Our Resident Representative Team (RRT) are consulted on key service changes, help to shape decisions, and share their recommendations for consideration with the Red Kite Board. They're committed to ensuring that tenants continue to receive great services and remain at the heart of Red Kite.
August: Complaints policy
Sarah Gulbransen (Complaints Investigation Manager) attended the meeting to discuss the Red Kite complaints policy, how the complaints were used to understand trends for areas of improvement and how the complaints were reported, evidenced, and recorded. The group were informed that there was work taking place with Ashley Porter (Relationship Team Leader), Kyle Oldershaw (Repairs & Voids Manager), and the Red Kite contractors to strengthen the process/make significant changes to help mitigate the level of complaints coming from repairs.
July: Sharing best practices
The group invited members of Fairhive Homes' resident forum to attend one of their meetings as an opportunity to share best practices, discuss shared challenges, and to forge a connection between the two local housing associations.
July: Tpas National Tenant Conference
Three members of RRT attended the Tpas National Tenant Conference along with the Resident & Community Engagement team, which offered the opportunity to discuss the latest housing policies that affect all social housing landlords and what these mean for engagement and tenant influence. It also allowed the members to examine practical solutions being used across the sector to solve common tenant engagement challenges.
July: Damp, mould and condensation scrutiny
A scrutiny 'boot camp' took place at Windsor Court on 29th July 2023. 21 tenants attended the event and the session was led by Sam Goodwin, an independent Tpas consultant. The event was very interactive with good discussions taking place on each table amongst staff and tenants. The day resulted in an eight-point recommendation list of actions, and these will form part of an overall action plan. The action plan will be shared with all tenants who attended the workshop, and monitored by RRT in the coming year.
June: Stock condition survey letter
RRT offered feedback on the current stock condition survey letter which was distributed to all tenants. All feedback was passed to Mark Haines (Director of Property) who confirmed that the points raised would be considered for appointment letters going forward.
June: Tenancy breach infographic
The group were asked to offer feedback and observations on two different types of tenancy breach graphics to be used by community teams, which included signposting information for other community organisations.
May: Inside Housing Tenant & Resident Engagement Conference
A member of RRT attended the annual Inside Housing Tenant & Resident Engagement Conference in London along with Jon Upchurch (Volunteering, Engagement and Events Manager). The aim of the conference was to help landlords and tenants achieve meaningful engagement that improves service, lives and communities.
May: Safeguarding policy
RRT were invited by Jonathan Radcliffe (Head of Community) to review the safeguarding policy. Observational feedback was gathered and RRT suggested an additional paragraph relating to independent advocacy which was incorporated into the updated policy.
April: Tenant Satisfaction Measures (TSMs)
Dan Fox (Insight & Customer Experience Lead) attended a meeting to advise how the TSMs were currently being communicated with tenants. The group were encouraged to offer feedback and give suggestions on how to strengthen this approach, which included greater use of infographics as they were easy to understand along with headline figures.
March: Effective questioning and challenging skills
RRT were invited to attend an in-house training session for effective questioning and challenging skills which was facilitated by Sam Goodwin, an independent Tpas consultant. This would equip group members with the skillset to hold Red Kite to account more effectively.
March: Cost of living
The group had requested that Ray Prior (Director of Resources) attend one of their meetings to update them on what Red Kite were doing for their tenants in the current cost of living crisis. Ray provided a strategic overview focussing on the Hardship Fund which had been introduced to help tenants at this difficult financial time. It was also confirmed that the Board had agreed to extend this funding for the next three years.
Martine Mills (Tenancy Management Team Leader) provided some operational updates as to how her team were working with tenants across a wide range of areas, from helping tenants with claiming the correct benefits to external energy support grants.
March: Damp, mould and condensation (DMC) scrutiny
RRT agreed that they would hold a one-day 'boot camp' event to scrutinise DMC on 29th July 2023. It was confirmed that all tenants who had reported issues with DMC since January 2023 would be invited to attend and offer feedback on service levels, communication, and resolution satisfaction. The main brief would be ‘Understanding, preventing and overcoming DMC’.
March: Telephony update - workshop
Farheen Tahir (Head of Relationships) and Ashley Porter (Relationship Team Leader) spent some time with RRT members to discuss the importance of a new telephony system - which also formed part of the customer contact scrutiny action plan recommendations. The workshop session proved very interactive and enabled the RRT members to voice their preferences, ranging from information the telephony system would be able to store to how personal data is held and information passed onto our contractors. Farheen and Ashley agreed to come back to RRT later in the year to share the outcome of the work they were undertaking.
February: 2023 scrutiny topic
RRT agreed that the next focus for scrutiny would be damp, mould and condensation (DMC). It was agreed that due to the high profile of DMC in the sector and the approval of the new Red Kite policy (which was signed off by RRT in January 2023), the next scrutiny would be on this service area.
February: Chair elected
Members of the group were invited to put themselves forward for the role of Chair of RRT, and through this process it was agreed that Candida Dutiro would fulfil this role with immediate effect.
January: Damp, mould and condensation policy
The group were joined by Mark Haines (Director of Property) who presented the proposed damp, mould and condensation policy. Following open discussion and questioning RRT signed off on the policy.
