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

    November 2022 

    What's happening at West Kent 

    Improving our repairs service: Our scrutiny panel has completed a review of our repairs service and the full report will be published soon. They worked with staff across the business from our the property director to individual operatives and also worked with groups of residents to find out their experience of repairs. They have created a set of recommendations and staff across West Kent have turned this into an action plan to makes sure they're implemented. The final report will be published  here. 

    Does West Kent really listen?: The scrutiny panel has moved onto the next review and this one is looking at how West Kent hears the voice of residents. It's a big topic and the panel will be talking to residents as part of the review. If you're interested in getting involved with this, drop us an email residentinvolvement@wkha.org.uk

    Mystery shoppers: We rare planning to set up mystery shopping at West Kent. This will involve residents calling our customer service centre and running through some pre-set questions and enquiries. They will then tell us the staff responses and we can use this to improve the service. We've had to put this project in hold due to staff sickness but it should be starting up again in January.  

    Resident inspectors: We now have a dedicated team of resident inspectors. These residents check on the planned cleaning and maintenance of communal areas such as window cleaning and gardening. They check the work and fill in a form or online survey so we can make sure all services are up to scratch and are working for residents. If you’d like to join the inspector team, just let us know!

    If you have questions or ideas about resident involvement, please get in touch! 

    You can email us: residentinvolvement@wkha.org.uk 

    Call us 01732 749420

     

    What's happening nationally 

    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. 

    A white paper is a set of proposals that will eventually become law. It takes a while for this to happen - lots of details need to be added in and it gets debated in the House of Commons and House of Lords, but the process is moving along. 

    Key elements of the white paper are:

    • More strength for the Regulator of Social Housing. In recent years the Regulator has checked on the finances of a housing provider, but not other areas like how well a landlord performs on repairs, tackling ASB and tenant satisfaction. This is set to change and landlords will have to meet a set of consumer standards that the Regulator will create. These haven't been published yet. 
    • More strength for the Housing Ombudsman. The ombudsman deals with complaints. If a resident makes a complaint and isn't satisfied with the outcome, they can go to the Housing Ombudsman. It's likely the new regulation will strengthen what the ombudsman is able to do. 
    • Building and fire safety will be key and the Regulator for Social Housing will be more involved in checking how landlords are meeting safety standards and will be able to intervene more effectively when there are safety concerns. 
    • Tenant satisfaction measures. Landlords will be required to send a survey to residents to ask how satisfied they are with their services. The results of this survey along with other key information (like repairs targets) will be sent to the Regulator for Social Housing who will publish the results of all housing providers. This means residents can easily check how their landlord is performing and the Regulator can investigate concerning results. 

    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.