In 2017, the ICSH commissioned the first ever sector-wide tenant experience survey to ask housing association tenants across the country their views on:
- their overall satisfaction with accommodation and service;
- rating their housing association performance in key areas and tasks (such as repairs);
- their experience of local housing issues; and to
- evaluate the effectiveness of tenant support services where relevant.
Following on from the successful tenant surveys conducted in 2017 and 2020, the ICSH launched its Tenant Satisfaction Survey 2023 on 28th November 2023. The 2023 survey was undertaken at a time of increased cost of living and unprecedented demand for affordable rental housing. A representative sample of residents from a number of our smaller and larger AHB members, and from each housing category (older persons, low income family, disability, homelessness) has provided a robust indicator of the level of satisfaction among tenants in their homes.
The aims of the 2023 survey was to support the sector by:
- Identifying the overall satisfaction of tenants with their homes and how they prioritise different aspects of service delivery;
- Ascertaining tenants’ views on the quality of current housing services and supports provided;
- Evaluating how housing associations have moved on and recovered from Covid-19, as well as its long-term effects on the sector;
- Assessing the impact of the cost-of-living crisis on tenants and their satisfaction with the services delivered;
- Developing a wider picture of the sector from the tenant’s perspective and informing future areas of research; and
- Benchmarking and building on the results from the previous surveys.
Housing associations recognise the importance of listening to and responding to the tenant as their most important stakeholder. The ICSH feel it is essential to regularly consult with tenants on a sector-wide basis to highlight their experience of the sector as the most important stakeholder.
Methodology and Outputs
The ICSH have a track record of managing tenant satisfaction surveys on behalf of members. Surveys are conducted by telephone as this generally provides a higher response rate than postal survey. Other advantages are that:
- Telephone surveys are more cost effective;
- Likelihood of response errors reduced;
- Data can be collected and collated quickly
The objective is to achieve a representative sample of all housing association tenants at standard confidence level and interval. A cluster sampling method is used. An aggregated survey will be produced and disseminated by the ICSH to relevant stakeholders in the sector. Each participating organisation will also receive an anonymised report for each scheme that they provide (subject to the response threshold exceeding that which would not breach confidentiality). The survey will be quantitative in nature and the questionnaire will be designed in this way.
The goal is that the survey will be statistically robust at an overall level (the level at which the conclusions will be used), while the survey will also aim to show various levels of satisfaction in the four main sectors of social housing represented by the ICSH, namely elderly, disability, family and accommodation for those who were formerly homeless.
Data Protection and Anonymity
The survey is completely anonymous, with participating organisations receiving an anonymised report for each development they provide (subject to the response threshold exceeding that which would not breach confidentiality). It should be noted that the individual report will not be statistically robust, but may be useful to each association in terms of their performance management; particularly where another tenant survey has previously taken place.
Tenants who are contacted will have an opportunity to ‘opt out’ at the beginning of the call. All tenant data will be held securely and be password protected, and deleted at the end of the survey (not used for other research).
The survey will be a standardised questionnaire to ensure validity.
Why Take Part?
As well as providing valuable data on the sector as a whole, each participating association will also receive an anonymised report for their own tenancies where a certain threshold of respondents has been achieved. Overall, this survey will provide up-to-date and useful information to a range of stakeholders and funders in the sector.
What do I need to do to take part?
To take part in this research, Housing associations should submit an expression of interest to ICSH. Please note that all expressions of interest may not be selected to participate in the research as there needs to be an even geographical spread and an adequate representation of the housing categories. ICSH will try to accommodate as many of our members as possible. Participating housing associations will then be requested to submit tenant information (name, address and contact number) to the ICSH.
As this research will be carried out by a research agent, it is best practice that participating housing association inform their tenants that the research will be happening and that they may be contacted to take part.
Please submit your expressions of interest to Keelin McCarthy, Development Specialist (Housing Management) in ICSH at email@example.com.