We know how frustrating damp and mould issues are for our residents and the challenges it brings to colleagues dealing with the matter. So, we believe it’s our duty to understand these issues and tackle the root cause.

To enable us to effectively achieve this we began a resident-led project.

The project followed a four staged process:

• The Brown Paper Exercise:
We began the project with the ‘brown paper exercise’. Using sheets of brown paper, colleagues could outline anything related to damp and mould such as: observations, experiences, and potential solutions. This revealed the extent of the problem and enabled us to brainstorm solutions. The exercise gave a visual representation for the resident scrutiny panel addressing the issue.

• Resident Survey:
This survey allowed every resident who has experienced damp and mould issues to voice their experiences, concerns, and suggestions. It also gave us further insight into some of the earlier exercises.

• Resident and Staff Interviews:
To gain a deeper understanding of the personal experiences of resident and colleagues, we held interviews. This offered insight into the specific challenges faced by residents, and other hurdles we face when trying to address damp and mould issues promptly. It also allowed open and honest conversations and empathy between the two groups.

• Review of All Communication:
As communication is key, we made sure all communication channels and information provided to residents were reviewed in depth. This allowed us to identify any gaps in information and explore ways to improve honesty and responsiveness when addressing concerns.

The damp and mould resident scrutiny project serves as an example of how a collaborative approach can address resident concerns and lead to finding ways we can improve our services.

The Resident Scrutiny Panel’s report and recommendations will be available on the Southern Housing website later this year.