In Housing, as we develop our policies and strategies, we would like to gain the views of residents and shape our services together. We routinely consult on these so whenever we hold a consultation exercise, you can have your say and tell us what you think. We will use your comments to help us shape our proposals and make recommendations for how we can work together with you to deliver services which are designed to meet your needs.
World’s End Estate communal heating consultation
We’re asking residents on the World’s End Estate for their opinions on the use of the communal heating system on their estate. We’ve provided some options that we believe will help residents reduce energy consumption over the coming year.
Residents of the World’s End Estate can complete the survey on the consultations website.
This page will be regularly updated to include live and upcoming consultations.
- Tenancy conditions consultation
Your enjoyment of your home is important to us, and when you have suggestions about how we can improve it, we listen. Following feedback, particularly around antisocial behaviour and domestic abuse, we launched an extensive consultation about making changes to the tenancy agreement to help us deal better with these issues.
The consultation is now closed and we’ve agreed to fund independent legal advice on behalf of residents to make sure the concerns raised are thoroughly investigated. We will look at this advice alongside the consultation report before making a recommendation to the elected councillors who will ultimately decide the Council’s course of action.
- Domestic Abuse Policy Consultation
The Housing and Social Investment directorate at Kensington and Chelsea are working towards obtaining an accreditation on the handling of domestic abuse cases, awarded by the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA). This will be achieved through ensuring that our policies and processes, as well as the support provided to survivors of domestic abuse, are appropriate to the circumstances and tailored to ensure the best possible outcomes for victims.
The Home Office definition of domestic violence and abuse is “any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those ages 16 or over who are or have been intimate family members or partners, regardless of gender or sexuality.”
Domestic abuse can affect anyone regardless of age, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, disability, or social background. Domestic abuse does not only occur between couples but can also involve wider family members, and people who have ended their relationship. The severity and frequency of domestic violence can vary but just one encounter counts as abuse.
The Housing and Social Investment directorate at Kensington and Chelsea consulted on the Draft Domestic Abuse Policy and encouraged respondents to read this draft policy before taking part in the survey. The Council were keen to hear from residents and service users about what domestic abuse support looks like for them. It is important that all stakeholders, especially service users, could inform and influence the Council’s policy on domestic abuse, especially at a time when the number of applications for social housing due to domestic abuse are increasing.
A draft policy has been produced, which has taken into account the recommended good practice by DAHA as well as other legislation, corporate policies and strategies, e.g. VAWG strategy. The main aim of this consultation was therefore:
- To inform the development of the policy
- To ensure that all stakeholders are involved in implementing the policy
- To ensure that service users are pivotal in agreeing the policy
- To ensure that the policy sets out the effective pathways for all service users
A consultation launched on 1 April 2022 closing on 15 May 2022. An online survey was made available via Kensington and Chelsea’s Consultation and Engagement Hub, to which we received 3 responses.
- What is your current housing situation – type of tenure.
- Are you aware of the Council's Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Strategy?
- If you, a friend or a family member was a victim of any form of domestic abuse how confident would you feel in being able to ask for support?
- If you, a friend or a family member were subject to a form of domestic abuse, would you know how to access or find relevant support services for this?
- If yes, who would you go to first?
- If no, what do you think needs to be done to improve awareness of relevant support services?
- What do you think could be done to improve partnership working to prevent domestic abuse?
- What do you think the Council should prioritise when thinking about improving support to victims of domestic abuse?
- What do you think the Council should prioritise when thinking about improving support to victims of domestic abuse?
- What more do you think needs to happen to prevent domestic abuse?
- Have you, or anyone you know, experienced domestic abuse before?
- Based on your experience, how well would you say domestic abuse is addressed in Kensington and Chelsea, in terms of the support offered?
- Overall, how would you rate partnership working on domestic abuse cases in RBKC?
- Thinking about Kensington and Chelsea's current provision of domestic abuse services, what do you think is working well and what needs improvement?
- In your experience, what are the main barriers to accessing domestic abuse support or services?
- In your view, what needs to be prioritised to improve the response to domestic abuse in Kensington and Chelsea?
- Domestic abuse is a crime, and it needs to be recognised as such.
- Victims of domestic abuse get passed around the system between different departments and organisations, often in an ‘assess-do-refer-wait-repeat’ cycle, meaning they have to retell their often traumatic story
- Inconsistent levels of understanding and empathy from professionals.
