CiH Conscience Pricked?

I read the response of the CiH to my blog piece on the Guardian Housing Network Blog.  Wonderful to see they missed the point; again!  Almost too sad for words really.  

In case they really don’t get it and need it explained to them.  Your charter approach and your approach to charters are fundamentally flawed.  Its your system stupid!!

What a missed opportunity.  CiH might have actually done some real work, conducted research into what matters to actual tenants and then acted upon facts not opinions.  They could have done this by asking tens of thousands of tenants as well as spending time with some innovative housing providers; just for a change.

Instead their response was just full of the usual ‘blather’.  I will illustrate how with some extracts from their response to my views of their so called ‘charter’

The overall aim of the campaign is to challenge existing ways of delivering an effective repairs and maintenance service, which responds to tenants expectations through the development of a framework of practical advice to landlords, tenants and service providers.

Great, so how have you actually challenged anything CiH?  Will CiH make its research data and methodology available in hard or soft copy to interested parties?  Probably not, however I am going to ask them.  I will wait with interest. Nowhere does it state how it will engage directly with tens of thousands of real tenants.  

Our Responsive Repairs Charter is currently being drafted and finalised, and, as such, we are still open to input from interested parties. The charter is being created on a voluntary, sector-led basis to support housing providers to respond to the forthcoming changes in regulation and to maintain standards. It is being developed by the housing sector for the housing sector.  

Fascinating bit of management blather speak.  So CiH are finalising a piece of work but still want input from interested parties.  Forgive me, but there seems to be something wrong with this aspect of their research methodology.  How can you be finalising a charter if there might be other research out there.  Seems to be opinion sharing. Not very well thought out really, is it? If I get to see the research I will look with interest at that aspect.

Before work began on the Responsive Repairs Charter there was an open invitation for people to be involved, to which we had over 100 responses. This was great as it allowed us to create a steering and advisory group with a representative range of providers. These included those who deliver responsive repairs through Direct Labour Organisation’s and via external contractors and so we were able to gain feedback from both perspectives.

Be interesting to see who they were and were any of them tens of thousands of real tenants. I wonder what proportions of them were from contractors and IT providers?  You know, the usual pigs with their snouts in the social housing trough 

The groups also include representatives from tenant organisations, local authorities, ALMOs, housings associations, the NHF, the NHMF and consultants. The full list of group members is available to view on our website.

We also ran a survey, which was open to all through our website and an open invitation to take part was emailed to over 20,000 individuals across the sector. We are still completing the final draft of the charter so there is still time for you to have your say. We really want to hear from anyone who has feedback – this is a sector-led charter so please do get in touch – we welcome your input and our contact details are at the end of this comment.

Fascinating; so this is a Charter for opinion sharing.  NOWHERE does the CiH mention ANY field research being conducted through finding out what matters to thousands of tenants.  Did they survey 20,000 tenants?  No, but that might have been a REAL start.   

All of our charters are based on the following principles that help to promote the professionalism and knowledge of those who take part:

• Improvement: the principles of good service and its outcomes is prioritised over process and detail. No particular approach is advocated and it’s up to providers and their tenants to work out the “how to”

• Voluntary: they are not prescriptive – they are based on self assessment not compliance

• Sector-owned and sector-led: they are sector developed, owned and led – CIH will work with the housing sector to support and facilitate the development of good practice and share more widely what works

• Co-regulatory: they are based on the best principles of co-regulation – that is providers working together with tenants to deliver appropriate and representative services and to drive on-going service improvement

• Tenant focused and delivering value for money: they will help organisations focus on delivering a responsive repairs service tenants want and achieving value for money.

If you have any comments or questions, please get in touch with us directly through a dedicated email address

You can find out more about the Responsive Repairs Charter on our website –

And so we have the final bit of blather.  It seems the CiH never advocate anything other than the usual weak dull banalities trotted out by those bereft of ideas.  They get their salaries easily.  Perhaps they should continue to examine their consciences as well as their paycheques.

Disgusting waste of CiH members money, time and ultimately tenants money. 

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