Tenants Present NPT Homes with Projects for Action
As part of NPT Homes’ commitment to support tenants to live independently, the social housing provider is working in partnership with tenants and the Royal National Institute for Blind People (RNIB) to ensure all its Haven Housing schemes meet RNIB Cymru’s “Visibly Better” Standards.
By complying to the visibly better standard, NPT Homes is ensuring Haven Housing properties and communal areas are suitable for its older tenants who are more prone to sight conditions that would impact their ability to live independently.
As part of the partnership, a group of RNIB Tenant Assessors, who are tenants living in NPT Homes’ Haven Housing, have carried out an audit of individual schemes. These audits outline how their homes, communal areas and external features could be enhanced to meet RNIB Cymru’s Visibly Better standard and support those with sight loss. The RNIB Tenant Assessors have undertaken sight loss awareness training, Visibly Better environment training and have also visited an accredited platinum status scheme to understand what accessible design looks like in situ.
The RNIB Tenant Assessors have now completed a full review of three schemes and have presented their findings to NPT Homes’ Director of Assets Steve Tucker. NPT Homes have committed to carrying out these improvements in the next year before undergoing a status assessment from RNIB Cymru.
These improvements include installing new easy to identify handrails, clear signage with contrasting colours and painting kerbs and raised pavements to prevent trips and falls.
In addition to carrying out the audit, the group has also been working with NPT Homes in selecting RNIB compliant furniture and making decisions on how the communal areas will be decorated.
The RNIB Tenant Assessors audit will be rolled out across all of NPT Homes’ schemes by the end of 2017 to identify areas of improvement which will ultimately help tenants to move around their home more easily and to live as independently as possible.
NPT Homes’ Director of Assets, Steve Tucker, said:
“Our RNIB Tenant Assessors have done a fantastic job and have demonstrated excellent knowledge and insight. We have been tasked with addressing the audit over the next year before tenants revisit the schemes to review the changes we have made. These environmental changes will influence safety and confidence for people with sight loss whilst ensuring beautiful homes.”
Visibly Better Co-ordinator David Watkins at RNIB Cymru, said:
“All of the volunteers are competent at reviewing and assessing builds and have provided insightful contributions to the audit reports. This will support NPT Homes in achieving Visibly Better accreditation and more importantly make sure that environments for all tenants including those with sight loss and physical impairments are accessible.
Our Visibly Better awards make a huge difference to the lives of tenants. Often the changes are very simple but lead to a reduction in falls and accidents.”