Resident involvement

Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust works with residents to make sure we provide the best possible and most fit for purpose communities, homes and services.

Our resident involvement strategy

In order to achieve our strategic plan, we must work to support strong resident groups and engagement which empower residents to shape the services which work for them. We must also support community initiatives and groups which help residents to create lasting, positive social change in their neighbourhoods.

Why it is important for residents to get involved

You know best how to make things better, because you receive the service that we provide; you live in the communities and areas we serve. No matter how big or how small you can make a difference. You can get involved by helping improve the services you receive from us, or helping change and improve the area you live in.

By giving some of your time (it doesn’t have to be a lot) we can find out what is good or bad about what we do, what works and what doesn’t. Everyone has an opinion and we want to listen to yours so we can improve. It is not only about listening but ensuring what we say we are going to do, we actually do.

Support and help

We will do everything we can to give you help and support you need to feel comfortable about getting involved. Don’t worry if you can’t get to a meeting or can’t afford the bus fare or childcare. We can always help arrange transport and we will cover any reasonable expenses as long as you provide a receipt.

Ways to get involved

Below are examples of involvement opportunities that are available to residents at the moment and roughly how much time each activity requires. We appreciate that not every option will be suitable for everybody, but hopefully there should be something for all. If you want to be involved in a way that isn’t included in the list then let us know and we can see what we can do to accommodate you.

If you have an idea for your local area, want to get more involved with your community or be part of a group looking to improve services for residents, please come into the Garth and talk to a member of the Community Development Team, or contact us.

Board member

This is the highest level of resident involvement, as the Board ultimately is responsible for everything that we do. Board members ensure that we act in accordance with the law and regulatory standards that are set for social landlords.

Time commitment:

Full Board members are likely to commit at least 146 hours per year to carry out their role effectively, this could be as much as 200 hours in a very busy year.

Resident Scrutiny Panel

Resident Scrutiny Panel (RSP) is a group of residents from rented, shared ownership and fully owned homes living in different communities. The RSP work together to research different service areas and make recommendations for change based on the evidence they find. They present their findings to the Board. Although the group only started to work together in June 2015, they are already starting to make a difference to the services that we provide.

Time Commitment:

Two to three hours a month for monthly meetings. In additional time will be required whilst completing a project, training or reading paperwork.

Focus Groups

We regularly get together groups of residents who look at specific service areas that we provide to find out their views. These are usually residents who have received the service or the service is relevant to them in some way. In the past, focus groups have looked our strategic plan, modernisation, gas checks policy and VOIDS. This is a good way of getting involved if you have a couple of hours to spare, but don’t have the time to join a group on a regular basis.

Time Commitment:

Each focus group lasts approximately one to three hours.

News panel

Our resident magazine is sent to all residents and is produced three times a year. The news panel consist of both staff and residents. The panel meets before each issue to discuss content, which includes information we need to tell all residents plus stories about our residents and the latest news in the world of housing. It is then sent via email or post for the panel to look at and make comments and changes before it goes to print.

Time Commitment:

One lunchtime meeting per issue, each approximately two hours long plus additional time to look and edit the final version.

Local resident groups

There are a number of existing resident groups, which are made up of tenants and home owners who get together on a regular basis to talk about local issues. They can make, and have made a huge difference to the communities that they are based in.

Time Commitment:

One meeting once a month for approximately one to two hours.

To find out if there is a resident group in your area, or if you would like to set up a group, contact us.

Residents Voice

The Residents Voice group represents resident groups and committees across all our communities in relation to decisions about improving housing and neighbourhood services. As part of the group you will be representing your community, scheme or area. The meetings are to share news with other residents and feedback to us about our services.

Time Commitment:

Three meetings a year, approximately two to three hours. Can be at various locations.

Diversity Group

Our diversity group is for residents who want to improve and promote equality and diversity in everything we do. They advise and provide feedback on equality and diversity, and provide a forum for discussion. The group is responsible for monitoring all key data on equality and diversity, identifying issues to be addressed and agreeing actions.

Time Commitment:

Three meetings a year, approximately two to three hours.

Resident Advisor

Resident Advisors are volunteers who, working closely with staff, help to monitor and develop our services in a particular area of operations. Resident Advisors receive appropriate training to prepare for their role, arranged and paid for by us. Typically Resident Advisors assess an agreed aspect of a service by reading documents and carrying out interviews, surveys, phone calls and personal visits. They then make recommendations on how the service can be developed by identifying both the positive and negative aspects. They can also summarise the comments of other residents.

Time Commitment:

Average of one-two days per month.

Community events and groups

We encourage and support wider community involvement through social events, interest groups, environmental projects and events for unrepresented groups and individuals, including children and families.

You can also set up or join a ‘walkabout’ in your community to point out areas of concern about cleanliness and maintenance of your area.

Resident surveys

Resident satisfaction surveys are undertaken for some of our services. Please take the time to complete and return these to us.