When we first came to Tāmaki we asked the community “what matters to you?” The response from many was housing.
So when an opportunity arose earlier this year to work with Tāmaki Housing Association (THA) we jumped at it. The aim was to consider ways to strengthen support for social housing tenants, beyond housing.
We spoke to tenants, tenancy managers and other support organisations, looked at how other housing associations were operating and identified the following insights:
THA Tenancy Managers play a significant role in supporting the wellbeing of tenants.
There is a lack of knowledge and understanding between organisations that work with tenants preventing effective working relationships, which often leads to crisis management (the point at which we all come together).
Some social housing providers (e.g. in the UK) have used the sign up stage of the tenancy agreement to creatively incentivise positive changes for tenants.
We took these insights and brainstormed solutions with the THA tenancy managers and the following ideas emerged:
“T” workers have a breadth of knowledge coupled with an area of expertise. This concept applies to Tenancy Managers as they are required to have a breadth of knowledge of the support services across Tāmaki in order to connect tenants to other support services. In addition, several Managers are developing specialist skills in areas such as budget management. This solution builds a skill mix that offers the right support to tenant at the right time.
Breaking down barriers
The purpose of this work stream is for THA to work with key organisation to increase awareness of the roles that each organisation plays and to develop an early intervention model. This will develop a more joined up experience of support for tenants.
It is important for THA to continuously improve and innovate as a social housing provider with the view to offering improved services and outcomes for tenants. The intention of this work stream is to trial and develop unique initiatives that enable THA to remain innovative and person-centred.