Friday, September 10, 2010

Venture Housing Association Inspection

I joined the board of Venture Housing Association in June 2008 and discovered at my first board meeting that the Association had sadly just had a very poor audit commission inspection and had received no stars and poor prospects for improvement.

We managed to counter some of their findings and pushed the judgement to “promising prospects” by November 2008, but the no stars remained. We drew up an action plan to get to one star and beyond and to tackle our shortcomings – gas safety checks, asset management, equality and diversity, our Wirral office’s DDA compliance and in November 2009 I became the Vice Chair of the Board and took on some responsibility for some of this progress work.

This week the inspectors have been back to reinspect us and see whether we have improved sufficiently to merit a better scoring, we are aiming for one star and promising prospects, but personally I would like us to see win two stars.

I have had a long interview with one of the inspectors about our E&D work and think she was quite impressed with our fresh new focus since June 2008. We talked about work with the Michael Causer Foundation, Equality in Housing, Transgender consultation about best practice in Housing, improved profiling and data collection, training on Equality Impact Assessments, Consultation with the Disability Network, and much else besides. We should receive the informal feedback later today with the formal findings next week. I am keeping it all crossed because if we still have not done well I shall feel obliged to fall on my sword and that would such a shame as I love the association so much.

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