Following months – in fact, years – of consultation, the impacts and recommendations from the Social Housing White Paper are finally beginning to come to light.
Long delays marred by the likes of EU-splits and global pandemics mean progress has been slow.
But earlier this year, the Regulator for Social Housing moved forward with one of the key areas of improvement defined in the White Paper: ‘To know how your landlord is performing’.
Whilst still in the early stages of consultation, the proposals are due to come into force during 2023, with ‘tenant satisfaction measures’ (TSMs) playing an essential role.
An outline of what TSMs mean from the Government website:
The tenant satisfaction measures would provide data about social housing landlords’ performance and the quality of their services to help tenants hold their landlord to account and help RSH in its future consumer regulation role.
So what do the TSMs mean for housing associations in England? In this article, we’ll take you through some of the most important areas for consideration and what to do next...
- ‘To know how your landlord is performing’
- What are the tenant satisfaction measures?
- TSMs measured by landlords directly
- TSMs measured by tenant perception surveys
- In summary
- Next steps for housing associations
‘To know how your landlord is performing’
Most housing associations will have developed a framework for capturing customer feedback. The customer voice has become pivotal for ongoing development and plays a vital role in digital transformation.
Whether it's things like on-site surveys and annual customer surveys to technical solutions like custom-built forums and Hotjar feedback analysis, there are various tactics and strategies in place, many of which we've worked with clients to develop.
Afterall, there’s no point creating solutions and services if they don’t serve the end user’s needs. And the only way to truly understand their needs and challenges is by directly asking them! Allowing you to make evidence-based decisions that generate better outcomes in the long run.
Some housing associations will be further ahead with this process than others, with size and budgets always playing a role.
In theory, the TSMs aim to bring consistency to what information social housing landlords gather as well as how they gather it. Additionally, the results of the TSMs will need to be made publicly available.
The TSMs will apply to all social housing landlords, including local authorities, housing associations and other registered social housing providers.
Image source: Gov.uk
What are the tenant satisfaction measures?
The Regulator is in the process of developing a set of metrics – the tenant satisfaction measures – that will be used to measure resident experience. These specific metrics will be what each housing organisation has to gather, document and share.
The TSMs will be based around the themes of the original green paper, an in-depth government review of failings across the housing sector. This looked at factors like building safety, neighbourhood management, anti-social behaviour measures and quality of homes.
At the time of writing, there are 22 proposed TSMs: 10 to be measured by the landlord internally and 12 to be captured directly from tenant perception surveys.
TSMs measured by landlords directly:
- Homes that do not meet the Decent Homes Standard
- Repairs completed within target timescale
- Gas safety checks
- Fire safety checks
- Asbestos safety checks
- Water safety checks
- Lift safety checks
- Anti-social behaviour cases relative to the size of the landlord
- Complaints relative to the size of the landlord
- Complaints responded to within Complaint Handling Code timescales
TSMs measured by tenant perception surveys:
- Overall satisfaction
- Satisfaction with repairs
- Satisfaction with time taken to complete most recent repair
- Satisfaction that the home is well maintained and safe to live in
- Satisfaction that the landlord listens to tenants’ views and acts upon them
- Satisfaction that the landlord keeps tenants informed about things that matter to them
- Agreement that the landlord treats tenants fairly and with respect
- Satisfaction that the landlord keeps communal areas clean, safe and well-maintained
- Satisfaction that the landlord makes a positive contribution to neighbourhoods
- Satisfaction with the landlord’s approach to handling of anti-social behaviour
- Satisfaction with the landlord’s approach to handling of complaints
- Tenant knowledge of how to make a complaint
These are considered to be the key performance indicators (KPIs) across the social housing sector. Housing organisations are expected to collate this data at least annually, though a more regular reporting basis is preferred. Once gathered, landlords then need to make these metrics available to the public in a standardised and consistent way via digital channels.
Image source: Envato elements
- The Housing Regulator is bringing in 22 tenant satisfaction measures (TSMs) from 2023
- All social housing landlords will be required to survey their residents with specific TSM questions/metrics
- All social housing landlords then have to publicly share the results/data 'via technology'
- It's currently in consultation period, with an announcement due in Summer 2022 as to what happens next
Next steps for housing associations…
With this being such a significant regulatory change, there is a proposed timeline of the TSMs coming into effect by April 2023. Housing landlords will be expected to start gathering this information from then onwards, with the view to submitting a year’s worth of data in 2024.
As the consultation period draws to a close in March, we’ll await the results and official decision on next steps from the Regulator in the coming months.
In the meantime, there’s a few things worth considering to get ahead and prepare for the changes...
- How do you currently gather customer feedback? What systems are you using and can more processes be automated?
- What kinds of questions are you asking? Will you need to change, cut back or adapt your current feedback strategy?
- How do you currently store this information?
- How will you present this information to residents going forward?
We’re already working with our clients in the social housing space to proactively answer these questions – including customer survey solutions and bespoke data dashboards.
So if you have any questions or concerns about these upcoming changes, we’d be happy to have a chat to see how we can help!