Hearing residents’ voices

The Listening Test developed by Campbell Tickell and TAROE Trust helps housing organisations listen effectively to their tenants and adjust their approach to resident engagement accordingly


Image: Istock

Jon Slade


Campbell Tickell

Darren Hartley


In several years’ time significant change is coming for asset management, housing management and resident engagement services. The Building Safety Bill and the Social Housing White Paper will bring about wide-ranging changes in the services delivered to residents, as well as changes to the management of the buildings in which residents live. The outline of many of the changes is known. The detail and the timings are not.

Running through the changes, like a message in a stick of rock, is the importance of what has become called the ‘Resident Voice’. We prefer ‘Resident Voices’, to reflect the plurality of views that always come forward.

Many organisations we speak to want to get stuck into their preparations in respect of Resident Voices, but are finding it difficult to decide what to do now to best prepare for the many outline requirements.

Best way forward

Exactly this challenge led to a conversation between Campbell Tickell and TAROE Trust, a leading charity that exists to influence housing policy and improve services for tenants and residents living within the regulated housing sector.

We discovered a huge amount of common ground and together have created the Listening Test, which can work out the best way forward for your resident engagement in these complex times.

TAROE Trust believes that residents living in the regulated housing sector have been overlooked for too long. TAROE Trust’s focus in developing the Listening Test has been on ensuring that the review asks the right questions and proposes solutions which can achieve meaningful change for residents by bringing their voices to the fore.

At Campbell Tickell, our long track record of working on these issues means we know the questions to ask to develop a rigorous and transparent evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of an organisation’s current approach. And we know what works and what doesn’t when developing change plans in housing organisations. We share TAROE Trust’s passion for enabling the voices of residents to achieve meaningful impacts.

The review evaluates data as well as speaking to residents and staff. In addition to evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of your current approach across your current communication channels, the Listening Test crucially also provides a qualitative evaluation of the impact of residents’ voices on your services and the value derived from resident engagement.

“We know what works and what doesn’t when developing change plans in housing organisations. We share TAROE Trust’s passion for enabling the voices of residents to achieve meaningful impacts.”

The Listening Test

The Listening Test will use this assessment of the current state of play to make recommendations for adjustments to your current approaches which:

  • Reflect the evolving landscape of statute and regulation, including building safety, consumer regulation, Housing Ombudsman and more generally
  • Demonstrate an understanding of your corporate intent (i.e. the type of landlord you want to be)
  • Propose a simple approach to hearing residents’ voices, covering formal and informal engagement, governance, scrutiny and data
  • Integrate digital engagement into your approach
  • Propose simple methods to ensure that residents’ voices are heard and that intended outcomes and impacts are identified and tracked

The Listening Test will leave an organisation with a clear understanding of how their resident engagement approach needs to change to meet the known requirements of upcoming legislation.

To find out more, get in touch with Jon Slade, Director at Campbell Tickell, or Darren Hartley, Chief Executive of TAROE Trust

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