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London's first resident-owned housing association under increased scrutiny

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London's first resident-owned housing association under increased scrutiny

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing

London's first resident-owned housing association under increased scrutiny London's first resident-owned housing association under increased scrutiny

Tenants and leaseholders at London’s first resident-owned social landlord have been given new powers to monitor services and recommend improvements through the creation of a new independent scrutiny panel.

The new panel has been set up by Lewisham social landlord Phoenix Community Housing to give residents further responsibility for scrutinising Phoenix's performance and activities. This will involve checking, monitoring and examining Phoenix’s performance, and the panel will make recommendations to the board, based on their findings.

The scrutiny panel will have a dedicated responsibility for scrutiny within the organisation and will build upon the work of established resident groups.

Phoenix was created in 2007 as London’s first resident-owned housing association, offering shareholding membership to all tenants and leaseholders at its 6,300 homes. Its chair and vice Chair are both tenants, and residents form the largest group on Phoenix’s Board.

Members of the new resident scrutiny panel joined together for an initial meeting earlier this month. The meeting was an opportunity for the five resident members to get to know one another, to identify their immediate priorities and to meet with chair Pat Fordham MBE, Phoenix chief executive Jim Ripley, and other senior staff.

Phoenix chief executive, Jim Ripley said: “Phoenix is owned and led by our residents so it goes without saying that resident involvement is at the absolute heart of what we do. We’re committed to involving our residents at every level of the organisation and this includes scrutiny. It’s important that our residents are able to recognise, and challenge us when we don’t get things right and help us to make improvements.“

Komi Noudoukou said: “I’ve been a resident for four years now and have seen first-hand the problems that some residents can face. I worked with my Gateway Local Advisor to improve things in my block and was impressed, so I wanted to get more involved.

“I believe residents need to work together with staff to make things better and I’m looking forward to making suggestions and improvements as part of the new scrutiny panel.”

The group will meet on a quarterly basis and will report their findings and recommendations to the board.

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