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Improvements in the past year

There have been a number of improvements made to South Tyneside Homes' services over the past year thanks to the hard work and dedication of involved customers.

Resident Involvement Strategy

The new Resident Involvement Strategy for South Tyneside Homes was adopted in January 2020 following consultation with stakeholders including customers. 

A new formal involvement structure and framework has been developed to improve the way we engage with, and listen to our customers and we aim to get more people involved in the way the company is run and how services are delivered.

The strategy has the following strategic objectives for resident involvement and engagement:               

  • Customer engagement and transparency will inform all aspects of the business;
  • The organisation will understand the diverse needs of residents and use this to drive continuous service improvement and performance;
  • A menu of involvement opportunities will be offered to residents to get involved and give their views which suits their varying needs, preferences and expectations;
  • Residents will support the organisation's wider role of improving communities across South Tyneside;
  • Residents' knowledge, skills and confidence will be improved through a diverse training programme;
  • The impact and outcomes of engagement will be clearly communicated to ensure that residents feel their views are listened to and acted upon to make a positive difference in their communities;
  • The latest technology will be utilised to modernise resident engagement and participation;
  • We will use feedback from complaints to learn and improve service delivery;We will effectively engage our customers in relation to the management and safety of the buildings they live in.

Review of Electrical Periodic Inspection Process

A review of the Electrical Periodic Inspection process was carried out with customers. The letters sent to customers requesting access to properties for Electrical Inspections were reviewed and redesigned to demonstrate the importance of complying with these requests making sure customers' homes are safe and meeting regulations.

Repairs and Maintenance Service Reviews

The Repairs and Maintenance Service was reviewed with customers with an aim to reduce "no answer repairs" and to look for further improvements in the repairs process. The Scrutiny Panel produced a well-received report with 20 recommendations for repair service improvements.

The Check and Challenge group also reviewed "follow-on" jobs for the Repairs service, mapping a repair journey and looking for areas that could be improved, which would allow more jobs to be completed "right first time".

Development of Customer Promise

A new Customer Promise has been developed with customers. South Tyneside Homes are dedicated to providing Great Homes, Great Places, Great Services and a Great Company. These promises are what we expect from all staff when dealing with our customers.

Development of Tenants' Safety Handbook

A new Tenants' Safety Handbook have been developed for customers to keep people safe in their homes in partnership with our involvement groups. These will be distributed to new customers to ensure that they are safe in their home. Additional information has been developed for customers living in high-rise accommodation and Housing Plus schemes offering additional advise to keep customers safe.

Reviewed Complaints Policy

The Complaints Policy was reviewed with customers to ensure that this remains fit for purpose and accessible to customers.

Improved Allocations Policy

An improved A new Allocations and Lettings Policy was launched last year following feedback from customers and close working between involvement groups and managers. The new policy will ensure that we can continue to make best use of available properties and support residents to move home.

Improved digital services

Following a huge piece of work by the Scrutiny Panel, the organisation has made some huge improvements to the digital services offered to customers. This has included the launch of our new website following customer input and improved signposting to those who require training or support to get online.

Improved consistency of rent services

Following a review by our groups, the service provided to customers by our Income (rent) teams have been improved to ensure that customers continue to receive a consistent service and can access any relevant support to ensure that they can manage their finances and stay in their home preventing action being taken against them which is a last resort.

Hear from one of our involved customers

Anne Surtees - Customer Forum Member

"As an involvement tenant, I've come to understand how my landlord operates and the lengths they go to in order to keep us happy in our properties as well as keeping stock updated. Involvement has kept me active in mind and spirit and I have had the privilege of meeting some wonderful staff as well as other involved tenants. Every part of involvement is an eye opening and it expands my mind - being an involved tenant is an absolute privilege".

Anne Surtees, Scrutiny Panel member