Resident Engagement – a focus on some of our Resident Engagement Groups
Barney/Butler Resident Engagement Group
The resident engagement group was formed in 2015 and since then has been a strong advocate for the residents in the unit block. They have worked to improve such things as general maintenance, signage, parking, lawns and grounds upkeep and lobbying council for better no parking areas out the front near the driveway.
The group meets every month and has developed a friendly and supportive bond with each other. They know that working together on a problem is much easier than managing on their own.
The group discusses a broad range of topics such as maintenance issues, reviews policies and makes suggestions for the improvement of the amenities for the unit complex.
Rockvale Road Resident Engagement Group
The group has been meeting every two months since 2015 to discuss any issues that may be affecting the unit complex, the common area garden and to review policies. The group has a BBQ lunch and a chat which helps promote a friendly and supportive environment for the residents of the unit complex.
Armidale Resident Engagement Group
The Armidale Resident Engagement Group has been running for about 18 months and meets every alternate month at the Armidale City Bowling Club.
Each meeting there is a full agenda with items of interest suggested by the tenants. Some of the agenda items have been upcoming community events, where to get free plants, free computers and discounted neutering for your pets.
This year there was a great variety of guest speakers including Meals on Wheels and OZ Harvest, Community Safety, Northern Lights on how to save energy and Integrated Living explaining the new My Aged Care system.
The Armidale Resident Engagement Group also reviews any of the new or updated Homes North’s policies that impact them. This feedback from tenants is extremely important to Homes North and is presented to the CEO or Board before final acceptance and implementation.
Each year a new Chairperson and Secretary are elected by the tenants to run the Armidale Resident Engagement Group and to organise the minutes and meetings.
Gunnedah Resident Engagement Group
In Gunnedah we have four core members for the Gunnedah Resident Engagement Group, with a number of other residents visiting the group from time to time.
One of the Gunnedah committee members is doing Cert IV in Community Services, while another takes a weekly group called “Emotions Anonymous”. Two of the Gunnedah tenants spent a number of hours calling and meeting with other tenants to encourage them to complete their Tenant Satisfaction Survey. This year the number of responses in Gunnedah nearly doubled!
The Gunnedah Group has reviewed a variety of Homes North policies and the Resident Engagement Officer (REO) has passed on their suggestions. Homes North was fortunate enough to gain two grants of $3,000 for Gunnedah and Tamworth to help stopping smoking and in Gunnedah there are 3 people who are on the program.
Homes North Gunnedah has accessed Food Rescue from Aldi and Woolworths and the REO is arranging for a tenant to come and help with the deliveries.
Tamworth Resident Engagement Group
Tamworth has more than nine residents who meet once a month at Cridenden Cottage. Tamworth Resident Engagement Group members have raised $1,000 to buy 5 meat trays and 2 fruit trays as lucky door prizes for the Residents Christmas Party. The committee is also involved in organising the whole Christmas event and have two Christmas puddings and two knee rugs from Uniting Knitting as more prizes on the day.
The committee also follows up with people who are unwell and encourages them to become involved in a range of activities including the popular knitting group. The committee president has organised more than 20 people into Uniting Knitting and they are knitting shawls, knee rugs and blankets. These are then given to Homes North residents in both Tamworth and Gunnedah.
This group has also reviewed some of Homes North’s policies and has instigated a new policy on Elder Abuse, is slowly putting a bag together regarding important DV information, and two members were sponsored by Homes North to attend the Federation of Housing Associations committee training.
Both Tamworth and Gunnedah groups were part of the important Tenant Satisfaction Survey for Homes North as Tenant Survey Champions, encouraging other residents to complete their surveys.
The annual garden competition is a hot agenda item for the Gunnedah and Tamworth groups with the aim to increase the number of entries again this year.
Both groups have said how they would like to work more with Homes North in whatever way they can.
Recently a tenant said, 'TPO’s are a face of Homes North that bring with them a personal and caring touch that doesn’t always involve business.'