Wenlock Barn wins the National Federation of Tenant Management Organisation (NFTMO) Kitemark Award:
We are now in the middle of the year and some of our Hackney TMOs have done phenomenally well so far this year. There has been a spate of award winning performances from our bigger TMOs that is unprecedented. Today we highlight and celebrate some of these achievements and hope that other TMOs and the Council get inspired by the feats of our colleagues’ work in contributing to these achievements.
Arguably the most prestigious award in the TMO world, the NFTMO Kitemark was awarded to Hackney’s largest TMO, Wenlock Bark TMO. Wenlock Barn now join an illustrious list of just 1 – Suffolk TMO to have won this accolade in the history of TMOs in Hackney.
Wenlock Barn TMO won the Kite Mark award at this year’s NFTMO conference following a rigorous assessment. Following the award, the Chair of the TMO Kingsley Akano (third from the right in the photo below) expressed his joy at achieving this accolade which demonstrates a key mile stone in the achievements of the organisation. Kingsley went on to thank everyone involved particularly staff members who impressed the assessors with their positive views and feedback on working for Wenlock Barn TMO.
Clapton Park wins multiple Awards:
Clapton Park Management Organisation (CPMO) was our most improved TMO last year. This year has seen CPMO move on to arguably higher grounds in performance. Two to three years of hard work and partnership working with Hackney led ably by the Chair, Jay Mowatt, (1st from the right in the first photo below) has been recognised not only internally by Hackney Council but externally. From a poorly performing TMO especially in governance 2 to 3 years ago, CPMO has now become a standard bearer. This year the organisation unveiled an aesthetically appealing and functional website - cpmo.org/ - which no doubt aids in effective communication with their residents and as they put it themselves “greatly improves the customer experience”
The organisation has also won two major national awards, the NFTMO's “Outstanding Housing Management Performance” and “Contractor Customer Service Champion” by TPAS.
Award 1 - Outstanding Housing Management Performance: Over the past two years CPMO had undergone a radical change with a new service structure and a new service team put in place to deliver services. The benefits of these changes has led to significant improvements in the way in which the TMO delivers services and had led to the award of “Outstanding Housing Management Performance”.
CPMO topped the Borough by some margin in terms of rent arrears reduction and the total rent collection. In 12 months they have successfully cut their arrears by a quarter and achieved more than double, the Council’s 10% arrears reduction target. This is just one example of the areas in which they exceeded expectations and targets.
Award 2 - TPAS Awards in Grounds Maintenance: CPMO’s grounds maintenance service has been recognized by the Tenant Participation Advisory Service (TPAS) at its 2019 National Awards ceremony. The TPAS awards are dedicated to showcasing outstanding Services or initiatives that are achieved when residents, landlords and contractors work together. The Grassroof Company and CPMO won the award for “Contractor Customer Service Champion” in recognition of the quality of their green spaces, the innovative work that is being done to promote food growing on their estates and the continued joint effort by CPMO and The Grassroof Company to engage with residents to shape the way in which their green spaces are designed.
In addition, CPMO’s “Silver Service” was also a finalist for the “Community Focused Service / Product of the Year” award. The “Silver Service” is an enhanced repairs service available for senior citizens living on their estates that provides extra help with odd jobs around the home.
Suffolk successfully partners with Tower TMO:
Our smallest TMO, Tower (with only 114 properties), has recently taken advantage of potential economies of scale to partner with Suffolk TMO, who up until recently, were the only Hackney TMO to have been awarded a nationally recognised Kitemark. The partnership is also a manifestation of effective partnership working between the TMO Services team, the Audit team and both the boards and manager of Suffolk TMO. This is a move that encourages both parties to not only learn from each other but also to use their respective strengths in making the other better.
Wenlock Barn had a successful audit inspection and completed their strategic business plan this year. They also won two awards for Outstanding Housing Management Performance - second year in a row, and the other for Supporting the Community and Going the Extra Mile.
Suffolk TMO - Empowering Tenants and Board Members
Suffolk TMO remain our only NFTMO (National Federation of Tenant Management Organisation) Kitemark accredited TMO in Hackney. This year Suffolk's current TMO strategy document (2016-18) that pushed for greater tenant involvement and good governance is due for a review shortly. The TMO is gearing up to put in place a new strategy document for the next 3 years. In preparation for this the TMO embarked on an Away weekend this autumn which focused on empowering tenants and strengthening governance. This was of particular benefit to the TMO's newer board members. The event was also attended by members of staff whose involvement served to promote greater understanding of the different roles played in the decision making and implementation processes to achieving desired outcomes for the TMO. One of the board members who joined the TMO said that “I joined the board to deal with issuesaffecting my block but have embraced a greater understanding for continued service of the estate as a whole”. Some of the pictures taken at the event tell a better story of the weekend.
Clapton Park Management Organisation (CPMO) - Most improved TMO in Hackney
It was only a couple of years ago when an Annual Review of CPMO revealed serious weaknesses in both governance and to a lesser extent in performance. These failings were confirmed by an Audit inspection soon after.
