Facilitating resident engagement: Prospect Scrutiny Group uses HouseMark data in assessment of repairs process

Prospect Community Housing is a social landlord with almost 900 homes in Wester Hailes, Edinburgh. They are a community-based organisation with strong tenant participation and involvement including a Tenants’ Forum, a ‘Getting Involved Group’ and the Prospect Scrutiny Group. The scrutiny group recently made use of Prospect’s HouseMark data when assessing their repairs performance.

The Prospect Scrutiny Group acts as a "critical friend" to Prospect.  It is made up of tenants to take a close look at an area of service delivery, then compile a report with recommendations which are presented to Prospect's Management Committee.  Previous topics have included the stair cleaning service, the rent consultation approach and antisocial behaviour.

The repairs service was highlighted as an area for improvement in a tenant satisfaction survey, so this was chosen as the fourth area of focus for the Prospect Scrutiny Group.

As well as spending time with different members of the teams involved in logging, processing and completing repairs and reviewing the associated policies and procedures, the group came together to review their HouseMark performance data for the service.

Housing Manager Catherine Louch explains “The Prospect Scrutiny Group was able to come together with members of staff to see how our repairs performance compares to our peers. By putting our HouseMark data up on the big screen, it was clear to see how we compared to other landlords. The information was meaningful and easily accessible for our tenants to understand.

“Being able to compare our cost vs performance with others was incredibly valuable. What the group saw was that Prospect was one of the best performing landlords in terms of timescales to complete repairs. Higher performing landlords for satisfaction and timescales had higher costs, and the group decided that they were happy with the balance and in a positive place as an organisation.

“The way we viewed the data as a group to see what was driving our performance and how this compared with our peers stimulated some really interesting discussions about what is most important to tenants. They were able to ask questions to delve deeper, and with a few quick clicks we could access the information we needed to answer them.”

Based on the understanding of Prospect’s repairs performance relative to the cost to residents, the group did not recommend any significant changes to the service. Recommendations were made around updated processes, how tenants can report a repair and moving to a paper-free system. You can read the report from the group here.

By Emily Dixon

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