Feedback from the 2018 Tenant Satisfaction Survey indicated that some tenants wanted to know more about tenancy processes and service providers such as Tenancy Services and Mediation Services.
To accommodate this, Tenants Protection Association (TPA), Mediation Services and Tenancy Services were all approached for their input into information sessions tailored specifically to OCHT tenants.
The sessions were designed to provide information on:
- Tenant’s rights and obligations,
- What tenants must/must not do,
- What landlords must/must not do,
- Mediation – why have it, types of mediation and when to use it,
- Tenancy Tribunal – what it is, the processes involved, timeframes and expected outcomes, and
- Role of OCHT in supporting positive tenancies in our complexes.
The sessions were developed specifically with our tenants in mind and speakers used examples relevant to the environments of our tenants.
Four identical 2-hour sessions were provided Tuesday 15 October to Friday 18 October at various community centres around the city. Tenants were encouraged to register with OCHT prior to attending the sessions to provide an indicator of attendance numbers.
Community Centres were chosen for two reasons:
- To determine if tenants will travel to community locations rather than only the complex lounges
- Given the topic it was decided to provide neutral locations, (i.e. not at a complex community lounge) may make tenants feel more comfortable attending
|Tuesday 15 October, 10.30am||Fendalton Community Centre||22 in attendance|
|Wednesday 16 October, 1.00pm||St Martins Community Centre||14 in attendance|
|Thursday 17 October, 10.30am||Aranui/Wainoni Community Centre||8 in attendance|
|Friday 18 October, 1.00pm||Bishopdale Community Centre||19 in attendance|
Each session commenced with a welcome and outline of the session followed by presentations from TPA, Community Mediation Services, Tenancy Services and concluded with a presentation from OCHT and an open floor for questions.
Attendees at each session were encouraged to complete a feedback form to assist OCHT with determining if these sessions would be run again in the future.
The majority of tenants found the speakers to be very informative and knowledgeable in their fields. They appreciated the willingness of speakers to listen to all attendees and provide clarity when answering queries. The content of the presentations were relevant and appropriate to the audience.
Important points from these sessions were:
- Availability of a variety of tenant support, social services,
- The definition of mediation and in what cirucmstances this is an appropriate forum to use,
- The difference between each service,
- Rights as a tenant and who to contact for different services, and
- The relationships and areas of responsibilities between the various authorities.
Tenants were very supportive of meeting at community centres and would do this again in the future. Some indicated they preferred community centres over meeting at community lounges. Others who either live at, or near complexes with lounges preferred the lounges.
Tenants were also asked for suggestions on other topics for similar information sessions and came up with the following ideas:
- Health and well-being – district nurse or GP,
- Tenant to Housing Officer/Trust communications,
- Pets in social housing,
- Abuse within families,
- Addiction services,
- Social workers, community police,
- Preventing social isolation and code of conduct toward neighbours,
- Aged Concern services – where to from Tenancy – rest home,
- Canterbury Action on Disability Accessibility, and
- How community lounges can be used in complexes that have a lounge.
Some of these are already being addressed by OCHT and others will be considered for future information sessions.
OCHT has over 2000 tenants and while a total number of 63 tenants attending these sessions may appear small, the information gained by those who attended was very beneficial.
Presenters from each of the supporting organisations agreed these sessions were a good step forward toward to assisting our tenants to create positive tenancies.
OCHT will consider offering these sessions again to tenants in 2020.