CPMO, led by their Board and Chair Jay Mowatt as well as their operations lead Paul Williams have worked tirelessly, professionally and in partnership to turn the TMO around. An audit re-inspection recently moved the TMO from a ‘no assurance’ to ‘significant assurance’.
The TMO also recently conducted a continuation ballot. 90% of their residents voted to remain as a TMO, testament no doubt to the good reputation that the TMO has garnered.
Kazi Hashem, the Business Development & Governance Manager had this to tell us about other CPMO achievements.
"We have done several community events in the past year, from our Easter Egg Hunt eggtravaganza, successful Summer Fun day in July, Coach trip to Southend on sea, our regular Bingo events, our Turkish Residents Lunch and our Halloween event and Clapton Park’s got Talent on 27th October 2018. (Pictures are available on our Facebook page – www.facebook.com/ClaptonParkTMO). We have created our Gardening club and Walking club – where residents are regularly meeting which is helping to reduce social exclusion in the estate. All of the events have been well attended and the residents are delighted to see so many events take place! We are now in the process of planning a programme of Christmas events! We have amped up our Resident engagement – taking an integrating approach leading to monthly Resident Question Time Meetings, regular estate walkabouts, in-house newsletters and regular ad-hoc communication (such as text messaging and strengthening social media presence.) CPMO have consistently been best in Hackney for Rent Collection and are on course for being top this financial year! We have brought back our Free bulk refuse service. We have doubled customer satisfaction in cleaning within a 6 month period. Our Grounds Maintenance saw a successful project funded by Friends of the Earth completed - where we have installed various biodiverse bug hotels and planting schemes across the estate. The great work of our Grounds Maintenance contractors has seen our estate exhibited as a part of Chelsea Fringe. I know there is a lot in here – We are quite proud of the stuff achieved this year".
Tower TMO - High Yes Vote in recent ballot
Tower TMO’s biggest achievement this year was the result of the Five Year Continuity Ballot that took place in in June 2018. Tower TMO achieved 92.8% yes vote in favour of the TMO continuing to manage the services of the block and 88% of tenants very satisfied/satisfied with the effectiveness of the TMO Managers. Although, Tower TMO sees this as an achievement, the TMO will continues to work hard to further improve its relations with its tenants.
Wick Village - High Continuation Ballot approval rating
Resolving a major long-standing employment dispute
Successfully recruiting an additional member of staff
Improving major KPIs
Overhauling all governance and financial policies and procedures
Last but not least, achieving very healthy 93% approval rating in its 5-year continuation ballot
What is a TMO? A Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) is an organisation set-up by tenants and/or leaseholders to manage their estate/block. Every council tenant in England and Wales has the right to manage the housing services they receive, this is set out in Government guidance.
Each TMO has its own legal contract with the Council, known as the Management Agreement. This agreement outlines what services the TMO is responsible for and what services the council is responsible for on a particular estate. The Management Agreement also gives the Council powers to monitor TMOs and to take action when a TMO is not performing. TMOs usually operate as a co-operative or non-profit making community company. The Council provides TMOs with their own local offices and office equipment including IT. TMOs employ their own staff to provide housing management services to their residents.
How many TMOs are in Hackney? There are ten TMO estates in Hackney:
These TMOs range in size from 114 to over 1,477 homes. TMOs in Hackney have a role in managing services for 5,498 homes.
What services are TMOs responsible for in Hackney? TMOs can choose how much or how little responsibility they want to take over from the Council. The services managed by TMOs vary but in Hackney, TMO managed services include: · Day-to-day repairs and maintenance · Tenancy management · Cleaning · Grounds maintenance · Rent collection and rent recovery. In Hackney, the council and not the TMO are responsible for major works such as repairing the structure of buildings or installing fire safety equipment. Programs to replace kitchens, bathrooms, doors and windows also remain the responsibility of the council.
How are TMOs financed? TMOs are paid an allowance by the Council which is dependent on the size of the TMO and the services it provides. How much allowance each TMO receives is determined Government guidance.
Are TMOs in Hackney responsible for fire safety? As with all Hackney estates, most aspects of fire safety remain the responsibility of the Council as the landlord.
Hackney Council is responsible for:
Conducting Fire Risk Assessments
Maintaining fire safety equipment
Maintaining the structure of buildings
Maintenance of fire alarms and smoke detectors
Maintaining fire safety signs
Carrying out all repairs and improvements related to fire safety.
The TMOs role in fire safety is to work with residents to help prevent fire safety hazards, such as the blocking access and escape routes or fire hazards in properties. TMOs are also responsible for carrying our regular visual inspections of estates and reporting any concerns to the Council.
What do I do if I am unhappy with the services provided by my TMO? TMOs in Hackney are all subject to the Council’s complaints procedure. If you have a complaint or concern about a TMO please register a complaint with the council.
