21 August 2017

More than 5,000 home visits have been carried out in the first nine months of a new housing service which aims to better support council housing tenants.

Housing Plus was introduced by Sheffield City Council’s Housing and Neighbourhoods Service in October 2016. It aims to deliver services more locally, help link tenants to other support services and strengthen communities.

Neighbourhood Officers are a key part of the new approach, and they are regularly out and about visiting tenants in their own homes. This means they are better able to identify any issues early on which might affect someone’s ability to manage and enjoy their home.

Councillor Jayne Dunn, Cabinet Member for Housing at Sheffield City Council, said: “Tenants told us the estates were better when they had more contact with officers out and about on the estates, so we listened to them and re-designed our service. In essence, it’s about taking our housing service to customers in their own homes.

“Although it’s still early days, feedback from customers is that this new approach is starting to have a positive impact and is making a difference for them.

“It’s all about getting to know our tenants better, treating everyone as an individual, and building more links in local areas. We’re also trying to identify issues earlier on and join up with other services, so people can get the support they need.”

All Sheffield City Council tenants are offered an annual visit by their Neighbourhood Officer to see how they are getting on in their tenancy and if they need any support from either the Housing Service or anyone else. Staff have not yet visited all customers but the service aims to contact most by the end of this year.

Councillor Dunn added: “The Housing Plus service and home visit is an opportunity for our officers to introduce themselves and get to know our tenants.

“We understand some people might be anxious about why they’re being visited but it’s nothing to worry about. The team are linking up with other services, where needed, to make sure people have the support they need and are able to feel part of their community.”

Visit www.sheffield.gov.uk/councilhousing or call 0114 293 0000 to get in touch with your Neighbourhood Officer.