Kingston’s plans for a new housing service receive positive response from residents
Kingston Council’s ambitious plans for a new housing service have received a positive response from tenants and leaseholders.
Over 1,100 residents have been involved in the consultation and engagement between November 2017 and February 2018 on the proposed plans, which will help improve the service currently provided and meet the increasing demand for council housing.
The main focus areas of this plan, include an improved 24/7 digital offer for council tenants and leaseholders, targeted services for more vulnerable tenants, as well as shared understanding of what residents should expect from the council and what the council expects from residents. The council will still be the landlord under the new service, which is designed to make day-to-day interaction easier.
Tom Bremner, Housing Lead at Kingston Council, said:
“We are so pleased that so many tenants and leaseholders have taken part in the consultation and had their say on what works best for them. But unique to this consultation is that the staff were involved at an early stage and are now working alongside the tenants and leaseholders to ensure its success."
A resident from School Lane commented:
“It was exciting to see the work we have done with staff go through to committee. We have enjoyed being part of the collaborative work and we want a new housing service that is very user friendly, simple, and puts residents first. We will be part of the next stages with staff to make sure that the new service is effective and efficient for residents and meets all our needs, even those that don't like IT normally, like me."
The demand for social housing is increasing year on year. In the last year alone, over 2,500 households approached the council for help with housing and there were only 295 permanent social housing lettings in 2016/17. Improving the efficiency of housing services is just one of the ways that the council is seeking to reduce costs and direct funding into frontline services.
Along with the council’s ambitious plans to improve its housing service, it is looking to partner with a not for profit organisation which shares its values.