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    Keep up to date with what's happening in the world of resident involvement both at West Kent and across the country. 

    What's happening at West Kent? September 2023 

    Your views: We ran several consultations over the summer. We asked you to help us review our rent letters, your opinions on our new disrepair and voids policies and also asked residents with fixed term tenancies for some feedback. We have introduced a new area of the website where you can see what current consultations are open. Check it regularly to have your voice heard! You can see what happens to your feedback on your 'you said we did pages' It can take a while for changes based on your feedback to be made, but we update is as often as we can. 

    Find out how we're performing: We also have a new website area that tells you how we're performing and how we're making changes based on wider feedback and through complaints. Check it out here. 

    Contractor standards representatives: We want to be transparent about the services we provide, so invite residents to attend meetings with West Kent staff and our contractors to check everything is meeting the standard it should. We currently have a resident representative attending strategic meetings with Brenwards (repairs and electrical), and have just recruited two residents to join iNHomes (gas and plumbing) meetings to give the views of residents. 

    Scrutiny panel: The scrutiny panel finished their review of this and you can read the full report and recommendations here. Next, they will be reviewing our community safety service, with a focus on communication around anti-social behaviour. 

    Neighbourhood inspections - We know that your local community and neighbourhood is important to you. Our tenancy services officers regularly inspect areas to make a range of checks. We encourage residents to join them and you can find out when your next neighbourhood inspection is here

    That's our news- but what are your views?! If you have questions, ideas or suggestions about how West Kent can improve things and how residents can be a part of that, about resident involvement, please get in touch! 

    You can email us: 

    Call us 01732 749420

    You can also send a message to the scrutiny panel. 


    What's happening nationally 

    Social Hosing Act

    The Social Housing White Paper was produced after the Grenfell tragedy in order to tighten up health and safety regulation and also to make sure that tenants voices were heard. It's now become the Social Housing Act, which means its the law.

    Key elements of the Act are:

    • Strengthening the Regulator of Social Housing to carry out regular inspections of the largest social housing providers and the power to issue unlimited fines to rogue social landlords.
    • Additional Housing Ombudsman powers to publish best practice guidance to landlords following investigations into tenant complaints.
    • Powers to set strict time limits for social landlords to address hazards such as damp and mould.
    • New qualification requirements for social housing managers.
    • Introducing stronger economic powers to follow inappropriate money transactions outside of the sector.

    Consumer Standards

    Another part of the regulation will be a set up updated consumer standards that social housing providers will need to meet. The draft of these standards has now been published and the Regulator is keen to hear your views.

    The Better Social Housing Review

    An independent panel, set up by the National Housing Federation and Chartered Institute for Housing, has spent six months looking into the quality of social housing across the country. Their report and recommendations have recently been published. You can find out about the review on the Better Social Housing website

    Four Million Homes

    This new Government initiative is designed to empower social housing residents and to give them the knowledge and guidance they need to understand their rights and hold their landlord to account. There's a range of training events and courses social housing residents can book on to.  Visit the Four Million Homes website to find out more. 

    Want to know more? 

    Would you like to know more about resident involvement? All West Kent tenants can join Tpas - the national tenant participation experts. They have a great website with lots of information, send out regular newsletter and offer training opportunities too. 

    If you're interested in up to date housing news, check out:

    Inside Housing 

    The National Housing Federation's latest news 

    The Guardian's social housing news pages