Annual Equality Diversity and Inclusion Report 2019/20 1
3 Introduction 4
Diversity in Leadership
Race Equality and the Altair Review Recommendations
Future of London Speaker Diversity Pledge
The CIH Leading Diversity by 2020 Challenges
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Training for Board, Committees and Executive Team
Innovation, Aspiration and Best Practice
Housing Diversity Network Accreditation
London Diversity Group
Stonewall Workplace Index and HouseProud Pledge
Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA)
Disability Confident Employer
Customer satisfaction – General needs residents
Customer satisfaction – Leaseholders (including shared ownership leaseholders)
Customer satisfaction – Supported housing residents
Customer satisfaction – Major adaptations and Assisted Decorations Assistance Scheme
Opportunities for employees to engage with our customers as volunteers
Swan’s Diversity Action Forum, SwanProud and Diversity Day
21 Intranet articles / blog posts about equality, diversity and inclusion awareness days / weeks / months 21
Representativeness of Swan Housing Group’s workforce as at April 2020
Supporting our Customers
Supporting residents through the ongoing changes to the welfare benefits system
Warm in Winter Campaign
Hate crime training opportunities
Introduction Our vision is to deliver a truly inclusive customer service offer that improves lives as well as an employment offer which meets good practice. Our Equality Scheme 2018-2022 focuses on achieving the following five key objectives over the four-year period 2018-2022: • Promote diversity in leadership; • Be innovative, aspirational and meet best practice; • Measure equality outcomes and publish what we do; • Develop our workforce to deliver our values and embed these in all that we do; and • Support our customers to ensure equality outcomes in times of change. We have published this report to show the progress made during 2019/20 in achieving these objectives by delivering our Equality Scheme 2018-2022 Action Plan. Please refer also to our Community Development Impact Statement 2019/20. We are delighted to have retained our Housing Diversity Network Accreditation for excellence in equality and diversity, our Customer Service Excellence Accreditation and our Investors in People Gold accreditation, and to have been once again recognised as one of the Top 100 Not for Profit companies to work for in the UK by the Sunday Times. We are passionate about customer service and having the best people to deliver it is crucial. We want to have engaged employees who are well trained, appropriately rewarded and feel they can take decisions to deliver great services for us, our customers and our partners. Our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion will help us to recruit and retain the best people and to ensure that they are trained to meet the needs of our diverse range of residents and customers.
Diversity in Leadership
Equality Scheme 2018-2022 OBJECTIVE 1: Promote Diversity in Leadership • Continue to ensure that we create an environment that is transparent and strives to deliver against external best practice.
During 2019/20 we: • Published our gender pay gap data in line with legislative requirements and continued our Gender Balance work; • Contacted all employees for whom ethnic origin is not currently held and encouraged them to provide it as the first step towards calculating our race pay gap; • Continued to act in accordance with the pledges we have made under the Future of London Speaker Diversity Pledge; • Completed work to meet the CIH Leading Diversity by 2020 challenges; and • Developed and delivered a training programme for the Board, Committees and Executive Team to support the promotion of Diversity in Leadership.
Gender Balance We published our Gender Pay Supporting Statement (including our April 2019 gender pay gap data), along with a Gender Pay Action Plan ahead of the April deadline. The analysis of our gender pay gap figures reveals that our gender pay gap as at April 2019 (median gender pay gap of 12% and mean gender pay gap of 33%) arises because women hold fewer senior roles than men. Similarly, our bonus gap is driven by fewer women in senior roles as bonuses are a percentage of salary. We also have a higher proportion of women working in part-time roles, which generally fall within the lower quartile of pay. We shall continue to focus our attention on increasing the number of women in senior roles within our organisation and managing better our talent pipeline. Our aim is to provide an inclusive and diverse culture in which everyone is able to thrive and succeed in their career goals. Women are represented at our highest levels, both as members of the Board, including the Chair of the Board, and the Executive Team. We also have a number of women within our Senior Management Team, Development Management Team and Heads of Service.
Diversity in Leadership (cont.)
