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National Residents Forum Annual Report 2010 ... - Viridian Housing

National Residents Forum

Annual Report 2010/2011


Welcome, from the

National Residents Forum

The National Residents Forum (NRF) are a group of residents drawn from Viridian

Housings member organisations. We work alongside Viridian to help make

important decisions, monitor resident involvement activities and advise on key

strategic issues. We have represented residents for the past three years and are

proud to present you with our Annual Report for the year 2010/2011.

We have seen some membership changes over the past year and are sad

to say goodbye to Ruth Campbell, Jean Webber, Michelle Symons and

Marina Duca Caroli who have volunteered their commitment, expertise

and contribution to the NRF.

We have also re-elected our Chair, Shaun Lansfield and Vice Chair,

John Cox at our last meeting in March 2011. This year, we have

ten members in total including:

West Midlands

David Nixon, Retirement housing

Doreen Hill, Retirement housing

London North

Shaun Lansfield, Chair, General housing

London South

John Cox, Vice Chair, General housing

London

Hugh Collingwood, General housing

Leroy Gittens, General housing

Anthony Deane, General housing

Ola Solanke, General housing

John Molyneaux, Supported housing

West Sussex

Michelle Nock, General housing

If you would like to contact one of us, please do so by writing to:

NRF (Insert members name)

C/O Viridian Housing

Colwell House

376 Clapham Road,

London, SW9 9AR

Or you can reach us by email RICE.team@viridianhousing.org.uk

and type in the particular member’s name in the subject line.

We look forward to working with Viridian to build on our

achievements in the coming year.

2 National Residents Forum Annual Report 2010/2011


Welcome, from

Shaun Lansfield

The past 12 months has been a very busy time for us in two main

areas. Firstly, we have been looking for new ways to encourage

resident input to help improve the service delivery of Viridian. And

secondly, through ensuring that residents have input into the recent

government changes to social housing including market rents,

limited tenancies and co-regulation.

We have held four meetings, two being in London, one in West

Sussex and one in Birmingham. We also held four joint Board and

NRF away days, giving us the opportunity to come together and

discuss our plans and initiatives for the upcoming year.

One of our key priorities is working on the development of a coregulation

framework which will see residents giving advice and

being involved in decision making at all levels. After a number

of meetings active residents from across Viridian, agreed on a

framework which will ensure better service and performance from

Viridian. This has also been agreed by the Board and Executive

Management Team at Viridian. We think this will have a very positive

impact on developing a resident voice and improve performance

by scrutinising key service areas at all levels.

We have also reviewed the best way for improving the service which

was Viridian Facilities Management (VFM). As a result of input by

many residents as well as external reviews, VFM has now integrated

with Viridian to provide the one service. This will help improve

maintenance as well as ensure the service drives value for money.

Resident input into Viridian has resulted in many great

changes. We are not there yet, however we are

ensuring that the Executive Management Team and

the Board are listening to what you would like to see

happen.

I would like to thank everyone who has taken the time

to get involved with resident input, as well as all the

dedicated members who make up the NRF.

Shaun Lansfield

National Residents Forum Annual Report 2010/2011

3


Working together

to deliver the very best

Over the past year we have seen some terrific improvements and

been working hard to make sure residents continue to receive the

top quality customer service they deserve.

Our main

objectives for the

year were:

• Continue to raise our

profile with all residents

through publications

and face to face

meetings

• Further support and

promotion of the

regional scrutiny panels

• Deliver a campaign

of estate and local

area based initiatives

to encourage and

promote resident

involvement

• Review the active

residents register and

use it to manage

and support resident

involvement more

effectively

• Review the resident

involvement strategy

and agree on our

approach for the next

seven years.

Our achievements over the past year include:

• Introduction of co-regulation.

One of the major challenges

we faced this year was

to introduce the changes

made by the Tenant Services

Authority (TSA) regarding

how housing providers are

regulated. These include

the introduction of national

standards, local offers and a

new partnership with residents

through co-regulation and

scrutiny of services. We have

worked hard with the Viridian

Board and employees to

ensure these have been

properly delivered. A further

explanation of co-regulation

can be found on page 6.

