Consultations

We are always keen to hear your views on our services.

Check out our latest consultations below. Remember, we're always keen to hear your views all year round. Find out how to get in touch with us on our Contact us page.

Investing in your community
 

Rent setting consultation for 2023/24

Our rent setting process for 2023/24 involves two stages: direct tenant engagement through a series of focus groups and a formal consultation with tenants on three rent options.

The focus groups engaged tenants across the whole Wheatley Group on our proposals and the proposed consultation approach.  In total there were 26 focus groups attended by 296 tenants.  4 of these focus groups, with a total of 50 tenants participating, were with Wheatley Homes East tenants.  This feedback informed our formal consultation approach.

Our formal consultation with tenants began on 23 January 2023 with tenants being able to vote on the rent options and provide feedback until 5pm 6 February 2023. The process is managed independently by Civica. From Civca you will receive:

  • A letter and rent consultation brochure, outlining the three rent options; and
  • A ballot paper, which outlines how to vote and provide feedback on the rent options either via free postal return; online; text; or phone call.

You may also receive an email or text from Civca with a link to the rent brochure and online voting options, if you have told us your preference is to be communicated to in this way.

Due to the ongoing Royal Mail strikes, we would encourage you to use the online, text or phonecall voting methods to ensure your vote reaches Civca before the consultation close date. Once the consultation closes, Civica will independently certify the results.

The Board will consider the feedback received through the extensive consultation process. We will then confirm to all customers the approved rent increase for the 23/24 period.

Outcome of Allocations Policy review
 

Wheatley Group landlords consulted customers on three proposed changes to the existing Housing Information Advice and Letting Policy Framework, following recommendations from an independent review commissioned in 2021.  The consultation took place over a six-week period during June and July 2022.

Throughout the consultation period, over 71,000 consultation documents were sent to customers with links and QR codes to an online survey.  There was also an option for customers to receive a hard copy of the survey if needed  There was a six-week social media campaign, with 43 posts on  Facebook and Instagram reaching over 41,000 people.  Links to the survey were also added to the Wheatley Group website and all subsidiary websites.

Wheatley Group held 13 customer focus groups, both online and face-to-face.  A total of 235 customers booked on to these sessions. Customers who preferred not to participate were also offered individual phone calls.

A total of 2455 customers from all categories responded to the anonymous online survey. The breakdown of those completing the survey was:

Allocations consultation graph

The survey was made up of 25 questions based on the recommendations from an independent review commissioned in 2021.  There were three key questions:

  • We have homes in 19 local authority areas, do you think we should have the ability to reflect circumstances in local areas where this would support localised housing need?
  • During the pandemic we moved to a new process for homeless applicants, where we worked with local authorities to provide a streamlined service for our most vulnerable applicants.  You told us during the review last year this new process was working well.  We plan to continue with this service providing additional support for our most vulnerable applicants, do you agree with this?
  • As part of the review last year, you told us that Band E has too many different types of applicants.  Do you think we should separate our properties with an age restriction (i.e Livingwell) into a separate band?

The response from those who expressed an opinion:

QuestionResponse
Matching homeless customers86% agree
Ensuring we have flexibility to meet local needs across local authorities96% agree
Livingwell to move to its own band91% agree

Stakeholder responses
Wheatley Group contacted over 50 stakeholders, local authorities and Registered Tenant Organisations with a separate consultation. Four stakeholders responded to the survey, two were from local authorities, one from RTO and the other from a housing advice charity.

QuestionAgreeDisagreeNeither agree
or disagree
Matching homeless customers    4  
Ensuring we have flexibility to meet local needs across local authorities    4  
Livingwell to move to its own band    3                  1

Next steps
All comments were analysed and the Housing Information Advice and Letting Policy and Framework updated to reflect the outcome of the consultation.  An updated framework was presented to Wheatley Group Board for approval in August 2022 and  RSL subsidiary boards in September 2022.

The new Housing Information Advice and Letting Policy and Framework will formally launch in Spring 2023.

Guide to consultations
 

We’re always keen to hear your views on our services and how we can get better. One way we do this is by carrying out consultations.

All of our consultations follow these seven principles:

  • Integrity – each consultation has an honest intention, that we will listen to and be influenced by what our tenants tell us
  • Visibility – affected tenants and other affected stakeholders are reasonably aware of the consultation
  • Accessibility – affected tenants and affected other stakeholders have reasonable access to the consultation. We will use digital means of ensuring access to consultations where appropriate
  • Transparency – it is clear when the consultation closes, who is collating the responses and whether responses will be published
  • Disclosure – any appropriate information applicable to the consultation is made available
  • Fair interpretation – consultation responses will be collated and analysed objectively
  • Publication – it is made clear of where and when the consultation report will be available.