Miriam Breen and Patrick Clifford with Ken Reid Information and Communications Coordinator (ICSH) and Dr Donal McManus, CEO of ICSH.
Eight out of ten housing association tenants are happy with the services they receive. That is one of the key findings of the Tenant Experience Survey 2017.
Friday marked European Neighbours’ Day, and the Irish Council for Social Housing (ICSH) alongside tenants and staff of ICSH member organisations, Túath Housing, and HAIL, came together for the announcement of the survey findings.
Dr Donal McManus, Chief Executive, said, “The survey findings demonstrate the success of social housing delivered by housing associations, and represent an overwhelming endorsement of a sector that manages more than 30,000 social homes in Ireland. Recent local authority inspections of private rental found that 55% of inspected properties failed to meet rented housing standards, and a 2015 survey found that only 58% of local authority tenants were happy with their housing maintenance. It’s reassuring that more than 80% of our surveyed tenants are telling us they’re happy with the quality of their homes and the services housing associations provide."
Dr McManus added, “The survey reflects our tenants need for secure, safe and affordable housing. These factors help ensure community cohesion, which is really the essence of the European Neighbours’ Day celebration. It also highlights the bricks and mortar concerns of good management and maintenance, and the findings confirm that this is where housing associations excel."
Staff performance in dealing with antisocial behavior, in particular, was rated very highly and the ICSH also noticed that estate management issues, such as the upkeep of common areas, proved as important for tenants as issues such as housing quality.
Commenting on the Survey, Dr McManus remarked, “Findings like these help to reinforce our belief that a tenant-focused housing association scheme can quickly grow into a deeply-rooted community. Our members have proven their capacity to respond to tenants’ concerns."
The ICSH survey has also revealed a worrying trend around heating affordability. Some one in three of all tenants who responded said that they found it difficult to heat their homes. Recent Central Statistics Office figures also document a worrying increase in the numbers of individuals who cannot keep their home adequately warm.
Dr McManus said: “Fuel poverty is a recognised deprivation indicator, so this is an important consideration, and one that we’ll be taking back to our members as a key housing efficiency and sustainability issue."