- Officers / organisations often have a narrow and standardised focus, based on their specialism of what they’ve been commissioned to do.
- Thresholds and gate-keeping, where people only receive support if they meet certain criteria, which is not geared towards helping the victim / survivor avoid an abusive situation. These cases often fall through the net.
- Time limited interventions and often, duplication of activity – due to lack of process.
- Lack of good links between services.
- High demand on services, which is inflated by ‘failure demand’.
- Greater choice and efficiency when commissioning domestic abuse services.
- Local campaigning and awareness around domestic abuse.
- Being better informed by learning / regularly interacting with victims of domestic abuse.
- Better communication and information sharing with police, social services and other public services available to support victims.
- Perpetrator management and engagement.
- Factoring in equality and diversity around domestic abuse (including any cultural issues and language barriers).
- Consent is important – victims should be empowered in their own journey.
- Create advocates batting for the victims, helping them navigate the complex map of potential assistance.
- In the policy, we have made it clear that DA stands as a separate issue to ASB and also includes latest legislation (DA Act 2021).
- Policy makes it clear about the steps the Council will take in its response to DA and establishes thresholds and guidance to consent, safeguarding referrals, MARAC referrals and relevant timeframes. Whilst there are thresholds in the policy in certain areas, it still states that every DA case will be treated in a survivor-centred approach to support victims/survivors and maintains this language throughout the policy.
- Working towards DAHA also includes improved partnership working (e.g. MARAC referrals), training standards in place for officers and perpetrator management.
- As part of DAHA, Housing is dedicated to a coordinated community response, strengthening relationship with Social Services and creating efficient and effective internal communication processes and procedures, so that victims/survivors avoid being retraumatised.
- Working towards creating procedures that ensures officers take a ‘right-first time’ approach.
- Continuing to work with external services (charities, DA services) and listening to the lived experiences of victims/survivors when developing our response to DA cases in housing.
- Working towards the introduction of DA Champions in housing.
- Policy takes into account the importance of acknowledging and responding to equality and diversity in DA cases.
- Pets Policy
RBKC recognises that pets can provide a range of benefits to their owners, including companionship and offering a means to make contact and socialise. We want to encourage and support our residents to enjoy that companionship and to keep pets responsibly. It is important that pets are cared for properly, both for the pet’s wellbeing and the wellbeing of surrounding neighbours too. This policy is intended to provide a framework for healthy pet ownership that is beneficial to all residents. It sets out RBKC Housing Management’s (RBKCHM) standards for keeping pets and will clarify the Council’s, tenants’ and leaseholders’ responsibilities, to ensure pet ownership is sustainable and beneficial to all.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this policy with us. We will use your feedback to update and finalise the policy.
- Housing Asset Management Strategy
Investing in residents’ homes and putting local people at the heart of decision-making are key priorities for the Council. Over the last two years we have worked with residents to form a joint asset management vision for the Council and residents.
This vision underpins the draft asset management strategy that has been developed with residents from the Tenants Consultative Committee (TCC) who attended several task and finish group meetings earlier this year.
The strategy takes account of the Council’s wider aims and objectives and also RBKC’s Housing Strategy which sets out the following six strategic priorities for Housing:Supporting Grenfell Survivors Leading the way on health and safety
The asset management strategy sets out how we will aim to deliver on these priorities by describing how we will plan and deliver on future investment in both existing and new homes. We would like to hear your views on this as we value your input and want to ensure that residents have the chance to comment on this important document.
- Increasing the supply of genuinely affordable housing
- Delivering resident-centred services
- Improving the quality and environmental sustainability of housing
- Supporting vulnerable residents and tracking and preventing homelessness
- Housing Management Cleaning Contract
The Council’s cleaning contract with OCS Services Ltd, which covers the communal cleaning of your housing blocks, ends in September 2021. The Housing Management service has been reviewing options for cleaning services.
Residents were invited to take part in the review of the current services by completing the cleaning services survey online. Your views will help us identify priorities for service improvement and shape the way these services are delivered. A Residents Steering Group, set up last summer has been reviewing the current service provision, and options for delivering the service in future. This includes providing the service in-house, extending the contract with OCS, or retendering.
We had more than 700 responses from thoughts on the way forward. Your input will play an important part in deciding on the best option for providing the service in the future. Thank you to everyone who responded.
If you’d like to be kept up to date, you can make a request to receive briefings and meeting updates as the review progresses. To make a request contact [email protected]