Alex is a shared owner who has been actively engaged for over ten years. She particularly welcomes our renewed focus on involving residents in decisions about how we deliver services.
I set up my own company, Red Tree Study, in 2012. We send international students to universities in Colombia to take part in Summer courses and to learn about social issues there, such as peacebuilding, public health and urban transformation. It’s great because I get to visit Colombia every year and spend some time there – it’s a wonderful country!
I’ve lived in my flat for over ten years now, and I’ve really enjoyed it. Many of the families in our building have been there since it was completed, which is really nice. I’ve seen some of the children growing up over the years – they were so tiny when we moved in and now they’re in secondary school!
I’ve been involved with my local Resident Panel (formerly known as an Area Board) almost since I moved into my flat, which has been really useful – I’ve learned so much about the structure of the organisation and the different government policies on housing. It’s given me a real insight into the challenges that housing associations face.
It’s also taught me how important it is for residents to connect with the organisation. I have seen the changes that have taken place in the leadership of One Housing in the last couple of years – there’s a much bigger focus on resident engagement now, which makes it a particularly exciting time to get involved and help drive forward that momentum.
My company is far smaller than One Housing, but I have good commercial experience that I hope will help me when it comes to analysing and scrutinising the organisation – especially when we look at performance outcomes and customer satisfaction levels.
I think it’s key for the success of One Housing to have a clear understanding of how residents perceive it. There’s often a tendency to look at numbers, for example in customer satisfaction, but it’s so important – particularly in housing – to listen to what people are saying when they engage with the organisation. I hope to continue to hear residents' experiences, and to feed these back to other members of the board.