In August we asked tenants in our email newsletter their views on the Board and whether they’d be interested in joining.
Out of 1,323 emails sent, 68 people responded to the survey, which is a response rate of 5.1%.
Would you be interested in joining the Board?
If not, what puts you off joining?
When asked what puts them off joining the main reason given is that they are too busy, have health issues or are lacking in confidence.
|I don’t have the time, I am already a board member elsewhere and do other voluntary work|
|I am not the type of person who will speak her views I am a very shy person|
|Health and possible travelling.|
|I don’t often feel well enough to interact on a regular basis.|
|I work full time 42+ hours a week as a carer and a mother|
|Confidence, lack of knowledge to what goes into it.|
|The simple fact, is I am disabled, and suffer from a lot of Vertigo, so travelling is hard for me, otherwise I would be interested.|
|Don’t have time as I’m at university.|
|too busy with other things|
|Health reasons that’s all|
|Not knowing enough of what I would have to do or say plus not good speaking in front of peoole|
|Involved in other things ie volunteer for Mikeysline charity, member of Highland Bikers, who also do charitable runs|
|Nothing much just not interested thanks|
|I have an extremely busy life and just applied for to be a councillor in the 2022 elections. If successful this will allow me to ensure that my neighbouring tenants issues are addressed,|
What kind of information and updates do you think tenants should hear from our Board?
A wide range of responses was received for this question. A lot of answers related to planned maintenance and when work will be carried out to homes.
|Minutes of meetings, decisions, who is on the board|
|Everything to be honest it’s always good to keep the tenants up to date with everything|
|Regarding policies, how rent is decided, cost of maintenance etc|
|Plans to reduce energy bills by going more green|
|Anything at all that would affect a tenant or their tenancy.|
|When external and internal work will resume|
|If and when older houses are getting refits IE windows, doors heating system|
|Those wee surveys “should rent increase” the decision is ALWAYS already made I think they should be more open with everything|
|Repairs and dealing with complaints must surely take some sort of priority, but anti social behaviour is the problem here. That’s not from anyone in our block of flats, but is in Sluggan Drive, Aviemore.|
|A full range of options Full access to necessary information
Full endorsement of any significant changes.
The Right Stuff
The Right Stuff – Hearing the Tenants’ Voice
Acting on the listening
Feedback on Tenant influence in decision-making.
|Budgets and building improvements details of rent increases etc|
|Any updates concerning their own area, nothing that hasn’t an impact on them , information overload can stop interest.|
More up to date board minutes on website
Planned maintenance programmes
How services for tenants are procured which make up service charges
|We all as people love contact as opposed to being ignored. Giving information that relates to what Cairn Housing does to resolve more common difficulties will give clients clarity that they are being listened to. This will go a long, long way to removing stress and anxiety where clients feel they just get ignored or bullied into submission with no fair hearing,|
|New builds and where, rental information ie increases, be good if you included feedback from tenants – the good things, as always hear about bad never nice. Personally think you all do an amazing job x|
|Repairs, renovation projects, antisocial behaviour issues|
|more time in notice of any new procedures that affect residents. also more time spent on a face to face meeting in the respective lounges that are nominated for critical updates|
New Staff Members
|current updates about what Cairn are doing, how to keep housing costs down, and what the future developments. Schemes for transfers and to encourage good social behavior and a sense of community. Better ways for social tenants to be accepted and integrated into mixed housing schemes.|
|The up keep on the grounds work
Keeping the hallway clean due to covid.
|When we will have our heating system updated in line with other properties. all storage heaters need to be removed. outdated and dangerous and not cost efficient|
|Information pertaining to the daily living standards of the tenants of each individual court.|
|I think that the Board should make Tenants aware of some of the complaints received and how these were resolved. This would obviously be done with discretion.|
|Info on new bathrooms long overdue. A constructive approach to unsociable behaviour in Lochbrae CRT.|
|Everything that would affect them & their tenancy.|
|Any forthcoming repairs, refurbishments, changes to staff and maintenance.|
|Public works and development proposals in their immediate areas. Community events and social outreach as well, not necessarily from CHA.|
|Ones that effect then directly and not other courts|
|Accountability – positive and negative reviews from tenants. Programme of works (home improvements) including timescales. Environmental impacts and justification for rent increases. I’d also like to hear about future proofing homes if there are plans/discussions and cost implications.|
What ideas do you have for how the Board should listen to tenants views?
