To consider a draft in respect of the Housing Tenant Engagement Framework.
Consideration was given to a Draft Tenant Engagement Framework. The Cabinet Member noted that the development of the Tenant Engagement Framework is a refresh of the previous framework to reflect recent housing legislation, Council priorities, learning from residents, as well as a desire to involve Members in the development of the refreshed framework at an early stage. The service were seeking to create a thoroughly practicable, usable framework as the finished result. During the presentation, key achievements of the Tenant Engagement Team were summarised, with acknowledgement of the contributions of Members in accomplishing the engagement agenda. Diverse approaches to meetings were described with a view to greater inclusion. Links into new local strategies were also described as they would come to bear on the draft framework.Five new proposed outcomes of the tenant engagement framework were also listed, along with an action plan for delivery of key outcomes.
In discussion, the Chair noted the value of the work of the tenant engagement panels and thanked the panels for providing their insights.
Clarification was requested around the proliferation of neighbourhood centres and whether these could be circulated to Members by Ward. It was noted that RotherFed would pass along the details in respect of specific wards. RotherFed were thanked for coming along to support when asked.
Members noted that consultations could be better publicised and circulated to Members. The response from officers noted the tenant meetings and estate walkabouts are not the only priorities, as it had been found that residents often do not desire a formalised role or contribution. The feedback from residents within wards suggested that residents want more flexibility to participate in the ways that suit them bet. The service noted that conversation with residents when there is a proposal ensures that the resident voice is heard. It was clarified that multiple Tenant and Resident Associations (TARAs) and Community Groups are supported within each ward. Nevertheless, the point was taken that the range of participation was wide.
Members raised concerns that residents could sometimes wait 10 months for an Occupational Therapist (OT) assessment appointment. The response from the service noted that recruitment and national shortage of skills had been a seriously limiting factor. The service had therefore sought to diversify the jobs that could be performed by an apprentice or by workers with special training, for handrails for example. It was noted that small jobs do not need an OT. The Cabinet Member concurred that a robust plan to improve the wait times for appointments was in place, and that these had begun to reduce.
Members welcomed the opportunity presented by the framework to be creative in targeting under-participating areas and residents who may be harder to reach. Regarding the Ward Housing Hubs, the flexibility has resulted in a responsive model. The call-back time had been observed to have been greatly reduced, which was seen as a significant improvement. The framework diversified the ways to get feedback from people which added value.
1. That the draft framework be noted.
2. That the feedback provided by Members on the draft framework be noted.
3. That an update on the implementation of the framework be received at an appropriate time.