Salford housing association Salix Homes is celebrating a double win in the prestigious Northern Housing Awards.
Salix Homes, which owns 8,000 homes across Salford, won the Best Resident Involvement Initiative and the Best Digital Transformation categories in the awards, which celebrate the achievements of the housing sector in the North.
The landlord scooped Best Resident Involvement Initiative in recognition of its pioneering Customer Committee, which was set up last year in a bid to give tenants a greater say in how its housing services are run.
The Customer Committee has seen Salix Homes trailblazing a new approach to customer engagement, which was established ahead of national calls for greater transparency and for tenant’s voices to be better heard following the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
The Customer Committee is made up of 12 residents in a paid-for role, on a par with the organisation’s board members, who can commission a piece of scrutiny work into any area of the organisation.
The judges commended Salix Homes for its commitment to putting tenants first. They said: “Salix Homes have reacted to the Grenfell disaster by putting tenants at the heart of what they do, ensuring they have a strong voice and are able to participate. A very well done to all of you.”
Salix Homes was also recognised for its digital innovation, which has seen the landlord launch a ground-breaking digital repairs service incorporating innovative chatbot technology; and becoming the first housing provider in the UK to fully embrace the public cloud.
Judges were also impressed with the MySalix customer portal – an online platform which enables residents to manage their tenancy at the touch of a button or tap of a phone.
Jim Battle, Chair of the Board at Salix Homes, said: “We’re an organisation that prides itself on being progressive and forward-thinking, with a bold vision to rethink the way our housing services are provided in order to meet the demands of a modern and digital world.
“Despite the challenges of the past year posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, we’ve pushed on with our plans to establish our Customer Committee and become a truly digital organisation, so to be recognised for our efforts for both these areas is a real honour and is testament to all the hard work of our colleagues and partners.
“We’re particularly proud that our Customer Committee has been recognised for the impact it’s having on both our organisation and the wider social housing sector. Never has it been more important for social landlords to listen to the voices of tenants and we firmly believe our modern approach to customer engagement echoes the recommendations made in the Government’s Social Housing White Paper, calling for greater accountability, transparency and engagement with customers, so we’re very proud to be leading the way.”
Salix Homes is no stranger to awards, having already been named Digital Landlord of the Year in the UK Housing Awards 2020, and coming in at number four in the recent Top 30 Digital Housing Providers roll of honour, organised by Housing Digital.