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Spotlight Blogspot November 2022



Disclaimer-This is the independent Spotlight view. It does not necessarily represent the views of Origin management

Hello and thanks for dropping into our monthly Spotlight blogspot. In case you haven’t visited us before, Spotlight is Origin’s residents’ scrutiny group, and this blog is written by Spotlight’s resident members.

I’m Kirsten, I’ve been an Origin resident for four and a bit years and have been a member of Spotlight for almost as long. I felt it was important for residents to have a voice about what happens to their homes, and, at the time, that wasn’t always the case.

Things have improved since then – a bit – and the housing crisis has meant that the government has been forced to do something about the uneven relationship between landlords and tenants, or ‘housing providers’ and ‘residents’ as I prefer to say.

So, earlier this year, new legislation was put on the table, telling housing providers that they now must work with residents when making decisions about their homes, or else the Housing Ombudsman will be on the phone.
The Housing Ombudsman is a really useful service, actually. If you make a complaint to your Housing Association and you don’t think their response is fair and reasonable, you can pick up the phone and dial 0300 111 3000 or hit your keyboard and get in touch with the Service directly yourself here: https://www.housing-ombudsman.org.uk/ or here: info@housing-ombudsman.org.uk

It’s all free and they’re a really friendly bunch who just want to see that everyone is treated properly, residents and housing providers alike. Because, let’s face it, sometimes residents are a little, shall we say, overly enthusiastic with their complaints. The Housing Ombudsman people can calm them down! They’ll find a solution that suits everyone. It’s what they do.

Members of Spotlight have been invited to several online question and answer sessions with the service. These sessions have really opened our eyes to our rights as residents, which are significant, it’s just that many of us don’t realise that. So we go around scowling with sore heads, feeling miserable and powerless.
There’s no need for that, but it’s up to us to take action. It has to be said that Origin, happily, is one of the better Housing Associations – not perfect, but better. And that is, in no small part, due to a vigilant bunch of residents on panels like Spotlight.

If you fancy making a difference to how your own and your neighbours’ homes are managed, why not apply to join Spotlight? We meet four times a year, online or in person, so it’s not massively time consuming. We obviously talk to and email each other between meetings and also share news and views on WhatsApp.

If you want to know more, drop a short email to Community.Development@originhousing.org.uk or post on our Facebook group ‘Residents of Origin Housing’ and someone will ping you back.
We’ll also have a stall at Origin’s Winter Event on Saturday 26 November at Basil Jellicoe Hall, 12 noon till 3pm, so come over and say hello, we’d love to see you!