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Residents meet top housing complaint handler

Residents across the East Midlands had the chance to hear from the Housing Ombudsman to raise awareness for its role in resolving complaints.
Option1_Richard Blakeway

Residents across the East Midlands had the chance to hear from the Housing Ombudsman for England, as part of an event to raise awareness of its role in the resolution of complaints against social landlords.

Emh and North West Leicestershire District Council teamed up to invite residents to meet the Housing Ombudsman for England, Richard Blakeway. More than 60 residents attending either in person or online, had the chance to ask Richard questions on all aspects of the Housing Ombudsman Service and how the organisation can help if anyone feels a complaint hasn’t been dealt with well.

Questions posed at the hybrid event, held at emh’s Coalville office and online, included how residents could influence policy, as well as what they can expect from a landlord on engagement and service delivery.

Chan Kataria OBE, Group Chief Executive emh, said: “The event provided a great opportunity for residents to understand more about the Ombudsman’s support. Of course, our aim is to deliver the best possible service and to continually improve how any complaints are handled, but it is important that residents know who is on hand to help if they are ever dissatisfied with our complaint response.

“We have recently reviewed our own approach to complaints to improve the speed and process for residents, and have increased our pool of involved residents to more than 1,600 to ensure direct influence on service design, service delivery and service improvement. The Meet the Ombudsman event added great insight into what matters most to residents, and we will build on that learning across the coming months.”

Allison Thomas, Chief Executive of North West Leicestershire District Council, said: “This was the first event nationally of its kind where a local authority and a housing association have hosted a joint Ombudsman visit, so it was good to see that partnership working well. We always try to provide the best possible service to our tenants, and with council and emh tenants represented, this was a really good learning event.”

All local authorities and registered social housing providers are required to be members of the Housing Ombudsman Scheme. The organisation is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities. It investigates complaints and resolves disputes involving the tenants and leaseholders of social landlords (housing associations and local authorities), as well as for voluntary members (private landlords and letting agents). Investigating these complaints is a free, independent and impartial service.

Find out more about the Housing Ombudsman by visiting their website: www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk

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