Our Aids & Adaptations service

Scrutiny Team Aids and Adaptations 2024 Involved Tenants 17/06/2024

Mop Stick Stair Rail Banner

Our Tenant Scrutiny team regularly take on projects to test whether our tenant voice being heard and to make sure our tenants are at the centre of everything we do.

One of our core values is that we treat all of our tenants fairly and with respect, regardless of age, gender, ethnicity or religious belief. Recently our Scrutiny team, along with some of our involved tenants, took a look into our Aids and Adaptations process to make sure that it’s living up to this.

Why Aids and Adaptations?

We want to make sure your home works for you, which is why we have an aids and adaptations service. If you need your home to be adapted, as advised by a healthcare professional, then our aids and adaptations team will help you to get those adjustments made.

By doing this review of our aids and adaptations service, we wanted to make sure that every tenant gets treated the same way and has access to the same services, regardless of their identity. We also used this as an opportunity to plan for future works and estimate how many people may need the service in the future.

Our research

When looking at who applies for an aid or adaptation, our research found:

  • White British make up around 40% of our tenants but account for almost 60% of all requests for adaptations
  • Those who identify as having black heritage (included those who identify as a mixed ethnicity), account for around 25% of our tenants but just 14% of requests for adaptations.
  • If you’re a White British tenant you’re more likely to make an application for an aid and adaption, and when you do you are more likely to be accepted.
  • Black Tenants are less likely to request an adaption to their home, but when they do they’re slightly more likely to be rejected (5% difference in the % of those applying compared to cases rejected). This is a similar trend for our Asian tenants.
  • A review of aids and adaptions from April 2021 to May 2023 has shown that two thirds (66%) of all the adaptations we’ve made have been carried out for white British tenants. This is disproportionate when compared to the number of overall tenants of this ethnicity (47.5%).

What does this show?

This research has shown that we need to look into how this service works, but also how it’s communicated and advertised to our tenants to make sure that everyone has equal access.

We are also aware that our tenants aged over 50 are more likely to use the service, which influences how we communicate about this service.

“Without [adaptations], life can be a nightmare. It’s a great service that MH offer. People need to use it to enable them to live within their own home without having to move. It has given me my life back. It means I can take care of myself and enjoy my life rather than just exist. I go out a lot more and do things that I would not have been able to do. Without my stair lift I felt like a prisoner in my own home. My mental health has improved greatly and I now look forward to the future.” – Gary, Involved Tenant

What actions have we taken?

Taking on board these learnings, we’ve committed to a number of actions to help make sure this service is available for everyone who needs it:

  • We’ve undertaken a full review of the aids and adaptations policy and procedure. To do this review, we’ve taken on board our research, complaints around the service, and a survey sent to tenants who have used the service in the last 12 months. We also got our Involved Tenant panel involved to scrutinise the review of the policy to make sure that we’ve taken the tenant voice into account.
  • We’re making the application process more accessible for everyone and are improving the communication throughout the aids and adaptations process. We’re also updating the website to make the information easier to understand.
  • We are reviewing all the information that our Customer Hub has so that we can make sure everyone is given the same opportunity to apply for aids and adaptations.

Whilst there is still work to do on this, we’ve put measures in place to make sure that this service is more inclusive in the future.

You can find more information about our aids and adaptations services on our website or get in touch with our Customer Hub on 0345 60 20 540.

We’re always reviewing the services we offer to our tenants to ensure that they are inclusive – and we need you to hold us to account! If you would like to join one of our tenant involvement groups and get your voice heard in helping to improve our services for everyone, please click here for more information.