Have your say

Find out how we’re listening to the views of customers and what we’re doing to act on them.

Listening to you

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We’re often asked how we’re listening to the views of customers and acting on them.

So, each month, we’re speaking to our teams and asking: “how have you listened to customers and acted on their feedback?”

Then each month, we’ll publish our top 5 actions that have resulted directly from feedback, either from an individual or group of customers.

Check out the latest actions below and, in time, we’ll build up an archive so you can see everything we’ve done to react to customer feedback over time.

Latest update – May 2024

Wi-Fi boost in Care & Support schemes
Customers in our Care & Support schemes have raised concerns that Wi-Fi services were poor. In response, we’ve now installed upgraded Wi-Fi in more than 170 of our schemes to support customers to gain easier access to digital services.

Acting on reports of a slippery walkway
A range of Riverside recently met with customersslippery walkway for a regular building safety catch-up meeting at Ladies Walk in Workington. Whilst there, customers reported concerns about the walkway which had become slippery and mossy. Acting on what they’d heard, the team raised this issue in a meeting with senior managers and persuaded them to fund a jet wash to make the walkway safe again. This has now been complete, and customers can feel safe in their homes. For more information on building safety, visit www.riverside.org.uk/safety-support 

Protecting customers from a nuisance neighbour
Residents on a street in the North West were reporting a variety of serious crimes and problems were taking place at one particular property. We worked with those customers and the police to gather the evidence needed to pursue legal action and secure a closure order on the problem prope

rty. We made extensive efforts to work with the occupant of the problem property but to no avail. The closure order will now mean the occupant will have to leave and will also be subject to further police action in relation to the criminality. Meanwhile, the victims will soon be able to feel safe again in their home. For more information on Anti-Social Behaviour, please visit www.riverside.org.uk/asb

Bin

A new green approach for a Sefton community
In October 2022, we carried out customer surveying to create a new neighbourhood plan for the Peel Road area of Sefton. During those conversations, we were told there were problems with rats, rubbish, and fly-tipping in a specific area of the neighbourhood near Poets Park. We secured £10,000 from the Riverside Community Fund and worked with Regenerus, a social enterprise, to carry out a consultation with customers and created new green-roofed bin shelters which are now being rolled out across seven further streets.

Doing more to communicate your rights
Tenants’ rights are hugely important and we have a clear legal duty to let you know what your rights are and what our obligations are. Following conversations with RCVE, we have created two new sections on our website to set out, in more detail, exactly what those rights and obligations are and how you can find information about them. Visit Your Rights – Riverside and Our Obligations – Riverside

 

Here is an archive of our recent actions:

Making it easier than ever to “Have your say” – Customers told us it was difficult to navigate to and around the “Have your say” section of our website. So, we’ve totally refreshed the site, giving you three easy categories to choose from – Online, Local or National – showcasing all the ways you can become more involved and have your say on our services. Customers helped to design the new site too, you can visit it here.

Improving our complaints responses to you – We had feedback from our new customer complaint panel members that wording of our complaint response letters was not always as good as it could be. So, we’ve commissioned training for all our new complaints team on effective letter writing. For more information on complaints, click here.

Improving ASB services – Last year, our Riverside Customer Voice Scrutiny Panel carried out an investigation into our Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB) services which was designed to help us improve. As a result, this month we’ve started a programme of additional training for all our frontline housing teams on dealing with ASB complaints. To read more about our ASB services, click here.

More community events in Halton – In our consultation with customers on the neighbourhood plan for Murdishaw in Halton, customers said they wanted to see more community events in the area. So, together with Onward Homes who also own a lot of homes in the area, we supported a local Community Investment Company (CIC) with £30K of funding from our Community Fund to open the Tea Tree Café which has become a hub for a range of events. You read more about this initiative here.

Acting on your feedback in the rent and service charges consultation – As part of our rent and service charge consultation in November, several customers said that they wanted earlier notice of changes to rent and service charges. Others said they found the Annual Variation Notice (the letter you get providing your bill) confusing. As a result, we are now sending a leaflet to all customers to explain our Annual Variation Notice that arrives in mid-February and pre-warn customers of the changes they can expect and explain more about our letter, you can view a copy of the letter here. To read more about payments rent and services charges click here.

New dedicated website section for homeowners – Home ownership customers told us that our website was difficult to navigate and didn’t work for them. So, we’ve built a new dedicated website section for homeowners at www.riverside.org.uk/homeowners, completely reviewing the content and creating a new contact page specifically for home ownership customers. This has been very well used so far.

New video updates on neighbourhood plans – Every year we carry out an annual review of our neighbourhood plans. The plans we put together in partnership with customers help drive improvements in your area. This year, to deliver a more effective and creative way of explaining our progress on the plans to you, our team have been creating a series of videos to let you know exactly what we’ve been doing in your area and what we’re working on now. The first of those videos went out to customers in Margate and Murdishaw in February and we’ll be producing video updates for customers in Colshaw Farm, Morton and Raffles in March and April.

