Award-winning Accessible Homes Team celebrated as Housing Heroes

The Accessible Homes Team are celebrating after winning a nationally recognised award that highlights unsung heroes of the housing sector.

What award did The Accessible Homes Team win? 

The Housing Heroes Customer Experience Award 2020 was presented to Kirklees Council’s Accessible Homes Team in recognition of their innovation to drive the organisation’s delivery of a truly top-class customer service and producing outstanding results in satisfaction levels.

The service created a multi-disciplinary structure by integrating a housing, health, social care and housing-related medical team to help people to live independently and have control over their own lives. The service is provided for people of any age with a health need who are struggling in their home, regardless of if they rent or own their home, making it safer and easier for the occupant to move around and do everyday tasks at home. Typically this is through equipment, assistive technology or adaptations to the home, but through this new integration also includes the benefit of joint-working to innovate and expand services, creating a more efficient and supportive service for the person.

The configuration of the team is seen nationally as good practice.

When were the winners announced? 

The panel of prestigious leaders, representing all parts of the housing sector, chose the award winners from entries received from housing associations, councils and Arms-length management organisations (ALMOs) from across the whole of the UK. The winners were announced at a virtual festival on 10 September.

Cabinet member for Housing and Democracy, Cllr Cathy Scott said:

“We’re thrilled to have been recognised by industry experts for the hard work and dedication of our Accessible Homes Team. The award is well deserved and it’s an outstanding achievement for all those involved in delivering the service.

We’re dedicated to providing the very best service to help our residents have the best start, keep well for as long as possible, live independently and feel protected in their own home.

The innovation of this multi-disciplinary team has allowed us to excel in this, joining-up both operationally and strategically so we can work efficiently and effectively with the person to find the most appropriate solution for them.

This helps us to deliver the best customer service experience to support vulnerable people and change their lives for the better.”

Were any more awards won?

Chief Operating Officer at Kirklees Neighbourhood Housing, Joanne Bartholomew won the ‘Inspirational Leader of the year’ category for her exceptional achievements, her leadership under difficult circumstances and her ability to remove barriers and to create an open and positive culture in which she leads.

The council was also shortlisted in two other categories; the Accessible Homes Team for ‘Frontline team of the year (over 5,000 homes)’ and James Street from the council’s Rough Sleeping Team for ‘Inspirational colleague of the year’.

Who organises the Housing Heroes Awards? 

Now in its 12th year, the Housing Heroes Awards is organised jointly by Inside Housing and the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).

The Accessible Homes Team were the 2019 winners of Foundations Healthy Housing Awards ‘Social Housing Adaptations Service of the Year’ and are regularly asked to speak at recognised industry advocate conferences, recognising its work and structure.

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