Two of the women on our Senior Management Team founded and co-lead our Inspiring Swans network that helps women shine within the workplace. We do however acknowledge that we can always do more to encourage more women in senior roles. We recognise that meaningful and lasting change will only happen over time and only with the involvement of the whole organisation. During 2019/20 we completed a number of actions including launching our second â€˜Inspirational Youâ€™ workshop for women, held a working parents / carers focus group with the Chief Executive to discuss how we can support working parents at various stages in life and carers within the workplace, and arranged a Menopause lunch and learn. For further information please see: www.swan.org.uk/home/publications/gender-pay-reporting
Race Equality and the Altair Review Recommendations We support the five recommendations of the Altair Review, which encourage organisations to create more ethnically diverse leadership across the sector and during 2019/20 we added three actions to our Equality Scheme Action Plan to address gaps in our staff data and (from April 2021) draft a race pay gap report. For further information about the Altair Review recommendations, please see: www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/housing-and-land/leadership-2025
Future of London Speaker Diversity Pledge We remain signatories to the Future of London Speaker Diversity Pledge and as such we continue to avoid participating in sessions which feature only one demographic group, and to put forward speakers from under-represented groups to represent our organisation, including at senior levels and across disciplines.
Diversity in Leadership (cont.) The CIH Leading Diversity by 2020 Challenges During 2019/20 we completed the work required to meet the ten Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) Leading Diversity by 2020 challenges1 . Diversity-related data on the composition of our Board, Executive Team and total workforce is considered by the Executive Team annually and included in the annual report. We have met the challenges through the diversity of our Board and Committees, delivery of mandatory diversity training for staff, using our corporate communications and culture strategies to ensure diversity is embedded within the organisational values, providing appropriate mentoring and coaching opportunities for staff and Board members, championing the case for a diverse workforce and leadership and encouraging colleagues, peers and partners to sign up to the challenges. As at March 2020: • 38% of our Board and Executive Team and 57% of our total workforce are women. • 15% of our Board and Executive Team and at least 20% of our total workforce are BAME (Black / Asian / Minority Ethnic, including White minority ethnic staff) . • The age profile of our total workforce shows 54% were aged 25 to 44, with 38% aged 45 and over and 8% under 25. • The age profile of the Board and Executive team showed 77% aged 45 to 64, 15% over 65 and 8% aged 25 to 44.
Diversity in Leadership (cont.) Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Training for Board, Committees and Executive Team A refresher Equality, Diversity and Inclusion training session was delivered for the Board and Executive Team in September 2019. We believe that Equality and Diversity should be embedded within all aspects of the business, and this belief is a continuous thread that runs all the way from our Board to our customer facing employees delivering on the ground.
As at March 2020: • 38% of our Board and Executive Team are women • 15% of our Board and Executive Team are BAME (Black / Asian / Minority Ethnic, including White Minority Ethnic) • Age profile of our Board and Executive Team: 8% 25-44, 77% 45-64, 15% over 65
Age profile of our Board and Executive Team:
38% of our Board and Executive Team are women
15% of our Board and Executive Team are BAME (Black / Asian / Minority Ethnic, including White Minority 25 - 44
45 - 64
Innovation, Aspiration and Best Practice
Equality Scheme 2018-2022 OBJECTIVE 2: Be innovative, aspirational and meet best practice • Understand where our strengths lie and help others by sharing our knowledge and expertise • Identify where we have areas of improvement and develop ways forward to address these
During 2019/20 we:
Housing Diversity Network Accreditation • Retained our Housing Diversity Network (HDN) accreditation for excellence in equality and diversity following our three-yearly re-accreditation assessment, with eight distinctions for good practice (an increase from the five distinctions we were awarded in 2016);
London Diversity Group • Continued to attend the London Diversity Group, which is supported by HDN, to share knowledge and expertise;
Stonewall Workplace Index and HouseProud Pledge • Continued to deliver the work plan that was developed in 2018/19 by using the Stonewall Workplace Index to assess our progress on LGBT equality and identify opportunities to do more, and signed up to the HouseProud pledge as a pledge pioneer (see next page);
Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA) • Continued to deliver the work plan that was developed in 2018/19 by using the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance (DAHA) online toolkit to assess our response to domestic abuse and identify opportunities to do more. Having amended our Health and Wellbeing Policy to support members of staff who may be experiencing domestic abuse, we are now fully meeting the commitments we made by signing up to the ‘Make a Stand’ pledge, launched in June 2018 by DAHA in partnership with the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and Women’s Aid, to show our commitment to people experiencing domestic abuse. For further information please see the domestic abuse page on our website.