Anti-social behaviour customer scrutiny proves a success – In 2023, the Riverside Customer Voice Executive published the findings of a customer-led Scrutiny Panel investigation into how we handle cases of anti-social behaviour (ASB), hate crime and domestic abuse. The customers recommended we put in place a new case management system and additional training for front line workers. The case management system was implemented in May 2023 and training sessions are now underway. This led to an increase of 2.5% in customer satisfaction with the handling of ASB cases in January 2024. To report ASB, hate crime or domestic abuse, visit www.riverside.org.uk/asb

Oval Centre activities expansion to reduce waste and save customers money – When putting together the neighbourhood plan for Salterbeck, customers told us they wanted more activities at The Oval Centre, their local community centre. So, we’ve supported several projects and events, the latest of which was suggested by a customer. This was a paint pot sharing and upcycling project which is led by a local volunteer and collects partially used paint pots and unwanted furniture. These are then made available to the community for use in their homes. We contributed funding to support the project through our Riverside Sustainability Fund and provided the space in the building for free.

Increasing consultation to ensure all voices are heard – In a survey carried out with our iCommunity, customers said they wanted to have a say on policy and strategy for an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) perspective. So, we have established a nationwide EDI panel. They will now meet regularly as a group or individually with members of the Riverside team to review policies and provide feedback. When reviewing our ASB Policy they highlighted the need for us to record every incident of hate crime so we could asses any patterns and trends and act accordingly and we’ve now put this in place. To join our EDI customer panel go to Get involved.

Community clean-up days – When we consulted customers on our neighbourhood plans for Picton in Liverpool and Huyton in Knowsley, many people said they were concerned about litter, fly-tipping and pests. So, thanks to some funding from our Riverside Foundation Community Fund, we arranged two community action days at Cinema Drive in Wavertree and Logwood Road in Huyton. A range of people from different Riverside teams and other organisations came to help, collecting rubbish and bringing seven skips with them to collect the mess. Both areas are looking much better as you can see! 

photo of community cleaning up litter

Better building safety information – Customers living in shared blocks like high-rise flats told us they wanted better, clearer information on how to stay safe. So, we’ve introduced posters or, in some cases, digital boards, in our buildings to enhance visibility of this type of information. This all came about through our Residents Building Safety Group which ensures customers have their say on fire safety and other building safety issues. These new measures also ensure we’re complying with the enhanced building safety laws that came into force in the past year. For information about Building Safety click here.

Ensuring our customers feel safe in their homes and communities – A customer in one of our care and support properties in Merseyside told us they were experiencing anti-social behaviour from their neighbour who was a non-Riverside customer. They told us the neighbour was taking drugs and there was violent criminal behaviour taking place outside the property which left them scared. We worked with Merseyside Police and Wirral Council anti-social behaviour team and Wirral Council have now obtained a closure order on the neighbours’ property, forcing them to move out. To report ASB, click here.

A better service for Home Ownership customers – In response to feedback from Home Ownership customers, we have been working to increase the knowledge of home ownership within our Customer Service Centre.  We have updated training materials for new starters and are running regular dedicated home ownership training sessions with both new starters and existing colleagues. This is helping to ensure that enquiry handlers are ready to answer homeowner queries more effectively and has resulted in an increase in customer satisfaction. Homeowners can click here to contact us.

Updating you on our integration process – As part of our customer consultation on the integration of Riverside and One Housing Group, we have involved customers every step of the way. We setup a Task and Finish Group to ensure customers were represented in key decisions and one of the things they asked for was that we send an annual update to all customers on progress. We’ve also just written to all engaged customers to ask them to have their say on a new Customer Involvement Framework for the integrated organisation.

Local newsletters in response to your feedback

One recurring theme in all of our customer feedback is that you, our customers, want to know what we’re doing in your area. So, as well as publishing a Neighbourhood Plan, we’re also starting to produce new, local newsletters. Created by your housing team for you, they will set out how they’re tackling key local issues, promote the dates of advice surgeries and estate walkabouts and local events. Look out for your local newsletter soon. You can find out more about what we’re doing in your area by clicking here.

Tackling racism in communities

A family of Muslim customers in the North East experienced a sustained campaign of racial abuse from a neighbour. Some instances of this were caught on CCTV and, when things came to a head, an assault took place. Following a year-long investigation, the neighbour was convicted of assault and racially aggravated harassment. We applied for and were granted a mandatory possession order for the property. The victim said they were very pleased with the outcome and was looking forward to a time in the future where his son can feel safe to play in his garden. To report ASB, please click here.

Environmental day in Leicester

Customer and staff on the Beaumanor estate in Leicester said the area would benefit from more greenery and a general tidy up. So, we held an Environmental Day, with Riverside team members and contractors – Tivoli, Clean Green Services, VMS and Unit Clean – all getting involved along with the Leicestershire and Rutland Wildlife Trust. They planted trees, hedges, shrubs and bulbs along with the wildflower meadow beds and customers were really happy with the outcome.

group of people outside for environmental day in Leicester.Supporting foster carers

Our Riverside Customer Voice Executive and our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion customer panel recently reviewed our Lettings Policy. One thing they fed back was that our policy did not make it clear that we would support foster carers by giving them a property with an extra bedroom for the child or children in their care. We’ve tweaked our policy to reflect their feedback and will work with councils to make sure we’re supporting foster carers to create great environments for looked after children. To view our policies, click here.

New video update on neighbourhood plan

As we told you in February, we introduced a new and more creative way to update you on the progress of our Neighbourhood Plans. We sent a video update to customers in Salterbeck this month to explain how their plan is progressing and there are four more videos due to go out to other areas in May. You can find out more about what we’re doing in your area by clicking here.