Older persons’ contact project reiterates “We’re here to help”
Published by SOHA for Soha Housing Ltd in Housing
Rental Income Manager Teresa Gowers sets out on the Older Person's Visiting Scheme
Soha Housing, the Oxfordshire housing association, has just completed a project to contact every one of its residents over 80. Letters were sent in advance offering this free service and calling cards were left on visits.
Apart from making sure that tenants were receiving a good service, Soha staff got out and about to check that older people were able to sustain their tenancy, managing to pay bills, and access help and local facilities when needed. “We found high satisfaction with our services, but that isolation and financial exclusion are a real worry for some of our older residents”, says Maureen Adams, Director of Customer Services and Operations at Soha. “We wanted to make residents aware not only what support was available but that they can contact us out of hours, order lifeline alarms and get advice on financial matters such as energy costs. I met many residents myself and was struck by the difference we can make as a good landlord . We are happy to visit any tenant over 80 who missed our visit and who would welcome our contact.”
The visiting campaign ran alongside a tenant-led inspection of sheltered housing and a postal survey for sheltered residents. The results showed that residents in Soha’s 24 sheltered schemes were happy with Soha as a landlord but wanted even more time with their scheme managers. A newsletter for sheltered schemes will be introduced as will a simpler comments, complaints and feedback form for older people.
The results of the project have given focus to Soha’s new Older Persons’ Strategy.