One of the region’s leading landlords has become the first in north east to give a panel of tenants a formal role in shaping the future direction of the organisation.
believe housing has opened itself up to scrutiny and engagement from a group of customers with direct input into the group’s board and operations committee. The panel, known as the Voice of the Customer And Leaseholders, or VOCAL for short, has drawn together customers from the group’s properties right across County Durham.
Chosen after an extensive eight week recruitment process among customers, the panel includes tenants with a wide range of skills.
They will have input at a high level and are expected to work closely with believe housing’s board and senior officers to ensure that customers’ needs are always considered when decisions about the direction of the group and the services offered are being made.
The panel will be responsive and geared up to look at any issues members feel they can have a useful input into. It already has plans to look into how the group achieves value for money and how it engages with the communities it works in.
believe housing Community Investment Manager, Rachel Edmunds, said: “We wanted to create a new way of really involving our customers in shaping the future of the organisation; VOCAL will do just that. The panel has a wide range of skills and talents and will be able to use them for the benefit of all of our customers and for the organisation.
“Bringing customers into the centre of the organisation in such a way is, we believe, a first for any housing association in the north east. We want to move beyond simple feedback and really make full use of the insight our customers have to make the organisation better and more adaptable to their needs.”