Innovation, Aspiration and Best Practice (cont.) Disability Confident Employer • Retained our Disability Confident Employer Status and signed up as members of Purple to support our work on disability. We have signed the HouseProud Pledge to demonstrate our commitment to LGBTQ+ equality and support and have therefore pledged to make sure that LGBTQ+ residents can have input at executive / strategic level, increase LGBTQ+ visibility, and provide staff training to improve understanding of LGBTQ+ lives. If you want to get involved in any way please contact the Resident Involvement and Community Development Team (Tel. 0300 303 2500 or 01277 844242 / Email firstname.lastname@example.org). For more information about the HouseProud pledge and HouseProud’s ‘No Place Like Home’ research that led to the development of the pledge please see www.houseproud-lgbt.com. Our ongoing commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion will enable us to deliver our Social Purpose by being a successful, innovative and growing housing organisation that continues to put our diverse residents and customers at the heart of everything we do.
Equality Scheme 2018-2022 OBJECTIVE 3: Measure equality outcomes and publish what we do • Ensure that we can evidence the impact that we have by reporting and publishing our Annual Report and summary of our Equality Analysis results
We measure our performance through annual customer satisfaction surveys. In 2019/20 we carried out surveys of: • General needs residents (random sample of 562 residents) • Supported housing residents (all residents surveyed; responses provided by 185) • Leaseholders (random sample of 100 leaseholders including 71 shared ownership leaseholders)
Customer satisfaction – General needs residents A review of comments provided by customers who responded to the 2019/20 customer satisfaction survey of general needs housing residents2 identified 43 customers who had made comments that suggested equality-related reasons for dissatisfaction. The majority of these comments were made by residents who felt that Swan should do more to meet their disabilityrelated / age-related needs. All dissatisfied customers who gave their name and address have been contacted to discuss their concerns.
Customer satisfaction by ethnic origin – General needs residents A review of the comments provided by customers identified no race-related reasons for dissatisfaction. Please note: BAME (Black / Asian / Minority Ethnic) customers are defined here as anyone who stated their ethnic origin as something other than White British. We would be happy to provide on request data tables which provide a further breakdown of the responses given by customers from different ethnic groups.
562 randomly selected general needs housing residents
Equality Outcomes (cont.) There was no significant difference in overall satisfaction with the service provided by Swan between BAME and White British customers: BAME
For London customers (who made up 80% of the BAME respondents and 19% of the White British respondents), both the satisfaction rate and the dissatisfaction rate were slightly higher for BAME customers than for White British customers (BAME London 78% satisfied, 19% dissatisfied; White British London 75% satisfied, 16% dissatisfied). Satisfaction with the way that Swan deals with repairs and maintenance was lower for BAME customers than White British customers: BAME
Further analysis of the data suggests that the satisfaction levels set out above are at least partly due to the high proportion (80%) of BAME respondents who live in London where satisfaction with the way that Swan deals with repairs and maintenance was lower for all respondents. The lowest satisfaction rate was for BAME customers who live in Essex but this must be seen within the context of the low sample size: Only 26 (7%) of the 367 Essex respondents identified their ethnic origin as something other than White British.
White British (London)
White British (Essex)
Equality Outcomes (cont.) There was no significant difference in satisfaction that Swan listens to residentsâ€™ views and acts on them between BAME and White British customers: BAME
Customer satisfaction by age â€“ General needs residents Overall, customers aged 45-64 were more satisfied with the service provided by Swan than younger and older customers, and older customers were least likely to be dissatisfied: Younger than 45
65 or older
Older customers were more satisfied than younger customers with the way that Swan deals with repairs and maintenance: Younger than 45
65 or older
Older customers were also more satisfied than younger customers that Swan listens to their views and acts on them:
Younger than 45
65 or older
Equality Outcomes (cont.)
Customer satisfaction by disability â€“ General needs residents Overall, disabled customers were less satisfied with the service provided by Swan than non-disabled customers: Disabled
Conversely, disabled customers were more satisfied with the way that Swan deals with repairs and maintenance than non-disabled customers: Disabled
There was no significant difference in satisfaction that Swan listens to residentsâ€™ views and acts on them between disabled and non-disabled customers: Disabled
As set out on page 10, a number of comments were made by customers who felt that Swan could do more to meet their disability-related / age-related needs. All dissatisfied customers who gave their name and address have been contacted to discuss their concerns.
Equality Outcomes (cont.)
