Here at Southway, keeping residents at the heart of what we do is incredibly important, and we have a range of ways in which tenants of any age or background can get involved and help shape our services or provide feedback. It is vital that we have tenants at every level of our governance structure possible, from our Board and Committees to being part of improvement groups.


Placeshapers, a national network of place-based housing organisations helping communities to thrive, held a 'Resident Involvement: Meet the Ombudsman' event last week. Customer Involvement Manager, Maureen Ward, and tenants, Jean and Phil, wanted to learn more about the ombudsman's role and how it impacts the lives of our residents and the decisions we make as a housing provider.


We caught up with Jean and Phil to find out more about what they took away from the day.

How did you find the event?

Jean: Overall, I found the event to be enjoyable, meeting with tenants from different housing associations.

Phil: Going to the forum was appreciated. I think it’s good to know there are expectations required of the different housing associations; a required benchmark. The delivery was excellent, and simple to follow.


What was the main topic you enjoyed discussing?

Jean: I really enjoyed the workshop, especially the “Safety” topic; listening to and discussing the problems of other housing associations' tenants.

Phil: The main topic I enjoyed was seeing the different roles needed to be a good housing provider. It was quite eye-opening.


What did it feel like mattered most to tenants?

Jean: I really felt the main concerns from tenants were the safety and security in their properties, along with communication.

Phil: Communication is what mattered to tenants most I think. An opportunity to express, which appeared to be blocked or at least slowed down by poor internal communication.


What did you learn about the Regulator that you didn’t know before?

Jean: I wasn't aware of a Social Housing Association Regulator. It was interesting listening to the procedures and guidance involved.

Phil: I have never known there was a regulator and would be pleasantly surprised if many did. 


What will you take away from the day, that you will bring to your role as an involved resident at Southway?

Jean: I found the presentation enlightening, listening about the role of the Regulator and what their priorities are, e.g. value for money, supporting the provision of social housing demands, and complaints.

Phil: What I will take home from the event is that quicker solutions can be actioned if we know who to quote regarding access to the correct, effective procedures. 


Thank you for your feedback, Joan and Phil! It's essential for us to hear from our tenants and local residents about how we can improve our services, so it's great to see tenants getting involved in events like this. We've created lots of different ways for you to have your say and we hope that there's something to suit everyone.

Find out how you can get involved here.