• Active residents from both

city and regional areas

met with us at a resident’s

summit in February. The

meeting successfully decided

upon how we can work

with scrutiny panels to best

represent residents needs

under the new framework.

• We have attended four joint

away day sessions with the

Viridian Board to discuss

and develop their plans for

the future. The focus was

on co-regulation and the

government’s changes

to how social housing will

be paid for and delivered.

Important topics included the

challenges of increased rents

and introducing limited life

tenancies for new residents.

• Last year we spent time

agreeing upon our approach

to working with Viridian and

how we can best champion

resident views through a

number of strategy sessions.

These sessions were important

as they informed Viridian

of our approach to coregulation

and the new

resident involvement strategy

for 2010-2013.

• Through the year we have

been reviewing how well

Viridian are delivering their

customer service and made

some recommendations

on key issues. These

recommendations have

4 National Residents Forum Annual Report 2010/2011


Our key priorities

for 2011/2012

seen some successful outcomes

including:

- Changes to Viridian Facilities

Management and input into

the decision to integrate the

repair service into Viridian

- Agreed upon and monitored

the Audit Commission’s

inspection improvement and

action plan

- Worked with Viridian employees

to improve their complaints

process

- Raised issues about service

charges and agreed upon a

timetable for a further progress

review

- Worked with the Resident

Service Inspectors to develop

a new scheme which will see

residents working in Viridian

offices to audit their services.

We have also taken part in a

number of activities and events to

encourage more feedback from

residents including Conversations

with Viridian, Balham office open

day and estate fun days.

We have highlighted just two key

priority areas for the upcoming year.

These are both big challenges and

we need to focus our attention on

making sure we deliver them to the

best of our ability.

1

2

Implement co-regulation and

further develop our relationship

with the Viridian Board. We aim to

ensure that resident views drive the

service improvement. In order to

do this we need to forge a genuine

partnership with the Viridian Board

and employees to make sure

everyone is properly represented.

Increase resident involvement at

a local level to better represent

individual needs. This will be

achieved through increased

support and encouragement at

local meetings, events and through

other forms of communication.

National Residents Forum Annual Report 2010/2011

5


Co-regulation – working

together to make a difference

In 2010 the TSA introduced

co-regulation as a

way in which housing

providers, including

housing associations,

are regulated by the

government to make sure

they are being managed

properly and are meeting

the expectations of being

a good landlord.

The new approach sets out

three key principals:

1. Accountability through a set

of national standards and

resident assessment of how

Viridian are delivering their

services

2. Services aimed at different

resident needs through

agreed local offers

3. Residents and Viridian

employees agreeing on how

services can be improved

and what the priorities are

for the future.

To make sure this happens

we will work alongside

Viridian Board members and

employees to agree upon a

framework based on existing

resident involvement along

with a few changes.

The framework will see Viridian involving residents at four

levels:

...at a local level we have local groups, tenant and

resident associations, and scheme and area champions

raising issues and providing feedback.

...at a regional level we make use of a number

of resident groups including scrutiny panels, resident service

inspectors, tenants complaints panel and asset management

resident advisory group. Regional scrutiny panels play a very

important role through representing local issues at a national

level such as service standards and suggested improvements.

...at a national level we have ourselves, the NRF,

report directly to the Board. We make sure local residents

take a stronger role in decision making, involvement and

problem solving. We are separate to the role of the Board as

we give residents an independent voice to challenge what

Viridian do.

We have a number of ways of making sure residents can be

involved including surveys, focus groups, forums, testing new

products and mystery shoppers.

...at a Board level residents are represented by the

Chair of the NRF who works with the other Board members.

The Board is responsible for how Viridian is run and the

members set the strategy and direction for Viridian and make

sure residents interests are properly catered for.

At every level mentioned above, residents and Viridian

employees are given the opportunity to work together to

improve services and resolve any issues in the first instance.

Recommendations for improvements, comments on services

and unresolved issues are all reported to the next level.

If you would like to be involved in influencing and improving

services for all residents, Viridian are always looking for new

members to join. You will be provided with support, training and

have your expenses covered. If you are interested please

contact the RICE team on 0330 123 0220 or email

RICE.team@viridianhousing.org.uk.

