As your landlord, Grampian Housing Association is keen to involve tenants, sharing owners and owner occupiers in its customer participation activities so that you can influence how services are designed and delivered and have a say in how the Association is managed.

The scrutiny/inspection and review of housing services by tenants and residents is an important part of performance management and measuring how well Grampian Housing Association is doing. It is now a requirement of the Scottish Housing Regulator.

We have a wide range of options for you to participate in whether you live in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire or Moray. You can get involved at the level that suits you. It really depends on your interests and how much time you have to spare. The aim of your involvement is to improve the housing and property management services provided to you and other tenants/residents now and in the future.

Getting Involved in Grampian, our customer participation strategy

We have launched Getting Involved in Grampian, our new customer participation strategy for 2016-2019 which was drawn up with input from tenants and other customers on our participation working group.

The Strategy clearly explains how you can become involved, have your say in policies and procedures and ultimately influence the Association’s decision making process.  Grampian Housing Association has had a Customer Participation Strategy in place long before there was a legal requirement for Registered Social Landlords to have one.

We will be reviewing the Strategy annually with customers to ensure that we are offering participation activities that are of interest to you and linked to current best practice.

We fully understand you lead busy lives. Sometimes it can be difficult to strike a balance between work and home life. However the Strategy shows that customer participation takes many forms and your involvement can be at a level to suit you.  With so many options to choose from we’re sure there is something of interest for everyone!

Getting Involved in Grampian includes some exciting new activities over the next three years:

• Promoting customer participation opportunities to every new tenant to showcase the opportunities available to ‘Get Involved in Grampian’;

• Building on last year’s commUNITY events by holding annual estate walkabouts in our schemes across Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray;

• Launching Champion Grampian, our new customer scrutiny panel.  The Association cannot carry out effective scrutiny without active customer involvement.

Count me in, customer panel
Count me in, Grampian Housing Association’s customer panel, is our main way of consulting with tenants, sharing owners and owner occupiers in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray. Count me in is a group of interested customers who have indicated they would like to give us feedback when we are reviewing policies or are considering how to improve service standards. For example our response times for repairs have recently been changed following consultation with tenants and our new target is to respond to emergency repairs in 4 hours rather than 8 hours. 

Count me in members participate in around two surveys each year and you can complete these in the comfort of your own home, receiving the survey either by post or by email – you decide. Discussion groups follow surveys so that you can speak to us about services in more detail. Each survey deals with a different topic e.g. service delivery, policy reviews. The feedback is used to help set improved service standards.

If you are interested in joining the customer panel please complete the online application form.

Setting up a group or tenants’/residents’ association
Grampian Housing Association wants to encourage tenants and other customers to get together to discuss issues that are important to them. We are keen to help in any way that we can and will participate in meetings and discussions where it is appropriate to do so. In addition a small start-up grant is available to help groups get started.

If you would like to talk to someone about the best way to get a group started, please contact Katie Taylor, Operational Service Development Officer (T: 01224 202947 / E: katie.taylor@grampianhousing.co.uk).

Other ways you get involved are:-

Committee/Board membership – joining the governing body which runs the Association including overseeing its housing and property maintenance services. (Link to Running the Association/Governance page)  

Customer Participation Working Group –staff and tenants/residents who meet together every second month to discuss and monitor how the Association involves and engages customers.

NETRALT (North East Tenants, Residents and Landlords Together) – planning or coming along to events organised by tenants and residents for tenants and residents including the popular housing cafés and drop-in housing information days. Tenants/residents and staff of all landlords (local councils and housing associations) in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire are involved in NETRALT.

Champion Grampian scrutiny panel - a group of customers who oversee a range of scrutiny/inspection activities to make recommendations, challenge and improve the activities of Grampian Housing Association.

Mystery Shopping - a form of market research which assesses services completely from a customer’s point of view. Trained individuals may visit offices, speak to staff or make telephone calls to assess a service, for example customer care.

Estate Inspections and / or Walkabouts - groups of customers and Association staff carry out regular (perhaps every 6 months) neighbourhood inspections to identify issues of concern or improvement. The issues raised and the actions agreed are recorded then monitored by customers and the Association.

Desk Top Audit – tenants/residents are trained as inspectors to review: policies, procedures, legislative and good practice guidance, communication methods etc. You compare your landlord to other landlords.

Inspecting Access Points and Reception Areas - visual inspections to assess facilities against standards or make personal judgements about access, signage, forms and leaflets available, equalities issues etc

Inspection Visits - may include visits to:

  • Empty properties to assess the letting standard
  • Tenants homes to inspect housing improvement work OR repairs and maintenance
  • Manufacturers to inspect the quality of kitchens/bathrooms components to be installed in homes etc 

Work Shadowing - in agreement with staff, follow staff in their daily jobs, with an opportunity to observe staff in action and ask questions

Interviews - in agreement with staff and tenants interview to understand how a service operates, roles responsibilities etc

Local voices - tenants/residents representing their communities and having a say in the services that affect them

Website and/or social media (Facebook and Twitter) - review ease of access and quality of information

 

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