Tenants launch scrutiny report about Grampian money advice and housing support services

A group of Grampian Housing Association tenants have launched the Association’s first tenant-led scrutiny report.

The volunteers investigated the tenancy sustainment services, SMART (money advice) and ASSIST (housing support) which are provided to tenants of Grampian, Castlehill and Langstane housing associations as well as Sanctuary Scotland.

Tenants launch scrutiny report about Grampian money advice and housing support services

Scrutiny volunteers (from left) Andy Duncan, Heather Croy and Frank Rymes at the report launch

The tenants have named their work ‘Delivering tenancy sustainment services that put the needs of the individual first’.

Following completion of the ‘Stepping Up to Scrutiny’ training, Katie Taylor, the Association’s participation lead, supported the group to review the promotion of the tenancy sustainment services, find out about the role of the tenancy sustainment worker and look at the referral process. As well as carrying out desk-top research, the tenants interviewed staff and considered anonymised case studies.

Frank Rymes, one of the scrutiny volunteers, said: “The group provided an opportunity where we could put our heads together and work on something meaningful and worthwhile.  The whole experience has helped make me more aware of the great work the tenancy sustainment services do supporting Grampian’s most vulnerable tenants and our work will help service users for the longer term.”

Chris Mathieson, the Association’s compliance, engagement and support lead, said: “I’m very grateful to the volunteers for their hard work and commitment to undertake this important task. Their involvement has ensured we have a jargon free report which tells the story of the process as well as making some exceptionally pertinent recommendations.

“We look forward to continuing to this work with the tenants and staff to respond to the recommendations contained in the report to help us ensure we are delivering the services tenants want and which make a difference to their lives.”

SMART and ASSIST have helped over 5,000 people and have achieved £8.5 million financial gain to date but it is the human story that resonates most with the work these services to improve confidence, self-esteem, quality of life and often health that helps determine the true value of what they do.

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