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NIFHA | News | BLOG: Apex connecting with…
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BLOG: Apex connecting with communities #housingday

By Rachael Power, Community Involvement Co-ordinator, Apex Housing
Published on: 19 September, 2016
An art mural designed and painted by young people at Ballynafoy Close, South Belfast

An art mural designed and painted by young people at Ballynafoy Close, South Belfast

Apex is committed to working in partnership with tenants and residents to improve communication and to encourage community development. Our Community Involvement Strategy – Shaping Your Community – outlines the importance of communicating with and consulting tenants on the decisions that affect them.

Communication is a vital aspect of community involvement and must be a two way conversation between Apex and tenants to enable effective partnership working to achieve our vision of creating vibrant communities.

Apex tenants had an opportunity to connect with staff at a recent information day at Ballynafoy Close

Apex tenants had an opportunity to connect with staff at a recent information day at Ballynafoy Close

Tenants regularly receive information from us through letters, estate newsletters, text messages and on the website. These are effective methods of ensuring that all tenants receive the information but not the most effective way of getting feedback and suggestions from tenants.  Housing Officers therefore see every interaction with our tenants as an opportunity to consult with them as well as being an opportunity to promote community involvement.

Tenants enjoyed a fun day at Dove Gardens in Derry~Londonderry recently

Tenants enjoyed a fun day at Dove Gardens in Derry~Londonderry recently

Following on from the launch of our Menu of Options we have gathered important feedback from our tenants through a series of focus groups, our new Active Tenant Network and a mystery shopper exercise. This feedback has allowed us to change and develop certain practices to make them more effective for our tenants.

Tenants engaging in Apex's Active Tenant Network

Tenants engaging in Apex’s Active Tenant Network

For example over the last year we have been able to support many of our tenants in organising different community events such as community fun days. As much as these events are organised primarily as fun activity, for us they are a great opportunity to speak to our tenants.

We have been able to take away ideas and suggestions from our tenants which are recorded, considered and in some cases implemented.  For example we are about to launch a new leaflet on Antisocial Behaviour which was designed in collaboration with our Active Tenant Network. The Active Tenants suggested that the leaflet should be easy to read and informal in tone, while still communicating the relevant information.

Going forward we will continue to offer a range of ways for tenants to communicate with us, especially in a more informal, face to face way.

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