TIS to develop toolkit aimed to support restart of engagement and participation activities

TIS to develop toolkit aimed to support restart of engagement and participation activities

The Tenants Information Service (TIS) has published a guide summarising findings from a tenant study aimed at supporting housing organisations to deliver fit-for-purpose, strategic plans for long-term digital engagement.

With coronavirus restrictions significantly changing the way housing organisations, tenant, resident, and community groups operate, TIS said traditional methods to engage and participate are now limited and have resulted in a great demand for online support and digital guidance to ensure the meet the needs of diverse and flourishing communities are met.

The latest TIS study sits in harmony with direction published in the Social Housing Resilience Group’s Guide to Restarting Services resource which covers the resumption of services delivered to tenants in their homes.

To capture data, TIS circulated an online survey to its members and encouraged any tenant within the social rented sector to complete and share. Respondents were equally split between local authority and registered social landlords - and additionally 50% of local authority regions were represented across all responses. Furthermore, a focus group of tenant representatives were invited to take part in an online video call to record their views and explore issues in greater detail.

The findings suggest a very definite appetite for increased digital engagement. Tenant, resident, and community groups are keen to lead the way, and embrace new technologies to drive participation forward. Positively, study participants recognise a unique opportunity to maximise reach, overcome barriers, and tackle isolation.

Committed to supporting housing organisations and tenants across Scotland to work together, TIS has supported more than 250 tenants to connect online and work towards the restart of effective housing, community development, and engagement practices.

Ilene Campbell, TIS chief executive, said: “Undertaken between April – June 2020 tenants have connected within friendly environments, facilitated by TIS, to keep in touch, develop digital skills, test unfamiliar technology, and encourage peer-to-peer learning.

“We are currently developing a comprehensive toolkit, aimed to support housing organisations, tenant, resident, and community groups restart engagement and participation activities.”

The guidance will support varied levels of digital skill-set and will include:

  • A roadmap to restarting communication;
  • How to identify, encourage, and deliver peer-to-peer learning;
  • How to keep individuals who can’t access digital resources up-to-date and have their say;
  • Methods to notify tenants of changes in service delivery;
  • Virtual meeting checklists;
  • Templates to record key items of data; and
  • Foundation skills guidance.

The toolkit will be available to TIS members shortly at www.tis.org.uk.

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