Southdown Tenant

It makes a huge difference being listened to. I feel heard by Southdown. I feel I can trust them to share what’s important to me.

“They’re an amazing landlord”

I feel valued.

I’ve been a Southdown tenant for a couple of years. They’re an amazing landlord. They listen to us. Sort issues out.

I was really shocked with them! We have the mobile numbers and email addresses of Housing Officers and Assistants! My PA can call them too. You’re never palmed off. They’ll always call back. I have that trust with them.

I was with another housing association before and there didn’t seem to be much of a structure. There wasn’t a direct line to my Housing Officer and it made it extremely difficult. I’d have to ring up the call centre. It was a right nightmare getting hold of people and almost impossible to build a relationship with them.

Now that I’ve had experience of direct contact, I’d say it is very important. I don’t understand why other housing associations are so different. If you’ve got problems it gives you a chance to send a message as you think about it. It helps with my time management, and I get answers a lot quicker.

Southdown holds meetings with residents in my building every six months. It makes a huge difference being listened to. I feel heard by Southdown. I feel I can trust them to share what’s important to me.

They listen and act on it. For example, they changed the wording of a fire safety compliance check letter that I complained about. They then sent a text message and worded it differently which was better – they responded to what I said.

They’re making the building a lot safer as well. They’re going to install a sprinkler system and do my windows that have been needing to be done since the year dot which the previous housing association didn’t fix!

There’s a lot of flexibility with my Housing Officer. They’re very accommodating and personable. And because of that, I’ll do my best for them. It’s a reciprocal relationship. Because it’s so good, if there is something that is bad or doesn’t work, the good outweighs it.

Southdown’s Tenant Communication and Involvement Officer, approached me about participating in tenant involvement activities. She said there were interviews that tenants could get involved with. I absolutely love it!

Southdown invite tenants or clients to sit on interview panels. In an interview, I’ll listen and make notes. I’ll ask a couple of questions to the interviewee. I recently sat on interviews for a Financial Adviser and a Housing Assistant.

Quite a lot of people have said they’ve never had an interview with a tenant and they really like it. They listen to what you have to say. Once the interviewee has left, the panel will sit and have a chat and score the questions and discuss who would fit the job better. My impression counts. I feel respected and equal in interviews.

Communication is important to me. If I’m asking the question, I notice if the interviewee is looking at me. During the interview, I’ll think about the people in my building and whether they’d get on with someone. I always bear in mind other tenants, not just me.

The benefit for Southdown of my tenant involvement activities is I’m honest. Not everyone in my building comes to meetings, so it’s important for me to speak up. Even if something is difficult to bring it up, I’ll bring it up.

The benefits for me are it gets me out. I do enjoy doing it and that makes a huge difference. It does my mental health good as well.

I feel valued. I think it’s how people listen to you. If you have a problem, people will follow up, ask how you’re doing, and you feel important to them. I had to pull out of an interview yesterday due to health reasons and the Tenant Communication and Involvement Officer texted me today to check I was okay. That meant a lot that she’d gone out of her way to do that.

It’s very positive being part of Southdown.

We are a specialist housing provider and landlord for around 580 tenants and shared owners across Sussex. We provide different types of affordable housing from temporary accommodation to a long term home. As a supported housing landlord, we provide additional support for our tenants to help them manage their tenancy and maintain their home.