A lot of good ideas given my tenants on how the Board should listen to their views including visiting tenants in their developments or have tenants attend Board meetings from time to time. More face to face contact, not only with the Board but staff in general, appears to be welcomed by tenants.
|How about polls or surveys or even having a morning where tenants can phone and put their views across|
|It has been difficult of late due to Covid but there’s nothing like face to face meetings (some people are not on line) Periodic visits to Courts would be appreciated.|
|A regular email to give an option to ask if they have anything they wish to put to the board for consideration.|
|Don’t have any as think overall cairn does a good job|
|What about zoom meetings in the lounge area… As not everyone has a laptop|
|ACTUALLY LISTEN AND DONT JUST pretend|
|The board or housing association should visit the complex to get a personal view from residents|
|Listening isn’t the problem, most of the time. Getting prompt action is the big deal with tenants. Out of hours visits to the affected areas and homes would be good, where anti social behaviour is concerned.|
|Suggestion box tenant survey regarding any improvement|
|Perhaps tenants (those not on board) could apply to attend board meetings on an ad hoc basis and then write a small piece for the newsletter.|
|So far we as tenants we are told to go to our Coordinator. This is a great format of cognition as a rule. While humans, who do not appreciate the need for law and order of fair play! This online format has already proved somewhat positive as I have personally had a quick response with a hope for the future. I would recommend hi light this as an alternative for people who are easily intimidated. Also to have an ideas box to then share the input amongst tenants who then can vote what would be deemed a positive outcome for all in the process.|
|View more of sites , speak to tenants directly not just with letters or emails|
|more input for the tenants, its not enough to say we asked your opinion, then we voted and we made a decision. people become disengaged because it feels like the voice on the ground isn’t heard.
less surveys, and papers more face to face, door visits from time to time, or meet the Cairn team, and visit the estates offering a walk and talk. or use a local base and invite for a cuppa. not too formal but realistic. Gardening initiatives and common spaces for those who don’t have their own garden could be a meeting place.
or invite to a zoom..
|Monthly neighbourhood meetings or local housing officer be more available|
|I think everyone just wants to know that someone is listening to them and the necessary action taken if it’s a formal complaint. Having a substantial news letter allows for great feedback but it can’t be all good news. Perhaps more transparency is what is required.|
|A face to face meeting in the common room. Sooner rather than later.|
|More contact, more engagement in different and accessible ways to reach as many tenants as possible.|
|Perhaps a monthly survey to find out how happy/unhappy tenants may be with the services provided by Cairn. Also, ask for any suggestions that might help to improve things.|
|In my area, at least, many Cairn properties are some years old. Children’s play areas are becoming outmoded and often suffering fatigue. There is a desire for improvements and enhancements.
In any local authority area, there’ll be the sense that the LA cannot be reached for snags and repairs. A social housing provider which is seen as a useful advocate would be welcomed.
There also is a reduced sense of outreach and community engagement. Pre and certainly post-Covid, all corporate structures are wishing to demonstrate their social value.
|I think the board has a duty of care to listen to the views of tenants. By including tenants in some of the decisions it gives the tenant “ownership” of the process even if the outcome is not favourable. Every tenant should have a voice in discussions requiring a vote. Getting the community involved makes for a progressive board. Be open to suggestions and listen to what the tenants require in that part of the country.|
A huge thanks goes to tenants for taking the time to give us their thoughts on this topic. We are going to follow up with tenants who expressed an interest in joining the Board.
The Board are also going to take some time to reflect on what tenants have told them in this survey and how best they can incorporate these views into the work they do. We will report back soon on their thoughts.