Customer satisfaction by gender â€“ General needs residents A review of the comments provided by customers identified no gender-related reasons for dissatisfaction. Female customers were less satisfied than male customers: With the overall service provided by Swan: Female
With the way that Swan deals with repairs and maintenance: Female
That Swan listens to their views and acts on them: Female
Customer satisfaction â€“ Leaseholders (including shared ownership leaseholders) A review of comments provided by customers who responded to the 2019/20 customer satisfaction survey of leaseholders3 identified no equality-related reasons for dissatisfaction. All dissatisfied customers who gave their name and address have been contacted to discuss their concerns. As the majority of the respondents were aged 26-59 and not disabled, meaningful analysis of responses by age and disability is not possible. Respondents were not asked about their gender.
Random sample of 100 leaseholders including 71 shared ownership leaseholders
Equality Outcomes (cont.)
The 40 (40%) BAME (Black / Asian / Minority Ethnic) customers were: Less satisfied than White British customers with the overall service provided by Swan: BAME
More satisfied than White British customers that Swan listens to their views and acts on them: BAME
Customer satisfaction – Supported housing residents A review of comments provided by customers who responded to the 2019/20 customer satisfaction survey of supported housing residents identified no equality-related reasons for dissatisfaction. All dissatisfied customers who gave their name and address have been contacted to discuss their concerns. 92% satisfaction with the overall service provided by Swan 84% satisfaction with the way that Swan deals with repairs and maintenance 82% satisfaction that Swan listens to views and acts on them 92% of customers were satisfied with the overall service provided by Swan and 9 customers (5%) were dissatisfied: • None of the 16 BAME (Black / Asian / Minority Ethnic) customers4 were dissatisfied and 6% of the White British customers were dissatisfied. • There was no significant difference in levels of dissatisfaction between younger and older customers (Under 26 5% dissatisfied; 26-59 3% dissatisfied; 60 or over 7% dissatisfied) or between disabled and non-disabled customers (disabled 4% dissatisfied; non-disabled 6% dissatisfied). 4
AME (Black / Asian / Minority Ethnic) is defined here as anyone who stated their ethnic origin as someB thing other than White British
Equality Outcomes (cont.) 84% of customers were satisfied with the way that Swan deals with repairs and maintenance and 14 customers (8%) were dissatisfied: • 2 (13%) of the 16 BAME (Black / Asian / Minority Ethnic) customers were dissatisfied and 8% of the White British respondents were dissatisfied. • Levels of dissatisfaction were higher for younger customers than for older customers (Under 26 24% dissatisfied; 26-59 4% dissatisfied; 60 or over 2% dissatisfied) and for nondisabled customers than for disabled customers (disabled 5% dissatisfied; non-disabled 15% dissatisfied). 82% of customers were satisfied that Swan listens to their views and acts on them and 15 customers (8%) were dissatisfied: • 2 (13%) of the 16 BAME (Black / Asian / Minority Ethnic) customers were dissatisfied and 8% of the White British respondents were dissatisfied. • Levels of dissatisfaction were higher for younger customers than for older customers (Under 26 19% dissatisfied; 26-59 3% dissatisfied; 60 or over 8% dissatisfied) and for nondisabled customers than for disabled customers (disabled 5% dissatisfied; non-disabled 15% dissatisfied). Customers were not asked about their gender.
Customer satisfaction – Major adaptations and Assisted Decorations Assistance Scheme In 2019/20 32 households were assisted with major adaptations (adaptations costing more than £1,000, for example shower installations, stair lifts, ramps) and five households were assisted through the Assisted Decorations Scheme. The Assisted Decorations Scheme offers tenants who are over state pension age or in receipt of a Disability Living Allowance or Personal Independence Payment the opportunity to have two rooms of their choice decorated where they are unable to carry out their own decorating and have no other person in the household or otherwise who is physically able to assist. All residents who completed a satisfaction questionnaire were satisfied.
