At Catalyst we have a CEO, Rod Cahill, who isn’t afraid to make tough decisions and be held accountable for outcomes. Rod loves leading by example and was open to an evaluation by Catalyst residents. He sees evaluations as essential and beneficial to service providers like Catalyst.
That’s why in October, our resident board member and chairs of our resident groups carried out a review of Rod’s role in resident involvement, which was facilitated by the Tenant Participation Advisory Service. Here is a summary of the findings.
- We need to build resident involvement into the corporate governance process, as part of the development of an organisational resident involvement culture.
- Catalyst is not clear about what it wants from resident involvement and our arrangements for resident engagement are in places confused.
- There is confusion about roles in relation to scrutiny.
What the future holds
Rod agreed that we need to be clearer about what we want from resident involvement. That’s why we have commissioned a review of this, and Customer Services Committees, which we will report on shortly.
Rod will spearhead the delivery of outcomes emerging from the review, championing a framework which:
- makes it easier for residents to make their contribution
- ensures that colleagues around Catalyst understand the role and importance of resident involvement as part of our Making It Easy approach to customer service and the way we work.
Rod shares the panel’s view about the vital importance of green issues in helping to tackle the challenges to our residents’ income from rising fuel costs, welfare reform and tax changes. Catalyst is committed to building more energy efficient homes, and to improving the energy performance of existing stock including street properties. Residents’ use of their homes is, however, as important as the performance of the buildings themselves and improving this is a key area of partnership between Catalyst and involved residents.
Catalyst Evaluation Panel residents would like to take this opportunity to thank Rod for taking part in the first ever evaluation of housing association CEO by its customers. This activity will now be carried out every year.
Rod said: “I enjoyed this review process and it has made me reflect on my role in resident involvement. My key realisation is that we’re not corporately clear about what we want from resident involvement. This is why I suggested to the Catalyst Board that we review this area and consult the Catalyst Residents Federation. The outcome will be a clear framework of objectives and roles. My role will then be to promote this framework and ensure that my colleagues are implementing it. I will also make sure our next strategic plan articulates our resident involvement strategy.”