Understanding what works for us
Monday 10th of May 2021
We asked Michelle Anderson-Dore, Head of Partnerships, Homes & Neighbourhoods Service, Kirklees Council to tell us their experience of working with Tpas to enhance their engagement activities.
This year, supported by Tpas, Kirklees Council’s Homes and Neighbourhoods (formerly Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing) carried out an evaluation of our Tenant Involvement Strategy ‘Get Involved’. Recognising the changing landscape as set out in the Govt’s Charter for Social Housing Residents, we were keen to understand what works, what are our strengths and the areas to improve?
Free to Tpas Members, the review was straightforward involving an initial self-assessment based on the Tpas National Tenant Engagement Standards around a series of thought provoking questions enabling staff, the management team and the tenant and leaseholder panel to take a ‘deep dive’ into what we are doing and to reflect on areas for improvement. This was followed by a SMART review – a Tpas engagement expert, tenants and other key stakeholders revisited the self-assessment findings allowing for constructive scrutiny and reality checking of our evidence.
The findings have provided a clear narrative for Kirklees to understand what steps we want to take to ensure we truly hear and act on the tenants’ voice in all housing services and a baseline for tenants to monitor and measure how we are doing on our journey to achieve continuous improvement. Staff and tenants also shared their thoughts on the process:
“The SMART review itself was easy to plan, lasted only a couple of days and was carried out by Gillian in such an open, informal and friendly manner” Robert Scott, Service Manager
“ The Tenant and Leaseholder Panel (TLP) engaged with both the Tpas self-assessment and the SMART review. It was a great opportunity for us to put forward the tenants viewpoint on both current services and to influence planning for future services. We appreciate the open and honest discussions that took place during the process and as we move forward, we will continue to place tenants at the forefront of our work with the Council” Antoinette Cooper, Chair of the TLP