Equality Outcomes (cont.) Equality Analysis In line with our Equality Analysis programme, we completed an equality analysis of each of the following service areas in 2019/20: Allocations; Neighbourhood Services; Repairs; Resident Involvement and Community Development. No negative equality impacts were identified. Analysis of the complaints data for 2019/20 shows that feedback from a diverse range of residents is being effectively obtained and addressed. All complaints received during 2019/20 were acknowledged within target and responded to within target and five raised equality issues, all of which related to disability / mobility: • A wheelchair user was unable to leave her home to attend college due to a broken lift. We paid for a private ambulance to help her come and go. • A resident with mobility difficulties was unable to access his home one night due to a broken lift. He stayed with a relative that night and the lift was fixed the next day. • A mobility scooter user was unable to use their back gate to access their home and the gate was damaging the scooter. We installed a concrete post to address this issue. • A resident complained about the time it was taking to install a stair rail. We brought forward the installation date. • A newly installed shower was not working properly. We installed a new pump to address this issue. During 2019/20, a random sample of complainants were contacted by the Customer Relations Team by phone to measure satisfaction with Swan’s complaints process. Of the 101 complainants that the team spoke to: • 92% were satisfied with the complaints procedure; • 95% were satisfied with the outcome; and • 97% felt that it was easy to complain.
Equality Scheme 2018-2022 OBJECTIVE 4: Develop our workforce to deliver our values and embed these in all that we do • Develop a culture of inclusivity where our staff and residents thrive by delivering a programme of training and events that help to raise awareness and knowledge around equality and diversity • Utilise our Diversity Action Forum to add value and further embed Equality and Diversity into all roles
During 2019/20 we: • Continued to provide mandatory EDI (equality, diversity and inclusion) training, which includes cultural awareness training for new employees: Seven sessions were run, attended by 63 employees. • Provided a number of opportunities for employees to engage directly with our customer base in a voluntary capacity, to enable them to build closer links to our customers; • Agreed and delivered an action plan for project work to be undertaken by our Diversity Action Forum; and • Continued to publish articles / blog posts on the intranet that relate to various equality, diversity and inclusion related awareness days / weeks / months that include positive diversity messages.
Opportunities for employees to engage with our customers as volunteers A programme of volunteering opportunities for 2019/20 was developed. As part of Swan's Christmas Kindness campaign, in December 2019 19 Swan employees volunteered to support a number of activities and events including Christmas lunches, carol concerts and social events for older people, fundraising for St Luke's Hospice and Christmas parties for older residents in Laindon and at the Exmouth community hub.
Swan’s Diversity Action Forum, SwanProud and Diversity Day Our Diversity Action Forum consists of representatives from various departments / sections within Swan and our repairs partner Axis who, as Diversity Champions, are responsible for: 18
Our Workforce (cont.)
• Identifying what equality, diversity and inclusion issues matter most to residents, customers and employees; • Ensuring that Swan’s approach to equality, diversity and inclusion is understood by all Swan Housing Association employees and that every department is promoting equality, diversity and inclusion; and • Proposing and delivering projects and actions that relate to equality, diversity and inclusion. Each year the Diversity Action Forum agree and deliver a number of projects. The outcomes achieved through the work of the Diversity Action Forum and SwanProud in 2019/20 include increased awareness about: gender equality and period poverty; LGBT+ equality, race equality; black history; religion, faith and culture; dementia and Alzheimer’s; domestic abuse and the White Ribbon Campaign which aims to end male violence against women by engaging men. Diversity Action Forum projects delivered in 2019/20 included the following: • We delivered another successful annual Diversity Day (please see next page); • We raised over £240 for the Alzheimer’s Society through a Dementia Awareness Day arranged for Forest Gate (London Borough of Newham) residents and Alzheimer’s Cupcake Day activities for Swan staff. • We ran a campaign to raise awareness about period poverty and do something to help, which resulted in Swan staff donating 40 packs of pads, 33 boxes of tampons / liners and 17 packs of tights and knickers that were donated to a school in Basildon. • We put up ‘Not every disability is visible’ posters on the doors of accessible toilets in Swan’s offices and community hubs. • We celebrated Black History Month by sharing a series of Black History Month articles on the intranet, arranging a lunch and learn session with an external speaker to explore the importance of diversity in the workforce and valuing difference, and a trip to see ‘Tina the Musical’, which 36 Swan staff attended. • We celebrated World Hijab Day by sharing information on the intranet and arranging two lunch and learn sessions for Swan staff which were run by a member of the Diversity Action Forum and two colleagues who wear the hijab and attended by 14 Swan employees. • We celebrated the diversity of the Estate Services Team at a diversity lunch where the Chair of SwanProud gave a presentation about Pride month and SwanProud. • The Chair of SwanProud (Swan’s network for LGBT+ staff and allies) and other members of SwanProud delivered the SwanProud action plan. In addition to the presentation given to the Estate Services Team, we: 19
Our Workforce (cont.) ○ Raised awareness of the Stonewall Rainbow Laces Campaign by giving out rainbow laces at Swan’s five-a-side football event; ○ Participated in London Pride as part of HouseProud and arranged for Swan and our repairs partner Axis to sponsor and have stalls at Essex Pride where we gave out rainbow wristbands embossed with the words ‘@SwanHousing somewhere to feel at home’ (We were also going to have a stall at the first ever Basildon Pride but unfortunately nobody was available that day); ○ Worked with the Tower Hamlets LGBT Forum to host an LGBT+ History Month event at The Reach Community Hub in Tower Hamlets; and ○ Published intranet articles about various awareness days and months including: Pride month; LGBT+ History Month; Transgender Day of Remembrance; and IDAHOBIT Day – International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia.
