We are always keen to hear your views on our services.
Check out our latest consultations below. Remember, we're always keen to hear your views all year round. Find out how to get in touch with us on our Contact us page.
Having your say about rents
Our rent setting process for 2020/21 involved two stages: direct tenant engagement through a series of focus groups and a formal consultation with all tenants with the following rent increase options:
- Option 1 – 3.4%
- Option 2 – 3.9%
- Option 3 – 4.4%.
In the consultation tenants were also given an option of 'I don’t support any of these three options'.
In considering our rent setting proposals, we take into account the combination of feedback from both stages. Feedback from each is set out below.
Stage 1 - Focus Groups
BMG Research independently held 19 focus groups with a wide range of tenants across the wider Wheatley Group. 168 tenants and 12 prospective (waiting list) tenants attended.
Two of these focus groups were arranged for West Lothian Housing Partnership tenants with 14 WLHP tenants attending.
The focus groups allowed us to engage with tenants in more depth on our rent setting proposals, in particular:
- tenants’ perception of what their rent pays for versus what it actually pays for;
- tenants’ understanding of the drivers of rent increases; and
- general feedback on tenants’ views of our services in the context of rent.
Across all focus groups, support for rent increase options 1-3 was 72%. It was identified that WLHP tenants are satisfied with their landlord.
The focus groups considered how their rents are spent, under the breakdown of ‘for each £1 spent’ model, this was generally received as a positive in terms of delivering efficiency.
Stage 2 – Full written consultation to all tenants
We consulted tenants between late November 2019 and 12 January 2020.
Each tenant received a consultation booklet and feedback form, agreed by the West Lothian Housing Partnership Board and revised to reflect the feedback from the focus groups.
44 tenants provided feedback by post, phone, email or online.
The majority of tenants – 57% – expressed a preference in favour of one of the three increase options (3.4%, 3.9% or 4.4%). Of those, the majority were in favour of a 3.4% increase.
It was identified from feedback that support for the rent increase options generally correlated to age, with the level of support ascending with the age groups.
The Board considered the feedback received through the extensive consultation process and approved an increase of 3.4%.
Information, Advice and Letting Policy Consultation
Our new framework and policy on how we let our homes is being updated to reflect the helpful feedback we received from customers and others.
More than 1500 people responded to our proposals for our housing information, advice and letting policy.
It aimed to make the way we let our homes fair and clear while ensuring people in greatest need get priority.
We’d like to thank everyone who gave us their views. Click on Information, Advice and Letting Policy Consultation response to find out more.
The majority of people who responded agreed our proposals made the process clearer, helped us support those most in need, make the best use of our homes, and help people better understand their chances of getting a home.
People liked the proposal to change the overcrowding criteria to allow children aged 10 or over to have their own room, as well keeping the flexibility to allow us to use discretion on people living in larger homes.
In line with the responses, we’ve also made sure people know they can appeal a decision, while we’ve changed the word ‘bidding’ – to avoid any suggestion that the first bid wins – and will use ‘notes of interest’ instead.
We’ll also make sure all our new-build homes are advertised in future.
Our new online housing, advice and letting service called MyHousing will help us deliver what people told us they wanted.
We believe that, by working together with customers and others, we have developed a housing advice and lettings service that is tailored to customers’ needs, providing them with more choice, convenience, control and flexibility.
Guide to consultations
We’re always keen to hear your views on our services and how we can get better. One way we do this is by carrying out consultations.
We are accredited by the Consultation Institute. This means all of our consultations follow the seven principles set out in the Institute’s Consultation Charter.
- Integrity – each consultation has an honest intention, that we will listen to and be influenced by what our tenants tell us
- Visibility – affected tenants and other affected stakeholders are reasonably aware of the consultation
- Accessibility – affected tenants and affected other stakeholders have reasonable access to the consultation. We will use digital means of ensuring access to consultations where appropriate
- Transparency – it is clear when the consultation closes, who is collating the responses and whether responses will be published
- Disclosure – any appropriate information applicable to the consultation is made available
- Fair interpretation – consultation responses will be collated and analysed objectively
- Publication – it is made clear of where and when the consultation report will be available.