6 National Residents Forum Annual Report 2010/2011


Resident involvement

with Viridain

If you would like to play a part

in prioritising, influencing and

improving services for all residents

there are a number of ways you

can do so:

1. Joining the active residents club

and participating in surveys, forums,

mystery shopping and testing new

products

2. Becoming a local area champion

and help drive improvements in

neighbourhoods at a local level

3. Registering as a member with the

National Residents Forum

4. Joining a scrutiny panel to discuss

issues, service delivery and

recommendations at a regional level

5. Sitting on community boards and

committees.

Dates for NRF meetings

in 2011/2012

• Saturday 7 May 2011,

West Sussex

• Saturday 10 September 2011,

Birmingham

• Saturday 12 November 2011,

London

• Saturday 3 March 2012,

London

This is just a selection of ways you can

become more involved. If you would

like to take any of these opportunities,

or explore other ways you can

contribute please contact the RICE

Team on 0330 123 0220 or email

RICE.team@viridianhousing.org.uk.

If you would like to attend any of these

meetings as an observer please contact

the RICE Team on 0330 123 0220 or email

RICE.team@viridianhousing.org.uk.

National Residents Forum Annual Report 2010/2011

7


Resident Involvement Budget

for 2010/2011

National Budget by item Cost Total

National Residents Forum

Accommodation, meals and meeting costs

London (x5), Birmingham and West Sussex

£9,000

Board NRF joint away days £3,000

Travel tickets £3,500

Childcare costs and expenses £1,000

Training £2,000

£18,500

Resident Service Inspectors

Training £2,000

Travel £3,000

Training venue and food £4,200

RSI support and guidance (and additional

training days)

£1,300

Incentive £4,000

Total £14,500

Resident auditor scheme – training

(additional funding)

(£10,000)

Resident Involvement General

Membership (TPAS) £1,800

Scrutiny panels, Asset Management

Resident Advisory Group (AMRAG), Tenants

Complaints Panel (TCP)

£1,800

Expenses, travel, childcare £1,500

Regional events £3,000

£8,100

Publications

Involvement leaflets and posters £2,000

NRF meeting packs £4,900

NRF Annual Report £8,000

Link x 4 £16,000

£30,900

Total £82,000

8 National Residents Forum Annual Report 2010/2011


Case Study…

Tenant Complaints

Panel

Viridian are the only registered housing provider

to use a resident only Tenant Complaints Panel

(TCP). The TCP works to improve impartial

resolution at the first stage of the complaints

process, and is successful as the members draw

on their own experiences of being residents to

identify solutions that satisfy both residents and

Viridian.

Through developing resident-led services such

as this, Viridian have significantly improved their

performance when responding to complaints

within ten days, from 59% in April, to 91.5% in

December 2009.

At Viridian’s 2010 inspection, the Audit

Commission stated “There is a clear and wellpromoted

three-stage procedure with response

times for each stage, including a residents’

panel to hear stage three complaints. This

makes it easy for residents to use the service”.

91.5%

of your complaints

were responded to

within ten days.

West Midlands

scrutiny panel

One of our biggest successes this year was the

progress made by the West Midlands scrutiny

panel. Members have come from a range of

locations across the region including retirement

housing, general needs housing and shared

ownership properties. The group elected a Chair,

Doreen Hill who is also a member of the NRF, and

a Vice Chair, Walter Bowdler.

Together they raised a number of issues on

behalf of fellow residents with the focus being on

retirement housing. Key issues raised included:

• Health and safety in retirement housing

• Repairs and maintenance

• Elder care out of hours system

• Service charges and scheme inspections

Members of the panel also attended the

resident summit in February to help develop an

agreement on how co-regulation should work.

I think that the reason the

West Midlands scrutiny panel

works so well is that we have

all melded together as a team

with only one goal in mind.

To improve the quality of living

for every Viridian resident in

the West Midlands, no matter

what it takes’.

