David has been an SSHA customer since it was formed, in 1997. He is part of the scrutiny panel and was closely involved in its report into Property Plus services this summer.
“I decided to get involved with the scrutiny panel because I felt that housing associations have looked after me pretty well over the years. I’ve got some time now and I wanted to give something back.
“The first surprise, for me, was how open and accessible everyone is. When we work on a project like the Property Plus report this year, we ask for a lot of information and evidence. We met the people involved at every level, went out with the operatives and talked to other customers.
“I spent time with the grounds maintenance team. They were a fantastic bunch – at the end of the day, I wanted to work with them!
“Our report and recommendations go to the board. When something’s wrong or needs improving, we say so. We’re looking at areas of the service that are really important to us and I know that we are listened to. As customers, we can make a difference.
“This summer I attended a national tenant participation conference focusing on customer engagement, along with two other panel members. The overriding feeling that we came away with was how well our customer voice model works in Housing Plus Group. Other organisations were really impressed with what we achieve and how we do it.
“We’ve got a very good relationship with the board. They treat us as though we are part of the business and I suppose, in a way, we are.”