ARK Housing Chief Executive, Bobby Duffy, explains how clear organisational values set the standard for enabling tenants to claim their housing rights.
ARK is described as a values-based organisation and this is correct. Our organisational Values are what guide our behaviours and expectations of the relationships we hold in ARK and this is true of our tenants’ relationship with ARK as their landlord.
Tenants’ rights are detailed in legislation and throughout the Regulatory Framework; this then shapes internal policies and procedures to ensure that landlords are working to ensure tenants’ rights are upheld through our own practice. The approaches we take and the relationships we build with our tenants’ is where our organisational Values are important.
ARK is currently reviewing the organisational Values and when we eventually agree our new Values they will be will be tested against our relationship with our tenants’. Are we delivering our Landlord responsibilities in keeping with our Values?
ARK’s Values guide and help us to deliver our vision of being an organisation where everyone is equal and they are true to the core purpose of the organisation and the services that we deliver. This means that whether you are a tenant who receives support from ARK or a tenant not in receipt of support, the Landlord service should be the same.
Our new Values will give clearer direction to our staff and we will review all policies and procedures to ensure they reflect the new Values. All decisions we take as a landlord will be guided from a Values perspective and we will ask our tenants about their experiences from a Values perspective; this has never been done before in ARK.
The main objectives for ARK are that we treat all tenants equally; they receive the same high quality service; we provide the best possible quality of environment; we provide value for money and we will strive to help tenants to achieve their housing aspirations. The organisational Values will be instrumental in how our teams will work to achieve these objectives.
We are currently finalising what our new Values will be and we are certain they can be equally applied by staff in all parts of our business no matter what role they hold; this will help build a culture of transparency and accountability and in turn build trust in ARK as a landlord that we will deliver our responsibilities and uphold the rights and wishes of our tenants.
Simply having policies and procedures to follow is not enough to enable tenants to claim their housing rights; how we apply the policies and procedures and how tenants feel valued by ARK as a Landlord is just as important. We are at the beginning of a journey that will see Ark focusing on improving the quality of our properties and the Landlord service we provide; we will improve tenants` satisfaction and deliver value for money; subsequently we will establish ARK as a high quality housing provider and tenants will be clear that their housing rights are being met.