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by Tina Mistry, Aico
17 May 2021
Associate feature: Resident engagement for health and wellbeing

Associate feature: Resident engagement for health and wellbeing

As part of our drive to engage and empower the housing sector, Aico are supporting the growing movement of resident engagement and empowerment.

For social landlords, involving residents in the development, implementation and evaluation of home safety, health and wellbeing initiatives is crucial; resident buy-in is a key driver of success.

Consulting residents on proposed changes, in a transparent way, keeps them at the heart of delivery and makes them part of the journey.

Resident engagement is a powerful tool, and this collaborative approach leads to initiatives that residents value and have helped shape, provides long-lasting and sustained impact, and aids in building relationships and trust, all of which is vital for a much-needed culture shift in housing.

Energy Efficiency Standard for Social Housing post-2020 (EESSH2) is working towards developing the Scottish Housing Standard, which sets out the path for how Scotland’s homes and communities should look and feel in 2040.

As we proceed ahead from the previous Scottish Housing Quality Standard (SHQS), which incorporates the revised ‘Tolerable Standard’, to EESSH2, resident engagement and empowerment, for both homeowners and residents, is crucial to ensure the success of the new standards, and to guarantee that we collectively develop safer homes.

There are many considerations to take into account in the development of these standards to ensure that disparity does not occur as a result of the provisions of EESSH2.

With the Tolerable Standard, private homeowners had to incur the cost of purchasing and installing fire alarms, whereas Social Housing residents had their alarms installed by the Local Authorities and Housing Associations, so their perspective and approach towards alarm systems will vary.

Social Housing residents must be made aware of the importance of maintaining their alarms, and homeowners must be made aware of the importance of investing in fire safety devices to keep their homes safe.

This links to other key considerations, such as the terminology used in the industry and identifying what matters to residents.

It is vital to be inclusive and to cater to the needs of all types of resident. Ultimately, fire does not discriminate between tenure of property, and all residents need to be aware of the risk of fire, and what simple steps can be taken to mitigate that risk.

Here at Aico, we have formed a partnership with TPAS Scotland, and we will be collaborating with them to develop a resident’s forum.

This will need to consist of a diverse range of residents from all tenures from rural to urban, of various ages and ethnicities, and residing in various tenures of housing.

The forum will aim to explore what Scottish people feel that domestic safety actually means, and will seek to examine, through open conversation, whether the term ‘health and wellbeing’ is relatable in the context of indoor air quality, and how the efficiency of their homes could have the potential to improve their health and quality of life.

The forum will also focus on what steps can be taken to improve and monitor safety within their homes.

More information about the forum will be available in due course. In the meantime, if any MSP would like more information, or to be part of the discussion, we would be delighted to hear from you – Tina.Mistry@aico.co.uk or 07771 961255.

This article was sponsored by Aico.

Read the most recent article written by Tina Mistry, Aico - Associate Feature: A housing stock fit for the net-zero age

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