Care-innovators, Blackwood, announced the results of its in-house Charter Report for 2014, which highlights its growth in key areas such as tenancy duration, home maintenance and customer care response times.
Standout statistics from the report show substantial improvement in tenancy duration with 90% of new Blackwood tenants retaining their tenancy after a year of occupancy and an 89% satisfaction rating in maintenance services.
Blackwood has also proven its merit in customer care response times, with 91% of complaints answered on time.
In a unique move, the organisation developed its yearly Charter Report with the assistance and guidance of staff members and tenants – otherwise known as Team Blackwood.
Team Blackwood, made up of scrutiny panels in each region, took part in a variety of interactive sessions to find out what Blackwood tenants really think about the service they receive and to discuss ways in which it can be improved.
This allowed tenants to vocalise their thoughts and opinions on what they thought of Blackwood and what they would like to focus on in the report.
Fanchea Kelly, Chief Executive at Blackwood, is delighted with the results and contributions made to the report by tenants and staff.
Fanchea played a key role in steering Blackwood through the preparation process for the inaugural return of the Scottish Social Housing Charter, creating ‘Team Blackwood’ to help gauge customer feedback across the country.
She said: “I am very proud of how Blackwood’s tenants and staff have worked together to assess the first year’s performance against the Charter.
“This report has been shaped by Team Blackwood and by our tenants across the country through numerous surveys and events.
“I am pleased that the figures show there are many areas where Blackwood is performing well, including our repairs service, how quickly we let our homes, how we support people to live independently in their own homes, and our response times for complaints.”
Team Blackwood is also delighted with the report results – and strongly believes in the benefits of being involved in a scrutiny panel.
They said: “As members of Team Blackwood we all volunteered because we are passionate about working with staff to improve services – we have a clear role in ensuring that all services are truly customer focused.
“Being a Team Blackwood member has brought fun and friendship to us all, though it does have a serious side. We will continue to work hard to make sure all tenants’ views are heard.
“One area we are particularly pleased with is repairs. Blackwood has faster response times than many other landlords and is investing a lot to bring our homes up to standard and make them suitable for those of us with disabilities.”
Further testament for the benefits of Team Blackwood has come from tenant, Scott Robb who resides at the housing provider’s St Leonard’s Court development, in Ayr.
He said: “I joined the scrutiny panel in 2013, and it’s certainly been worthwhile – opening my eyes to the rules and regulations which make an organisation. It’s nice to see the procedures which take place behind the scenes.”
“Most of all, being a part of Team Blackwood has given me confidence as it’s been a great way to meet other people and other residents – to share stories, and to make new friends.”
Working in 29 of Scotland’s 32 local authorities, Blackwood is more widely dispersed than any other care or housing provider and has embraced the challenges of taking housing and care into innovative areas at a time when funding is increasingly limited.
With over 1600 homes throughout the country it is a leader in helping those who are disabled, elderly or living with sensory impairments live more independently.
Blackwood recently unveiled its tech-savvy new headquarters, located in Edinburgh’s Dundee Street.
The event was attended by notable figures such as Housing and Welfare Minister, Margaret Burgess – and members of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations.