Wates Living Space has achieved the Tpas (Tenant Participatory Advisory Service) Contractor Accreditation for a further three years, with the social housing maintenance provider becoming the first organisation to achieve a 100% score under the new criteria for 2018.
Tpas, the organisation specialising in tenant engagement, praised Wates’ ‘good work’ with tenants, saying it hoped it would inspire others in the sector to improve their own standards of customer engagement and care.
Wates provides planned and responsive maintenance services to local authorities and housing associations across the UK, maintaining over 500,000 homes nationwide every year. Pictured above from left to right are Annette Horner (WLS), Jean Fletcher (WLS), David Morgan (WLS), Jenny Osbourne (TPAS), Glen Currie (WLS) and Rowenna Valintine (WLS).
The contractor accreditation framework is an assessment of standards across six themes, including the support of community initiatives and how customer engagement is embedded across operations. The assessment process involved interviews with clients as well as visits to projects managed by Wates, including Birmingham City Council and the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea.
During this process Tpas commended Wates on a number of good practice initiatives, including:
- Providing awareness courses for residents on modern slavery, human trafficking and loan sharking, to help them identify potential victims or perpetrators in their community.
- Converting an empty house in Birmingham to a training site, with scenarios simulated to help staff to become more aware of what issues to look out for among challenging or vulnerable residents.
- The use of partnership working to ensure strong relationships are developed and maintained, such as including the Tenant Involvement Working Group at Tamworth Borough Council in procurement processes.
- Wates’ comprehensive end of year social accounts detailing evidence of stakeholder engagement, community benefit outcomes and highlighting the positive impact projects have on the wider community.
- Following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower, the Wates team at nearby Trellick Tower in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea consulted with residents to ensure they were confident about the service being delivered and answered any queries they may have.
- Tailoring the service provided depending on the resident profile, including providing information in formats and languages befitting the diversity of any particular community. This included training staff in sign language and braille and the employment of a Bangladeshi officer to effectively liaise with the Bangladesh community.
David Morgan, Managing Director, Wates Living Space, said: “I am hugely proud, but not surprised by the verdict delivered by Tpas on our relations with tenants across the country. Our resident liaison officers are trained to work within diverse communities, ensuring that all residents have confidence in the service being provided to them. Our job is to make things easier for tenants to enjoy their day-to-day lives, and we look forward to continuing to improve the service we offer while delivering a maintenance service that is among the best in the country.”
A spokesperson for Tpas added: “Wates Living Space has once again demonstrated, beyond question, that it delivers quality customer care and resident involvement on its social housing contracts. It is hoped that Wates will allow Tpas to showcase its good practice over the coming months to other operators in the sector. This is both to acknowledge Wates’ good work, and to hopefully improve the performance of customer engagement and care across the industry.”