5 February 2019

Samia Badani talks us though how we can take our relationship with residents to a new level

Fifteen years in the housing sector has taught me that we don’t talk enough about the relationship between residents and housing providers. We excel at measuring outcomes and showing value for money, but we’re less confident when it comes to measuring customer satisfaction and understanding how our residents feel and what they expect from us.

Bureaucracy in small doses isn’t a bad thing, but we mustn’t lose sight of what matters most: making a difference to residents’ lives, providing them with a service they deserve, and creating places where they can live well and feel safe.

It’s time to take the relationship between housing providers and residents to a new level, and commit to a shift in power where residents are truly at the centre of the decision-making process. This means moving from working for residents to working with residents, from deciding for residents to making decisions together, from allowing residents to shape services to designing them together. Let’s be a bit more adventurous in the way we engage with residents: change the way we communicate, talk more about participation, and build the capacity of residents’ associations.

You can shape the future of social housing with your residents, but it’ll mean thinking in new ways. You can do this by working with your residents to co-design an inclusive and responsive model of housing management, based on proximity and local representation. It’s essential to give a voice to all residents from across tenures, and to truly involve all residents in developing the services that meet their needs.

There are already great examples of this happening across the sector, such as the inspiring resident-led new model of services we developed with support from Peabody Housing, which has earned its own AAA rating. Investing in your people and your residents delivers tangible outcomes – if we’ve done it, so can you.

We’ll continue the conversation at the Customer Experience in Housing Conference and Exhibition, where you’ll find out more about how to take your relationship with your residents a step further.

Samia will be speaking at the panel discussion Great expectations: building better relationships. View the full event agenda.

Samia Badani is the chair of Bramley House Tenants and Residents Association and co-chair of the Notting Dale Residents Advisory Board.

Samia Badani talks us though how we can take our relationship with residents to a new level

Samia Badani is a public and social policy consultant. She has lived in the Notting Dale area of North Kensington for over 17 years, and she’s currently the chair of Bramley House Tenants And Residents Association and co-chairs the Notting Dale Residents Advisory Board. She also sits on the Shelter Commission.

Time to tie the knot