Discussing resident engagement at Westminster Insight

Hands of diverse people near dialogue clouds

Last month, Emily Orme, Interim Director of Business Operations at Mount Green, attended Westminster Insight’s digital conference on tenant engagement to showcase Mount Green’s approach. Here, she reflects on the key takeaways from the conference.

Westminster Insight is a place for executives, senior leaders and customer experience teams to discuss the importance of lived experience and listening to residents when developing housing services. Mount Green recently launched its new resident engagement strategy, which sets out how we intend to work collaboratively with and for residents to ensure their voice is heard. I was invited to speak along with Grand Union Housing Group’s Naomi Sweeting, about achieving better housing outcomes through continuous tenant engagement.

Much of the discussion focused on approaches for improving accountability, transparency, and engagement culture, as well as best practice for embedding the principle of resident involvement and giving real power and influence to residents, to directly impact and have input into service design.

At Mount Green we’re committed to creating more opportunities for our residents to feedback, share their thoughts or concerns about our services, and influence decisions about the services they receive. In our strategy, we’ve highlighted this as our ‘Home to Landlord’ approach, which highlights the need for providing residents a range of options to share what they think, and the chance to get more involved in a way that suits them.

During my session at the conference, I talked in detail about how we can use strategy to improve resident influence and involvement by ensuring we continuously ask, listen, include, act and reflect. Achieving this requires housing providers to ensure these activities are carried out across the entire organisation from Board to frontline colleagues.

Mount Green’s commitment to resident involvement has been long-standing. Last year we setup a new Resident Committee Group (RCG) to add to the other communication channels we had already established with residents. The RCG’s purpose is to establish an ability for residents to exert stronger influence over decisions about service delivery at Mount Green. Since its inception, the RCG has played an essential role in the decisions that are made to improve and mould our services – including supporting us to co-create our resident engagement strategy.

Unusually, Mount Green chooses to pay residents who join the RCG. We believe that our resident’s time is no less valuable than, say, a Board member. Being on the RCG gives members the chance to make a difference on behalf of all our residents, as well as being able to gain valuable skills and expertise.

We are currently looking for more Mount Green residents to become a part of the RCG to widen and diversify the voices and opinions being heard across our organisation. This expansion of the RCG is led by them – they want more people so they can do more! And Mount Green is happy to be supporting that expansion.

If you’d like to get involved and join the RCG, please express your interest by completing this short form: https://ohdwej56ktq.typeform.com/to/gJ1zqJwj