Developing a tenant engagement strategy

Friday 1st of May 2020

Our client was a Housing Association based in Ireland. 
Stock of around 450 homes with a vision for over 700 homes by 2020. 

What were we approached to do?        

Tpas were asked to submit an expression of interest to the housing association to develop a 3 year tenant engagement strategy to create strong communication links between the organisation and its tenants to enhance the customer service experience. 

What did we do?

A key challenge for us in this project was ensuring the landlord had a strategy that met the regulatory requirements for Ireland but had the aspiration to meet the more complex English regulatory standards, whilst being tied in to our Tenant Engagement standards.

Our starting point was to identify what already happens within the organisation in terms of tenant engagement and to understand the effectiveness of the current approach. We also needed to identify the core objectives, linked to their Strategic Plan, to enable us to devise a strategy that creates a strong foundation and ensures housing services are customer focussed, the tenant voice is heard, communities are enhanced and there is continuous communication and engagement with tenants.

The key to this project was the use of Appreciative Inquiry, using existing successes, strengths and achievements as the foundation for developing a vision for the future and complemented our workplan of: desktop review of current strategy and procedures, held focus groups with involved and un-involved tenants to gather views, facilitated a strategy development workshop with landlord staff, produced a comprehensive report with recommendations and good practice to allow the development of the strategy to take place.

What were the successful outputs and outcomes?

We produced a report with comprehensive recommendations that identified key areas for improvement and gave tangible examples of good practice from across the sector. Under their current strategy, the housing association did not have a clear view of tenants views and experiences of housing and repairs services and the new strategy needed to include a clear set of service standards, a focus on having a string dialogue with their tenants and the create opportunity to implement new ways of engaging with tenants. 

In partnership with the executive team with tenant input from focus groups and consultation, Tpas were able to develop a 3 year tenant engagement strategy for the organsiation to adopt.

The principles for the strategy are:

Supporting independent community initiatives

Help tenants and communities to deliver activities that support and enhance those communities. 

Acting together

Work with tenants and other stakeholders to develop effective partnerships that improve services and communities.

Deciding together 

Work with tenants to discuss and identify new/additional ideas and options, and join in deciding the best way forward.

Offer a number of options for consulting with tenants and listening to feedback.

Communicating with tenants by using a variety methods and ensuring information is timely, appropriate and meets the needs of tenants.

Our client was delighted with the implementation of the new strategy that has enabled them to build on their strong commitment to putting their tenants and communities at the heart of everything they do, creating a new journey for tenants, staff and board to ensure they are engaged, communicated with and actively listened to.  

It is the hope and ambition of the housing association to build on their initial 3 year strategy to maximise engagement and involvement of its tenants in decision making and the influence they have over the management of their homes.