied than those that did not receive benefits and it was enquired whether the changes to universal credit had impacted on this result.
· Following the Grenfell fire it was asked whether future risks to housing were scanned for.
· It was asked how improvements to repairs and maintenance would be delivered as this was a top service priority.
· It was commented that including Leaseholders in future surveys be considered and it was noted that they were included in the fire safety survey.
At the conclusion of debate the Cabinet Member for Housing and Asset Management stated that consideration would be given to the channels of contact between tenants and the Council and whether they were effective and how they could be improved, including by Internet and telephone contact. Further consideration would also be given to the Stanmore area to improve tenant satisfaction.
The Strategic Director: Services (Interim) added that the results would be analysed to feed into the emerging business plan which would be brought to this Policy Committee later in the year.
The Cabinet Member for Housing and Asset Management and the Housing Policy and Projects Manager thanked Members and TACT representatives for their input.
That the Presentation be noted.