Chair, Doreen Hill

If you would like to take part in a regional

scrutiny panel or local meeting please contact

the RICE team on 0330 123 0220 or email RICE.

team@viridianhousing.org.uk

National Residents Forum Annual Report 2010/2011

9


Saving money

and the

environment

For the past six months the

NRF have been investigating

how they can reduce the

cost of having to print large

documents for their meetings.

One suggestion was to use iPads

which would not only allow them

to hold paperless meetings, but

also give them a versatile and

valuable piece of technology.

A deal was sourced that would

see each NRF member have a

free iPad for the use of meetings

and accessing the internet. An

afternoon training session was

also organised to help everyone

learn how to use them to their full

capacity including downloading

documents, participating in

discussion groups, connecting

their phones and using social

media. After three hours of

laughter, tears and teamwork the

NRF were ready to go paperless!

The iPads have proven to be

a great asset to all of the NRF

members. They are now able

to readily access important

information wherever they are,

as well as remove the burden

of paper documents at their

meetings.

Getting involved helps

Viridian and it can help

you too

Lots of people say why get involved, what’s in it for me? Well,

apart from helping Viridian improve services for all residents

there can be opportunities for you too.

A good example of this is Yvette Mona resident. Yvette got

involved nearly three years ago by volunteering to be one of

the original Resident Services Inspectors. She completed the

training and then carried out nearly two years of inspections,

and also joined residents’ repairs group AMRAG.

Last year Yvette was made redundant from her customer

services job, but based on her experience of volunteering

decided she would like to work in housing. After discussion

with the RICE team they worked out how they could help her

fulfil her goal.

A year later Yvette has taken the CIH Accredited course in

Housing Management at Lewisham College which is due

to finish in July, where she is on track for a pass with merit.

Viridian have supported her with some of the training costs,

with mentoring and shadowing placements. She has also

completed the employment training scheme with Hays

recruitment agency.

Yvette is currently applying for a placement at Shepards Bush

Housing Group, where Viridian will be providing a reference

and will continue to support in her search for permanent

employment in housing.

A year on I feel a great sense of

achievement in my personal development

which has been supported in so many

ways by Viridian helping me to turn

a negative situation into a very

positive one.

10 National Residents Forum Annual Report 2010/2011


Annual performance indicators

Key: Good Average Poor

Performance Indicator

Complaints

Number of stage 1 & 2 complaints

received

% of stage 1 & 2 complaints responded to

within target time

Number of complaints progressing to stage

3 Panel (% upheld)

Repairs and maintenance

% of emergency repairs completed in

target (24 hours)

% of urgent repairs completed in target

(7 calendar days)

% of routine repairs completed in target

(28 calendar days)

Percentage of repair jobs completed on

the first visit

Percentage of homes with gas service

outstanding

Average SAP (energy) rating of all Viridian

stock

% of homes failing the Decent Homes

standard

% of repairs appointments that were made

and kept

Number of appointments (which the

above percentage relates to)

2010-11

Target

no

target

End of

Quarter 1

(Jun-10)

End of

Quarter 2

(Sep-10)

Period

End of

Quarter 3

(Dec-10)

End of

Quarter 4

(Mar-11)

Performance

189 410 574 749 n/a

>90% 95% 93% 89% 89%

no

target

0

1

(100%)

2

(100%)

6

(100%)

>99% 83.1% 84.4% 87.4% 88.3%

>98% 90.7% 93.8% 93.6% 93.8%

>98% 89.8% 91.0% 91.8% 91.6%

>90% 81.3% 83.2% 89.4% 88.1%

67 56 63 63 64

96% 86% 81% 80% 80%

no

target

n/a

3737 12982 23414 33733 n/a

% of tenants satisfied with repairs service >90% 99.50% 98.20% 80% 80%

Tenancy issues

% of current rent arrears for general needs

residents

% of current rent arrears for supported and

retirement housing residents

% of empty general needs homes at the

end of the period.

% of general needs estates scoring 2 or

under

Number of new ASB cases per 1000

properties managed

% of residents satisfied with the way their

ASB case had been handled

Number of evictions for rent arrears in

general needs housing


Colwell house

376 Clapham Road

London, SW9 9AR

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