Dear fellow residents: from first steps towards decarbonisation to advocate for the Origin approach?
Disclaimer - This is the independent Spotlight view. It does not necessarily represent the views of Origin management.
Hi again. It’s the Sustainability Genie here, the mascot from the Climate Change Group of the Spotlight Committee of Origin Housing residents. Just to remind you, Spotlight is the resident group who keep an eye on our housing association’s performance from a resident point of view.
We’re aware that Origin Housing has started some projects to find out the current condition of their housing stock. And several hundred residents have been asked what they see as the priorities for improving the current state and energy performance of their own homes.
At the same time, “Inside Housing” magazine has just run a conference on Tenant and Resident Engagement.
One of the conference sessions was on “Partnering with Residents to Deliver Greener Homes”, so we decided that Spotlight members should attend, as well as some Origin senior managers.
At that session it became obvious that starting with whizzo new technology is not the way to go. Untried new kit, which residents either can’t or won’t use, and/or doesn’t do what it says in the advertising, won’t help either residents or the housing association or our environment. Nor will rolling up in a neighbourhood as a stranger, and announcing that something is going to be changed – right away.
Instead, the first stage, it was argued, needs to be to help residents’ build their basic knowledge and confidence. For example, by focussing on benefits to residents, using basic language, not telling but showing, using webinars and videos. Work with groups of residents to re-imagine how we live, work alongside residents on a neighbourhood basis. Doing things with people, not to people.
Nonetheless, it was interesting to receive the advice to tackle homes in the worst condition first.
Do you, our readers, warm to the approach outlined above? Could it attract you to see the process as the start of a long journey, for both ourselves as residents, and for Origin and the people it works with? Might you become an advocate for such an approach by Origin?
Do let us know at OrigisnSpotlight@gmail.com