#HousingDay – Connecting With Communities
To highlight Housing Week Apex’s Community Involvement Coordinator Rachael Power talks about how the organisation communicates with their communities.
Apex is committed to working in partnership with tenants and residents to improve communication and to encourage community development. Our Community Involvement Strategy – Shaping Your Community – outlines the importance of communicating with and consulting tenants on the decisions that affect them.
Communication is a vital aspect of community involvement and must be a two way conversation between us and tenants to enable effective partnership working to achieve our vision of creating vibrant communities.
Tenants regularly receive information from us through letters, estate newsletters, text messages and on the website. These are effective methods of ensuring that all tenants receive the information but not the most effective way of getting feedback and suggestions from tenants. Housing Officers therefore see every interaction with our tenants as an opportunity to consult with them as well as being an opportunity to promote community involvement.
Following on from the launch of our Menu of Options we have gathered important feedback from our tenants through a series of focus groups, our new Active Tenant Network and a mystery shopper exercise. This feedback has allowed us to change and develop certain practices to make them more effective for our tenants.
For example over the last year we have been able to support many of our tenants in organising different community events such as community fun days. As much as these events are organised primarily as fun activity, for us they are a great opportunity to speak to our tenants. We have been able to take away ideas and suggestions from our tenants which are recorded, considered and in some cases implemented. For example we are about to launch a new leaflet on Antisocial Behaviour which was designed in collaboration with our Active Tenant Network. The Active Tenants suggested that the leaflet should be easy to read and informal in tone, while still communicating the relevant information.
Going forward we will continue to offer a range of ways for tenants to communicate with us, especially in a more informal, face to face way.
If you would like to be more involved in your community please complete our ‘Have your say – get involved