Tower Hamlets is one of the most diverse places in the UK.
This diversity is also reflected amongst the people who are
residents of Tower Hamlets Homes and who live in the homes and
neighbourhoods that we manage.
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
read more about how we help residents who may need extra
support from us – whether that’s for a long period of time
or just a short while. Some of the things we offer we deliver
directly ourselves, others are provided in partnership with other
organisations and community groups.
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
Our work to provide a more accessible and
inclusive service starts with gaining a better understanding of the
diverse needs of our customer groups, as well as better information
about individuals’ needs. We know that if we don’t understand the
needs and expectations of residents, we cannot deliver the great
services that residents want and expect to see.
We use information about residents’ needs to personalise the
service we provide. That means we can offer great customer services
as well as be truly accessible. For example, we have a range of
information and booklets available in
Large Print and in other languages. We provide home
visits to vulnerable residents within 24 hours of requesting, and
provide accessibility tools on our front counters, such as sheet
magnifiers and hearing induction loops.
If you have needs that you would like us to know about, please
in touch with us. If we know what your needs are, we can
provide a better service to you.
Helping us improve
We know that we can always improve in making
our services more accessible, inclusive and fair. The following
helps us to ensure we improve to meet the needs of residents:
- Equality Analysis –
otherwise known as Equality Impact Assessments. We test out our
services every so often to ensure they are as accessible and
inclusive as we can make them, and to identify and barriers that
may exist for some residents. We use data and information about the
service and what we know about residents and different groups
within the resident population to check we are offering services
fairly. Where we find things that need to improve, we develop
action plans which are monitored by senior management.
Read more about Equality Analysis
- For example, in August 2010, we identified
that Somali tenants were twice as likely to be in arrears as White
British tenants. We worked with the Ocean Somali
Community Association to overcome literacy and language barriers,
which resulted in a decrease of 30% (approximately £12k) in rent
owed to us, reducing the likelihood of eviction and restrictions on
bidding for properties.
Read more about the Somali Engagement
- Diversity Working Group – Our
resident-led Diversity Working Group provides ideas and scrutiny of
our services, generating practical ideas for how we can improve
services. In the last two years, the group has helped us to
improve our support for vulnerable residents and
overcrowded households in particular.
Read more about the Diversity Working Group and read
the minutes from their
- Diversity Champions – our staff Diversity
Champions network promote equality and diversity issues in the
workplace. Since October 2011, the group has worked to
increase awareness around mental health, started a campaign against
domestic violence in neighbourhoods and helped organise a Diversity
Awareness Day, which was attended by over 200 staff.
Developing a diverse and progressive workforce
We are also committed to developing a
progressive and diverse workforce. Since April 2011, 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 employ around 500 people, and we take
our responsibilities as an employer seriously. We want to ensure
that our employment policies and practices are high quality and
that all staff are developed and motivated to achieve their
potential whatever their background. We are also working to ensure
that our workforce – as well as the contractors who we use to
deliver our repairs service - is reflective of Tower Hamlets Homes
residents and the communities that make up Tower Hamlets.
Achieving objectives for residents and staff
In June 2011, Tower Hamlets Homes was awarded
with the "Achieving" level of the
Social Housing Equality Framework, making us the first
housing provider in the Tower Hamlets with this accreditation.
By continuing to place the Equality Framework
at the heart of our approach to improvement, we can ensure that we
develop the best housing services in Tower Hamlets by 2014.
As such we are aiming to become the first housing provider in the
Borough that secures the “Excellent” Level 3 level of the Equality
Framework, to mark our continuing progress in making sure diversity
and equality becomes part of everything we do.