One of our core values is to
ensure we respect our customers and one another in terms of
respecting the dignity of individuals, communities and partners we
In partnership with our
customers, we have developed our objectives around the priorities
of the Medway area.
The development of these
objectives took place in early 2012 and included consultation with
customers, stakeholders and the mhs management group.
Below we have listed our
objectives in bold alongside some of the ways in which we have been
working towards achieving them.
SHEF (Social Housing Equality Framework)
- Achieve equality excellence
through successful implementation of the Social Housing Equality
The Equality Framework is a
tool used by the Local Government Association to ensure social
housing providers consider equality and diversity in all aspects of
their work. The Framework has 3 levels, Developing, Achieving and
Excellence. As part of our journey towards excellence, we have
asked to be assessed against the Achieving level in March 2013.
- Promote diversity across
the mhs group workforce, governance and engagement structures so
that it is reflective of communities in the Medway
We have looked at the
details of who our involved customers are and understand that we
have an under representation in younger customers. We are now
taking a number of steps to ensure that we capture the views on how
we deliver our services to younger people. We are also
summarising the details all our customers to ensure we treat them
equally according to their needs and are able to access our
services as easily as possible.
We have profiled our staff
and compared this against the profile of wider Medway. Whilst our
workforce is largely reflective of the community we serve, this
means we can target our Apprentice Work Scheme in any areas where
gaps have been identified.
- Promote access and provide responsive
housing services that meet individual needs
We continue to collect
profiling information on all our customers’ individual needs. This
information is used to shape our services. An example of how this
works is being able to inform our repairs operatives that a person
with a mobility disability may take longer to answer the door.
Estate profiles of our areas
have been produced to breakdown information for neighbourhood
areas. This means we are able to target our work in areas of most
need. An example of this is being able to provide residents with
initiatives on how to get back into work and information on Welfare
Reform in areas where there is higher unemployment.
- Strengthen communication with our
customers and staff in order to promote understanding on issues of
diversity, improve service outcomes and address disadvantage among
and between different communities
Our communications, such as
mhs news, promotes equality and diversity on a regular basis and
highlights regional and national issues that our customers are
We raise awareness of
national celebrations such as Black History Month, LGBT History
Month and International Disability Day to our staff and customers
to help promote understanding and respect to all members of our
- Identify and address the learning and
development needs of our engaged customers and staff in order to
understand to build capacity and improve service
In order for our staff and
involved customers to be able to carry out their duties in an
effective way, it is important they are able to understand the
communities and issues customers face to provide accessible
All our staff receive
training on equality and diversity and customer care. Our involved
customers such as our Customer Scrutiny Panel have been trained to
ensure they give consideration to equality issues when they
undertake a service review.