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My Norwich

Complaints

Housing Ombudsman Service complaint handling code

The Housing Ombudsman Service (HOS) published a new Complaint Handling Code in July 2020. The purpose of the code is to enable landlords to resolve complaints raised by their residents quickly and to use the learning from complaints to drive service improvements.

Landlords were asked to self-assess their current complaints handling process against the new code and publish the results.

The following information summarises the outcome of the self-assessment and how compliant we are and any steps we’re taking to meet the requirements of the code to ensure we’re providing the best possible outcomes for our residents.

Definition

The complaints process is on our web pages including fair and reasonable exclusions where a complaint will not be considered.

We will:

  • update the definition of a complaint to that specified by the HOS.

Accessibility and awareness

Multiple accessible routes are available for residents to make a complaint including website and social media.

We will:

  • provide a download facility
  • regularly advise residents about the complaints process.

Team and process

Complaints follow a two-stage process, overseen by the head of housing, and are fully recorded within our corporate system.

As we operate a corporate complaints policy, we are retaining our existing response timescales rather than adopting the timescales specified within the new code.

Majority of complaints are resolved at stage 1.

We will:

  • Review our team structure to ensure sufficient authority and autonomy are in place.

Communications

Residents are kept informed and updated throughout the complaints process, have the opportunity to challenge and are  provided with escalation options if dissatisfied.

93% of complaints resolved at stage 1, 77% within code timescales.

We will:

  • Extend our data capture to improve reporting, outcomes and learnings.

Ombudsman

Requests for evidence from the Ombudsman are responded to within 15 days.

Fairness

Residents are able to complain via a representative throughout. We endeavour that all advice given is accurate and easy to understand.

We will:

  • Extend our data capture to improve reporting, outcomes and learnings.

Outcome and remedies

Where something has gone wrong we take appropriate steps to put things right.

We will:

  • Extend our data capture to improve reporting, outcomes and learnings.

Learning and improvement

We endeavour to create a positive complaint handling culture through continuous learning and improvement.

We will:

  • Implement a review system and share learnings and improvements with residents and staff.

How the Government is helping social housing residents

The Government is introducing the Charter for Social Housing Residents, which details the actions government are taking to support social housing residents. This information is set out in the Social Housing White Paper.

The Social Housing White Paper will ensure residents are listened to when they raise their concerns and complaints and that they are treated with dignity and respect. It also sets out how the government will ensure landlords are more accountable for the service they deliver, including through strengthening the powers of the Housing Ombudsman and transforming the consumer regulation role of the Regulator of Social Housing.