Opinion: Draft questions for the RSH’s Director of Consumer Standards | News

Opinion: Draft questions for the RSH’s Director of Consumer Standards

By Alistair McIntosh, HQN CEO.

We’d all love to be a fly on the wall when the RSH holds the interviews for this post. Who will get it?

Well, I for one wish the person that wins the contest all the best. Here are some of the questions I’d ask if I was doing the interview. Yes, there are too many, but there’s a lot of ground to cover. What would you ask?

  1. What lessons have you taken from the Grenfell Inquiry? How should housing change? What will you do to make sure that happens?
  2. How will you hear the tenant voice? What will you expect landlords to do to listen? What does good tenant engagement look like?
  3. How will you gather data on tenant satisfaction? What will you do with it? How will you react to social media criticism of landlords?
  4. How will you assure yourself that a landlord is keeping residents safe in their homes?
  5. What will you do about competing priorities? How will you deal with a provider that is lousy on customer service yet is financially strong and building many homes?
  6. How will you work with the Building Safety Regulator and Housing Ombudsman? Can you build an effective and united front?
  7. Satisfaction amongst shared owners is at rock bottom – why is this? The White Paper wants to see more shared owners. What are your plans to transform the reputation of shared ownership?
  8. How do you see co-regulation working? Who does what? What do you expect of landlords? What is your role? Where do tenants fit into the picture?
  9. How will you identify and share good practice in the sector? How would you improve staff training? What sort of qualifications do we need in housing?
  10. How will you make sure chief executives and chairs take service quality seriously? Should government funding be dependent on getting a good score from you?
  11. Tell us how you would use inspection as a way of boosting quality. What would an inspection look like? Who would do it? How would it vary by type of landlord? How will you know that inspections are making a difference?
  12. How would inspection differ from the way it was done in the past? Are there lessons from other sectors? Can new technology help?
  13. How would you assess the way in which a landlord balances the costs of a service versus its quality?
  14. Who do you want in your team? What are you looking for in staff that you will be recruiting to your arm of the RSH? How will you make sure they are in tune with all strands of residents?
  15. If we’re still in lockdown, how will you run inspections? You don’t get to see the whites of the eyes or the tell-tale signs of a poorly-run organisation – is what you see on Zoom the full story? How do you find out?
  16. How will you make sure your reports reach a wide audience?
  17. How will you know you’ve been a success three years from now?
  18. Lastly, we have been here before. How will make sure this regime sticks and doesn’t get ditched when the money runs out? (That might be sooner than you think when the Government tots up the costs of removing cladding, furlough and de-carbonisation.)