Responding to the Green Paper as a contractor
Wednesday 16th of January 2019
Last year Wates Living Space became the first organisation to achieve 100% for tenant engagement in the Tpas Contractor Accreditation assessment process. David Morgan, Managing Director of Wates Living Space discusses the importance of quality customer care and its role in enhancing services within the sector.
“Last August the Government published its social housing green paper; ‘a new deal for social housing’, which by and large aims to address relationships, tackle stigma and ensure the sector supports people. This is a bold and important move for our industry; the green paper identifies the fundamental social issues that exist within our sector and puts residents right at the heart of a vital debate.
“For me one of the most striking things from the green paper was the emphasis on tackling stigma and supporting communities. Of course the work that we do requires us to take our trades into people’s homes and carry out essential repairs and maintenance, but being on the front-line and coming into contact with diverse communities gives us a very important opportunity to affect meaningful positive change in people’s lives.
“Advancing social mobility has always been high on the Wates Group’s agenda, which was acknowledged by the UK Social Mobility Awards, which named Wates as Organisation of the Year in October 2017. This commitment can be seen on the ground across every single contract being delivered by Wates Living Space.
“On one of our contracts we recently held mental health awareness workshops to support residents, we deliver training programmes to enhance employment and volunteer our time to refurbish community amenities. We’ve also provided residents with awareness courses on modern slavery, human trafficking and loan sharking to help identify potential victims or perpetrators in their community. We work with our clients to safeguard, educate and empower, and it’s extremely rewarding work for the teams involved.
“Another area of priority that has emerged from the government green paper is ensuring effective resolution of complaints, something we owe to both our clients and their customers. This is an area of our business where we’re continually looking to innovate and improve our processes, and understanding the views of tenants is a valuable insight to ensuring we do this in the best way possible.
“We’re very proud of the work we continue to do to engage residents and provide them with a high quality service but if we’re to fulfil the objectives set out by the Government’s green paper, I’m cognisant of two things - we mustn’t rest on our laurels and we need to share best practice with our peers. Our job is to improve the lives of tenants and the green paper identifies, through resident consultation, some very important themes that we must now take forward as an industry.”