Tenant engagement is very important to the way that bric housing operates.
bric’s approach to engaging tenants and encouraging participation is values-driven and includes core principles of respect, courtesy, humour and care that are embedded into our day-to-day service delivery.
For example, at one of our large boarding houses, tenants are offered free tea or coffee. The cup of coffee generally turns into a chat and in some cases this means reassurance or exchange of information. It also provides staff with an early warning system if tenants seem as though they are starting to become unwell.
An important tool when engaging with tenants is to emphasise the things that are the same and de-emphasise the things that are different. This develops a sense of mutuality which is beneficial for both tenants and for staff. A successful tenant engagement and participation activity that bric developed and uses is called ‘The Lounge’. This activity takes place at one of our large men’s boarding houses where both tenants and staff have experienced first-hand the pleasure that comes from genuine engagement and give and take.
This effective approach to tenant engagement and participation includes:
- meaningful and relevant consultation with tenants
- providing the range of resources tenants need
- fostering a sense of hope amongst tenants
- fostering enhanced self-determination, competence and independence
- encouraging and supporting social connectivity
- encouraging positive experiences.
The choice not to engage or participate by some tenants is always respected. However, our experience is that although change is often incremental, small positive experiences can be built upon to create pathways to different activities that continue to promote inclusion.