Revolutionising resident governance and re-energising our approach
Wednesday 20th of February 2019
We asked Jackie Perry, Assistant Director of Communities and Customer Service at Muir Group Housing Association what difference working withTpas made in creating a new model of engagement.
Revolutionising resident governance called for Muir to be brave and embark on a dynamic new approach.
We wanted a fresh new forum for residents, and we think that’s what we’ve delivered.
I’m a great believer that some of life’s toughest tests result in the greatest innovation, and Muir has embraced the opportunity to think differently in the face of some challenging financial pressures including welfare reform.
We remain true to our corporate objectives of Maintaining Good Governance and Improving Customer Satisfaction and by developing a robust new approach to resident governance, Muir is truly embedding principles of co-regulation and the role of residents into its culture.
Our National Residents Group (NRG) launched in 2018, providing a revitalised model for resident influence and scrutiny – fit-for-purpose now and flexible for the future.
We were brave enough to make bold decisions, pressing pause on existing resident involvement structures, enabling us to reset.
With the full support of Muir’s Board and residents, we embarked upon a series of Resident Engagement Events, fully embracing our values.
Open and honest conversations took place with residents and the Muir Group Board, achieving full support to co-design Muir’s future resident governance approach through a Shadow Resident Body.
We engaged Tpas to help establish the NRG by providing invaluable support, training and mentoring.
Our project plan was tight and there was plenty to do, but our Tpas Consultant, Jackie Grannell, kept us focused and guided us through difficult discussions which formed vital foundations for what we intended to create.
Muir’s Board were fully engaged, helping shape our approach to co-regulation through regular workshops which stripped down previous formats and began building something better.
Key to the NRG’s successful creation was an energetic and all-encompassing recruitment campaign.
We had a geographical challenge to overcome and were keen to ensure an inclusive approach.
A promotional online video, website stories, text messaging, a leaflet campaign, social media and promotion from our Tenancy Services Officers and Customer Experience Team all proved pivotal. Almost 10% of all residents responded – which was just fantastic!
Following formal applications and interviews, the NRG was appointed and formally adopted by Muir Group’s Board as a key part of our governance framework.
Regular dialogue takes place between Chairs, including meeting attendance, reports and observations – and there is real commitment to a strong, meaningful and influential relationship.
The NRG has a clearly defined role to provide assurance to the Muir Group Board, ensuring consumer standards are achieved and value for money services delivered.
This happens through Muir’s Method of Co-regulation – outlining what co-regulation means and looks like for us, and providing clear focus on improvement and consultation.
Whilst still early days, we’re dedicated to building a successful future, generating effective learning programmes to support the NRG and developing skills to fulfil their role effectively.
The following achievements made so far, are testament to the NRG’s efforts and Muir’s new approach:
• Shaping a social investment framework
• Procurement of a repairs and maintenance contractor
• Revitalising our customer feedback policy
• Shaping key performance information
• Recruitment of a new NRG Chair
• Review of Muir’s Gas Access Policy
• Review of Muir’s Community Alarms Project
Two of our NRG members had this to say about the new structure:
“The NRG enables residents to work in cooperation with Muir to enhance services. The opportunity to become a member has provided residents with a louder voice, a chance to shape future social housing policies and share ideas.” – Sean Simpson
“I think the NRG is a really important concept and I’m glad Muir embraced it. We get a chance to discuss issues affecting Muir and its services, and provide possible solutions. I am part of a pro-active working group helping to meet everyone’s needs.” – Hilary Matheson