Diversity Day 2020: Celebrating Success Our Diversity Day 2020 (for Swan employees and involved residents) was held at The Reach Community Hub in Tower Hamlets. The theme was ‘Celebrating Success’ and the day consisted of the following sessions, with awareness raising stalls for attendees to engage with over the lunch break: • As Stonewall Diversity Champions we were joined by two speakers from Stonewall who celebrated Stonewall’s 30th birthday and Swan’s 25th birthday with us by sharing some of Stonewall’s important moments of equality from the past 25 years. • A session titled ‘Celebrating Strength and Empowerment: Making a Difference’ was run by Dr Muzvare Hazviperi Betty Makoni, Director, Girls Empowerment Initiative UK – a non-profit voluntary organisation based in Essex which provides specialist services and programmes to empower girls aged 0 to 21 who are at risk of harmful cultural beliefs, practices and attitudes. • Swan’s Head of People Development and Engagement presented Swan’s Health and Wellbeing Strategy with a focus on mental health. • A session titled ‘Celebrating Ability’ was run by Ryan Raghoo, Chief Executive of Enabled Not Disabled, a young British man who has made it his mission to challenge stereotypes about disability, provide opportunities and educate as many people as possible.
Our Workforce (cont.) Intranet articles / blog posts about equality, diversity and inclusion awareness days / weeks / months In addition to the articles / blog posts already mentioned in this report, we published articles / blog posts that related to: International Women’s Day; International Men’s Day; World Cancer Day; World Mental Health Day; World Religion Day and Holocaust Memorial Day.
Representativeness of Swan Housing Group’s workforce as at April 2020 We are passionate about customer service and having the best people to deliver it is crucial. Our commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion will help us to recruit and retain the best people and to ensure that they are trained to meet the diverse needs of our diverse range of residents and customers. Representativeness of Swan Housing Group’s workforce as at April 2020: • 57% women; 43% men. • 8% under 25, 54% 25 to 44, 38% 45 and over. • At least 20% are BAME (Black / Asian / Minority Ethnic, including White Minority Ethnic staff): At least 59% White English / Welsh / Sottish / Northern Irish / British; At least 9% White Irish or White Other; At least 6% Black / African / Caribbean / Black British; At least 4% Asian / Asian British; At least 2% Mixed / Multiple ethnic groups; At least 1% Other ethnic groups. Ethnic origin is not known for 20%* • At least 34% have no religion; at least 38% are Christian; at least 3% are Muslim; at least 2% state their religion as another religion. Religion is not known for 24%* • At least 2% of our total workforce are disabled / have a disability (based on selfclassification). Disability is not known for 25%* • At least 3% of our total workforce are lesbian, gay or bisexual. Sexual orientation is not known for 19%*. * Work will be undertaken during 2020/21 to address the data gaps.
The ethnic and religion profile of the areas in which we work differs significantly: In Essex, where our head office is based, and the London borough of Havering, the majority of the population are White and Christian or have no religion. The populations of the other East London boroughs in which we work are much more diverse and a much higher proportion of the community are Asian / Asian British, Black / African / Caribbean / Black British, and from Mixed / multiple or other ethnic groups. A much higher proportion of people in these London boroughs are Muslim and, to a lesser extent, Hindu, Sikh, Jewish, and Buddhist. 21
Supporting our Customers
Equality Scheme 2018-2022 OBJECTIVE 5: Support our customers to ensure equality outcomes in times of change • Understand our customers and their needs and adapt our services to meet those needs • Provide training and support for our customers in relation to digital • Tackle the matters that are important to our customers such as social isolation and fuel poverty
During 2019/20 we continued to: • Progress our CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Implementation Project, which will enable us to increase the profile information we hold about our customers to include items such as communication preference to enable us to shape services to meet their needs effectively; • Support residents through the ongoing changes to the welfare benefits system; • Deliver our Warm in Winter programme, our older persons winter warmth and safety programme that identifies and addresses loneliness and helps safeguard residents from scams; • Work to support the local communities in which Swan operates by developing employment opportunities within Swan and offering training and guidance for accessing these roles; and • Provide our customers with hate crime training opportunities.
