Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Housing bodies join forces to scrutinise

The Tenant Participation Advisory Service, HouseMark and the Chartered Institute of Housing are set to launch a new scrutiny scheme in the New Year.

Quality Assured Scrutiny is a new accreditation scheme recognising the quality of tenant scrutiny and the improvements it will deliver in social housing. Housing providers are being encouraged to pre-register for the scheme which is expected to start in early 2012.

This scheme comes as the focus of consumer protection and decision-making moves towards tenants’ own locally defined needs and priorities.

Landlords and tenants were invited to an informal event in London on 14 November to offer their views. Around 25 attended.

Juliet Craven, service director corporate services for Wakefield and District Housing said: ‘We welcome the new quality framework as a marker for raising the standards of services to tenants. The more that organisations engage with their tenants, the more effective the scrutiny will be.’

Chris Stock, resident involvement and scrutiny manager at Croydon Council said: ‘An accreditation framework will also allow good practice to be recognised and shared with others.’

Further information can be found at www.cih.org/qualityassuredscrutiny.

Readers' comments (8)

  • F451

    QAS - competitor with QHS? - another subscriber service award?

    Very good for those that like to pay £2k+ for an A4 sheet to hang on the wall and feel good about, but what's wrong with just asking tenants to give honest feedback, enable them to monitor and report, and share it through a sector medium (like Housemark for instance)?

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  • I ask the same question F451, however, I would prefer to see it continuing to be awarded and handled by The Tenant Participation and Advisory Service (TPAS), rather than Housemark which seems to jack its fees up everytime a new accreditation comes along. This is on top of an already expensive annual fee and some questionable benchmarking information.

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  • F451

    Perhaps tenants should rebel, form their own framework, test their landlord accordingly, and share their findings via Inside Housing - at least that way it won't push the rents up any further or need a committe of experts to faf around for days before rubber stamping the service so long as amendments are accepted and additional consultant days booked.

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  • LifeStyle

    An accreditation framework which allows good practice to be recognised and shared with others, is always a good idea in terms of best practice and the way forward in safeguarding consumer protection as a service recipient and for those involved in the decision making processes. As a conscientious individual my concerns are that I am travelling in the right direction in being equipped for the scrutiny decisions made along with others involved.......I do feel information sharing should be through many access points, i.e House Mark, Inside Housing for its more user friendly way that this medium's format could offer formation sharing . @ F451 your comment made me smile because there is so much truth in there :D

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  • Usual Suspect

    Consultants cant do "accreditation" its a fundemental conflict of interests. You will have housemark and TPAS issuing badges for systems and processes they have set up or advised on.

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  • it should be up to customers to decide what their 'scrutiny' scheme looks like Once they are happy with the model, they can agree what framework/indicators/benchmark they will use. Tenants are not there to have the wool pulled over their eyes, they will quickly find out what real comparitors are, and judge accordingly. it doesnt need a national toolkit.

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  • The Board Development Agency also offer a Resident Scrutiny Award assessed programme, that helps give tenants grounding on what to look for and how to hold their landlord accountable for weaknesses in performance. It's more a base from which tenants can ensure they have the knowledge of a framework to base their decision making process on and ensure their voices are heard. The course has been around since 2009 along with our popular Resident Scrutiny Tool Kit which has also proved popular. We have had some amazing feedback on past courses.

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  • Lifestyle i agree with you, if you have the basic framework you can manipulate it and move on from there. It just gives you a foundation to grow from.

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