The Housing Ombudsman has launched their consultation on their Corporate Plan for 2022-25, which sets out their ambitious plans for the next three years.
The Housing Ombudsman is an executive non-departmental public body, sponsored by the Ministry for Housing, communities and local government. The service is set up by law to look at complaints and resolve disputes involving the tenants and leaseholders of social landlords (housing associations and local authorities) and their voluntary members (private landlords and letting agents who are committed to good service for their tenants).
The Housing Ombudsman has experienced significant increases in demand with a 139% increase in enquiries and complaints in the year to date compared with 2020-21, plus a 65% increase in cases for a formal investigation. Externally, the implementation of the Social Housing White Paper and future policy changes to improve access to complaints are likely to sustain increasing volumes of casework.
The Corporate Plan aims to respond to this increase in complaints and it sets out ways which they will work with the sector to promote fairness through their investigations, strengthening of their complaint handling, encouragement of learning to improve services and potentially prevent complaints in the future.
Built around our values of fairness, learning, openness and excellence, the key elements of the plan are to:
- Increase awareness of the Ombudsman’s role, together with improving access to our service for those facing barriers.
- Extend fairness through high-quality, inquisitorial and impartial investigations to establish if there was service failure with robust remedies and undertake thematic inquiries into systemic issues.
- Use proactive interventions to improve landlords’ complaint handling and support earlier, local resolution for the benefit of all residents.
- Establish a Centre for Learning to promote complaint handling excellence among social landlords by using insight from our casework, data and intelligence.
We are delighted to share the opportunity for our residents to respond to the consultation. You will be asked to give your views on the four values, along with measures of success and their planned approach to a subscription fee based on expected demand for their service.
The consultation closes on 12 November 2021 and full details are set out in the consultation document. You can share your views by completing the Housing Ombudsman consultation form.