January: New telephony system update
Ashley Porter (Relationship Team Leader) attended a meeting with the group to advise them on the upcoming changes to the current service provider for all of Red Kite’s contact centre. The group were invited to attend a testing workshop later in the year to highlight any potential snags/service improvements - the new telephony system should be in place later in the year.
RRT requested a meeting with our Compliance Manager to discuss the letters which are sent to tenants when their safety checks are due. The group used their direct experiences to raise concerns and influence a key improvement in the approach moving forward.
RRT are working closely with the ASB team to ensure relevant information is available in a digital and non-digital format.
On 19th October RRT reviewed the ASB content on the Red Kite website. On 2nd November, RRT reviewed the ASB policy and approved changes to the process, including adding references to our new Unacceptable Behaviour Policy and referencing the Community Trigger.
As one of the first Scrutiny actions, RRT reviewed the draft sheet prepared to ensure that all tenants receive information on how to reach Red Kite and how to give us feedback. The group considered quotes for printing and postage, and decided that tenants with email addresses would receive the information digitally and those without would receive a paper copy.
The Managing Director of Gilmartins joined our Head of Property in presenting a new system to improve communication for tenants receiving repairs. RRT were given a demo of the system to see how it worked in practice and to give their feedback. The group discussed the current methods of capturing satisfaction feedback from the tenant. Gilmartins took this feedback on board and gave assurances that moving forward the system would resolve this issue.
RRT discussed the frequency of board members attending their meetings and updated the RRT Terms of Reference to include the new approach.
RRT reviewed the questions proposed for an EDI survey for tenants and made changes to language used, to ensure questions are easy to understand.
RRT led and delivered Red Kite’s first formal scrutiny review. The team reviewed key performance data to chose an area to formally scrutinise. RRT members shadowed call centre staff to get a full overview of the service. The formal review brought 24 tenants together to identify and agree 10 recommendations to improve the customer experience when contacting Red Kite. Two RRT members have since attended a national Scrutiny conference.
RRT reviewed the storyboard for the Corporate Journey video report and requested additional detail be added. These changes were implemented and RRT viewed and approved of the video before it was published.
RRT met with staff to develop a new damp, mould and condensation process. RRT reviewed letters, kits and initial reporting surveys and requested an enhanced tenant focus. The staff team reported back to RRT with a ‘You said, we did’ report on the changes implemented.
The group reviewed the costs for external mentoring and felt that they would no longer require an external coach to attend meetings.
In early 2022, the group began to investigate what Red Kite could do to support tenants who could not afford to buy furniture or carpets. RRT members attended a webinar delivered by End Furniture Poverty, and a representative attended an RRT meeting to discuss the topic and options for collaboration.
By working closely with staff, RRT have changed the approach we take to ensure new tenants get the choice to accept carpets and other key items which have been left in the home. RRT have also helped to develop an enhanced partnership between Red Kite and local charities who can help to provide key items for tenants.
RRT decided to receive the Operational Performance Dashboard key performance indicators (KPIs) on a quarterly basis.
RRT were asked to review the options for Twenty11 following the conclusion of the two-year trial. The group vetoed one option and provided recommendations for the future of the project that were taken to Board.
RRT took a vote and approved the nomination of a new tenant board member.
RRT approved the final draft of the useful contacts sheet and composed a message to be sent out to tenants with the sheet. This was posted to tenants at the end of January 2022.
RRT had an idea to create a printed sheet with useful contacts for tenants, particularly those who were digitally excluded. RRT members formed a dedicated sub-group with staff to progress.
The group agreed for a tenant to become a co-optee of the PPP Board sub-committee but stipulated conditions, including duration and arrangements for sharing feedback to RRT.
The group were asked to review and approve a detailed document outlining the Red Kite approach to volunteering.
Following several discussions regarding the wording within the TOR, RRT approved the edits to the RRT TOR.
RRT were shown the current draft report and asked to give approval. Approval was given following agreed amendments.
The pack returned to RRT after the suggested amendments had been made to the document. RRT formally approved the final draft of the Volunteer Induction Pack.
RRT were shown the current draft of the enhanced induction pack and requested seven amendments be made before signing off the document.
RRT were asked to consider approving a proposed closure over the Christmas period. All RRT members agreed with this proposal.
RRT were shown the latest developments of the customer portal. The group requested adjustments to the logo and helped to shape the approach to marketing.
The group were informed of an intention to consider asking Red Kite members to vote on the introduction of payment for Board members, and asked to share their views.
RRT proactively requested a series of sessions with ASB colleagues internally to gain more insight into the steps Red Kite follows and the challenges faced when taking action.
RRT considered and advised staff on how they would like the RRT role to be presented in a newly developed induction pack for tenant volunteers,
RRT were asked to consider a temporary change to the way repairs slots were allocated to tenants. RRT did not feel this was the right approach and suggested an alternative.
RRT made key decisions regarding the Red Kite approach to pet ownership.
RRT agreed which policies were a priority for them to review and approve. The group also developed and agreed the final design of the 'Resident Reviewed' stamp to be used on documents reviewed by RRT.
If you're interested in joining RRT, take a look at our web page for more information.