Our Building Better Futures strategy is the result of our largest consultation exercise to date, reflecting the voices of over 2000 people.
We are pleased to report that almost 900 customers took part. You can see the full results here.
As this is a three-year strategy, some of the changes we plan to make may not have an immediate impact. In the meantime, here's what we are working on:
You said: Accent should focus on its core services (rent/service charge collection, repairs and estate management).
We did: We know that our repairs and maintenance service has fallen short of customer expectations in some areas. Over the next three years, we will make it our priority to ensure our repairs and maintenance service consistently meets the high standard customers have the right to expect. This will involve:
- Understanding where working with local contractors would deliver a more flexible repairs service.
- Managing our relationships with contractors more effectively.
You said: Accent should partner with local support services to help customers with other aspects of their lives.
We did: We value the skills and expertise of local support services and recognise that they are often better-equipped to support customers with certain needs. We will support activities that enhance our customers’ lives, but we will ensure our focus remains on delivering a great housing service.
You said: You would be happy to engage with Accent online, provided you receive the same level of service (or a better level of service). Accent should support customers to get online as it is mutually beneficial.
We did: We will continue to invest in digital technology to enable efficient customer transactions and collaboration between staff and/or contractors.
We will support our customers to combat digital inequality and show the opportunities being connected online brings.
You said: You would be happy for Accent staff to work flexibly, as sometimes this is more convenient for you as well.
We did: Our staff have been working largely from home for more than 12 months and have demonstrated that they are able to work flexibly, from anywhere.
We will use technology to automate manual processing tasks so that our staff have as much time as possible to answer queries and respond promptly.
You said: Accent should be doing more to help the environment.
We did: By working at home, our staff have already helped Accent to reduce its carbon footprint – but we realise we need to do more.
We will look again at the energy efficiency of our homes and invest in them where we can. We will take decisive action to deal with homes which are not sustainable, which might involve replacing them with new homes.
We will combat the increasing levels of fuel poverty preventing people living comfortably and affordably in their homes. This might involve changing the type of heating or fuel source for some homes.
You said: Accent needs to listen more to customers’ views and act upon them
We did: Our new online forum, ‘Your Voice’, will be launched very soon offering customers:
- Quicker responses to their comments, ideas and suggestions
- The opportunity to compare experiences with other customers across the country
- The opportunity to interact with staff through ‘live’ discussions
We will increase opportunities for customers to meaningfully influence service delivery at a ‘grass roots’ level. This will involve:
- Customer involvement in specification design and contract procurement
- Developing local offers and estate improvement plans in collaboration with customers