Fair and equal service
Tower Hamlets is a vibrant and culturally diverse borough, characterised by a history of migration and multi-culturalism. This diversity is reflected amongst the people who are residents of Tower Hamlets Homes and who live in the homes and neighbourhoods that we manage.
Accessible, inclusive and fair for residents and staff
As the largest provider of housing services in Tower Hamlets we are committed to putting residents at the heart of everything we do. This means providing services that are accessible, inclusive and fairly delivered for all residents.
In line with the Equality Act 2010, we will continue to work to eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation, advance equality of opportunity and foster good relations between individuals and groups regarding age, disability, gender reassignment, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation, and marriage and civil partnership.
In July 2013, Tower Hamlets Homes was awarded with the "Excellent" level of the Social Housing Equality Framework, making us the first housing provider in the London to achieve this accreditation.
Our resident-led Diversity Working Group provides scrutiny of our services, generating practical ideas for how we can improve services. In recent years, the group has helped us to improve our support for vulnerable residents and overcrowded households in particular.
All About You
Our work to provide a more accessible and inclusive service starts with gaining a better understanding of the diverse needs of community groups, as well as better information about individuals’ needs. If we don’t understand the needs of residents, we cannot deliver the great services that residents want and expect.
We use information about residents’ needs to personalise the service we provide. That means we can offer better customer service as well as be truly accessible. For example, we have a range of information and booklets available in Large Print and in other languages and provide accessibility tools on our front counters, such as sheet magnifiers and hearing induction loops.
If you have specific needs that you would like us to know about, please get in touch with us. If we know what your needs are, we can provide a better service to you.
We regularly set, monitor and deliver equality objectives. Better data has allowed us to set, monitor and meet objectives and targets in relation to repairs, Decent Homes, overcrowding and financial inclusion, as well as identify and address inequality in satisfaction and access to services.
For example, in August 2010, we identified that Somali tenants were twice as likely to be in arrears as White British tenants and significantly more likely to be overcrowded. We worked with community partners to overcome language, literacy and trust barriers, which resulted in a 30% decrease (approximately £12k) in rent owed to us, reducing the likelihood of eviction and restrictions on bidding for properties. This project moved Somali tenants from one of least satisfied community groups, to one of the most satisfied – both with engagement and our overall service.
Developing a diverse and progressive workforce
We are committed to developing a progressive and diverse workforce more reflective of the local community. We have joined Stonewall’s Diversity Champion network and ensured THH’s first ever entries into Stonewall’s Starting Out careers guide. We have also implemented the Disability Two Ticks principles to promote equality for disabled employees and applicants, and have joined the Mindful Employer scheme in order to ensure we provide support and awareness around mental health in the workplace.
"We Speak Your Language" is an innovative project which has made Tower Hamlets Homes’ services more accessible to residents who can’t speak or read English. The project utilised positive action to recruit more officers who speak community languages, recognising staff who go the extra mile with a Community Language Honorarium.