A couple of weeks ago my wife and I invited our friends and family to a momentous occasion at our local church as we made the decision to have our 22 month old daughter christened. In the week that led to it I was asked to attend a pre-christening meeting with the other parents and godparents and we talked about what baptism meant to us and why others make the decision to welcome their children into the church.
Now don’t worry, I’m not writing this to convince you to join with me in my religious beliefs but instead to think about something that we discussed that evening about our children:
“What are you going to do to support them on this journey you have put them on?”
This may not be exactly what was said but it was something along these lines. In social housing we must ask this same question of ourselves. What else do we do aside from handing over the key to the front door?
Here at Bromford our Housing Managers are geared up for trialling the use of iPads, Connect has launched, Home Rewards Club is in full swing, Bromford Deal is underway, social media is being championed and our new interactive website is on its way, all of which we feel will enrich the relationships we have with our customers. Not only this but we also feel we are creating a raft of opportunities and choice for our customers who have a greater say in how their tenancy is run and can make decisions on how they wish to contribute to their community or enrich their employment prospects. This really is all about our customers and supporting them long after they’ve put the key into the door of their new home.
Behind our bricks and mortar there really is so much more on offer and our mission statement of “creating home and communities where people really want to stay” has never rang more true.
As I conclude, I ask you to think about your approach to social housing and perhaps think a little differently about your ‘bricks and mortar’ – what if the bricks were your customers and the mortar your colleagues? For me these are the true foundations of social housing.
I give reference to a fab blog by my colleague Paul Taylor – please read it – it makes you think about what we do in Housing and what others perceptions of us are.