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The Housing Ombudsman has recruited members to its new Resident Panel to provide input and feedback as the service develops.
Initially planned to have 100 members, the level of interest was so high that the Ombudsman has set up a pool of 600 members who will be able to take part in a range of activities.
There will be two full meetings a year focused on key areas of work such as the Ombudsman’s corporate plan and business plan together with special interest discussions on awareness raising, service development and learning at smaller meetings. Members will also be asked for their views through surveys and questionnaires.
The Panel membership represents all nine regions of England, with a strong presence from across the country, and the various types of landlord. The wide age range, from 16-24 years old to over 65, and gender split in the membership map strongly with social housing demographics.
Richard Blakeway, Housing Ombudsman, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to appoint our first Resident Panel after an overwhelming response from residents. The panel will provide valuable insight and feedback on our plans to grow and develop the Ombudsman, alongside our extensive engagement with landlords.
“This a crucial year as we will be publishing our next three-year plan in the summer. By increasing the scale of the Resident Panel we will be able to hear a much stronger resident voice within these plans, together with developing our approach to promoting awareness and learning from complaints.”
The new Resident Panel is part of the Housing Ombudsman’s overall aim to be open and accessible, and to engage widely with both residents and landlords to share knowledge and learning.
Two induction meetings will be held in April for all members of the Panel who have been appointed for three years. Further information on the membership is on the Residents Panel page of the Ombudsman’s website.