How are TMOs regulated in Hackney? TMOs in Hackney are closely regulated by the Council:
A dedicated Council TMO team is responsible for the regulation and performance management of TMOs in Hackney
Government guidance allows the Council to take action against TMOs which can result in the Council taking back certain services or, if necessary, closing the TMO and bringing all services on the estate back under the full control of the Council
The Council’s TMO team undertakes an ‘annual review’ of each TMO. Where the Management Agreement is not being met, an action plan is agreed with the TMO Board which is monitored by the TMO team. Formal action can be taken against the TMO if necessary
The Council’s Audit team undertakes audits of TMO governance every four years. The Council’s TMO team helps to monitor these audits and takes action if necessary.
The Council has a named TMO Liaison Officer for each TMO and who regularly attends TMO board meetings and advises on governance and performance issues.
TMO performance is monitored by the Council’s TMO team and is further scrutinised by the Tenancy and Leasehold Services Management Team.
Clapton Park Summer Fun day took place on Saturday 21st July 2018. The event, held at the heart of Clapton Park within the Gilpin Square, had a huge turnout. The event tailored by the Residents’ Participation Group target residents of all ages and showcased local talent by hiring a resident face painter and had residents set up food stalls! The Summer Fun day had a boxing ring on show and partnered with the local Youth Club, the ‘Pedro Club’. Bouncy castles for the kids, inflatable gladiator jousting for all to test their strengths, tombola, Cuban dancing and other fun activities were all available and enjoyed to the hilt!. One lucky resident won the grand prize on the raffle and went home with a 32” Smart TV!
All who attended had a great time, one resident stated “I would just like to say Wow, Wow, Wow, what an amazing day Saturday was, a fantastic time was had by one and all.”
Following the success of their Fun Day they'll be planning more community events. Their next event is a Coach Trip to Southend on Sea taking place on Tuesday 7th August 2018.
Arden TMO, which manages over 700 units and was set up in 2005 has a new substantive manager. Mary Powell joined the TMO a few weeks ago and had this to say to her residents.
New Estate Manager – Mary Powell I am very happy to join you here at the North and South Arden TMO. I took up post on 11 June 2018 and have been finding my way around the estate. Thank you to the TMO staff, Board members and other residents who have already made me welcome and provided me with helpful information and advice. In particular thank you to Owen Ramsay who has been the acting TMO Manager since Paul Smith left last year. Previously I have worked as an Estate Services Manager for a TMO in Wandsworth before coming back to work in Hackney. I also have experience of working in leasehold management, street properties and supported housing going back about 20 years. I look forward to using this background knowledge to help develop the Arden Estate. This is a crucial time to defend the place of council housing here in London and elsewhere, as we see the growth of expensive private developments all around our neighbourhoods. It is London’s mixed communities which make it such a special place in which to live and work. We do not need to apologise for being here on the fringes of the City, London needs us all. I look forward to building on productive relations with Hackney Council, which remains the landlord for this estate, so as to improve the fabric of the buildings and access to council led services. Working together I hope that we can achieve even more for the Arden Estate. The safety of people living on and visiting the estate is of the greatest importance to me. Over the next few months I will be working with staff and residents to identify ways in which we can reduce safety risks around the estate. In particular I will be taking an active interest in the use and upkeep of communal areas. Please be aware that we will be seeking to keep communal areas clear of personal belongings, as these can present obstructions and fire hazards. I look forward to meeting more of you in the near future.
Wenlock Barn TMO won two awards for Outstanding Housing Management Performance - second year in a row, and the other for Supporting the Community and Going the Extra Mile.
For those who may not be in the know, Wenlock Barn TMO delivers a comprehensive Housing Management Service covering the areas of Tenancy, Rent arrears management, Voids, Repair and ASB. Apart from meeting their Key Performance Indicator (KPI) targets, another of their priorities is to equip their staff with good quality training to do their job well and to deliver a good customer experience. With regards to their residents and community, they provide an enabling environment to foster the creation of new initiatives to benefit their residents. This has proven fruitful in delivering projects for residents on the estate. The TMO has a number of award winning garden projects – the orchard, growing kitchen, the back garden and the herb garden. Each of these project are fully backed and supported by the Board. Anyone can feel free to visit Wenlock Barn or go to their website and see some of their community projects at work - wenlockbarntmo.co.uk/community-projects
On Friday 6th April, Clapton Park Management Organisation held our very first Easter Scavenger Hunt for the children of our estate! The children were provided with 7 riddles to find the clues scattered across Gilpin Square, where all the children got to go home with chocolate goodies! The scavenger hunt took place within Gilpin Square, whilst Vi Forrester Hall was opened for children to get creative and make Easter bonnets, do a bit of egg painting and some arts and crafts. Meanwhile the adults were treated to hot drinks, scones, hot cross buns and a raffle! Pictures will be available across our social media (www.facebook.com/ClaptonParkTMO and @ClaptonParkMO on Instagram and Twitter). We aim to do a big Summer fair on Gilpin Square for our next major event!
Downs Estate partnered with registered charity, Hackney Showroom, to provide a100 child places, on a series of six activity events, for children on Downs during the Easter holiday period. The events were a huge hit with the children ad are now a firmly set in the annual activity calendar for Downs Estate Management Organisation.