Supporting residents through the ongoing changes to the welfare benefits system We have three Welfare Reform Officers who continue to support general needs residents through the changes. Our knowledge and understanding of customers and their needs has been enhanced by the appointment of these officers. The London Welfare Reform Officer speaks both English and Bengali which supports our resident profile in London. We have provided and will continue to provide, targeted information and individualised support for residents affected by welfare reform with a focus on personal contact and we understand that our residents have different needs. In 2019/20 rent arrears were only 1.96%. In 2019/20 the team helped residents to reduce their debt and met arrears targets by: 22
Supporting Our Customers (cont.)
• Contacting 2,953 residents to explain the welfare reform changes and help them to maximise their income; • Carrying out 634 home visits; • Supporting 1,940 households in receipt of Universal Credit; • Supporting residents to make 233 Discretionary Housing Payment applications with an 82% success rate, resulting in residents being awarded Discretionary Housing Payments totalling £112,639; • Securing an additional £751K in welfare benefits to help residents to sustain their tenancies; • Setting up 185 Alternative Payment Arrangements for vulnerable residents and referring 57 families for debt advice and training; • Working out of hours on 23 Saturdays and 35 evenings throughout the year to contact residents who are working and secure lump sum payments; • Devising awareness raising campaigns, You Tube videos and text messages to reach as many households as possible; and • Working with the Resident Involvement and Community Development Team to promote training opportunities and support residents back into work. We have partnerships which support financial inclusion and money management and we also signpost to other organisations: • In Tower Hamlets we signpost residents to the Bromley by Bow Centre, Toynbee Hall and Capitalise Debt Advice Agency, and are part of the ‘Money Talks’ programme – a network to provide support for residents. • We have service level agreements in place with Basildon CAB and Havering CAB (which covers Havering and Redbridge) and refer residents to them for debt management advice and help to access mainstream financial products. • We are voucher holders for the Tower Hamlets, Chelmsford, Clacton, Braintree, Colchester and Basildon foodbanks, and our work with local foodbanks has proved invaluable in helping those who need it. We also have a hardship fund which we use to help residents in financial difficulties. • We also work in partnership with local Department for Work and Pensions (DWP), job centres and housing benefit departments to assist our tenants to complete and resolve issues affecting their applications, and work in partnership with Basildon, Tower Hamlets, Newham and Havering Liberty Credit Unions and other housing providers.
Supporting our Customers (cont.) We understand that, to effectively support residents through the changes to the welfare benefits system, we must continue to maintain and strengthen our partnership working. We attend regular Housing Forums, which are set up by the DWP for housing providers and we have a liaison officer for help with complex cases. We have Trusted Partner status and access to the portal to identify claims, verify rent and apply for Alternative Payment Arrangements for those residents who would struggle to pay their rent.
Warm in Winter Campaign Following successful pilots run in Tower Hamlets in 2017 and Basildon in 2018, we wrote to all Swan residents aged over 70 who live alone and offered to visit them in 2019 as part of our Warm in Winter Campaign. As a result, we visited 60 residents to make sure they were safe and warm in their homes, to identify any residents who might benefit from additional support / services and to identify any wellbeing or safeguarding issues.
Hate crime training opportunities Building on the work already undertaken, we continued to work in partnership to provide our customers with hate crime training opportunities. We included an article in the Spring 2019 edition of The Communicator (newsletter for residents, now called Home) to congratulate Swan resident Samantha for winning the Inspirational Resident award at the Tower Hamlets Star in the Community awards for her work as a Tower Hamlets No Place for Hate Champion. The article also told any residents interested in becoming a Tower Hamlets No Place for Hate champion how to find out more. Following a nomination made by Swan, Samantha was also shortlisted in the Community Role model category at the national 24 Housing Diversity Awards 2019. We continue to make information about hate crime, how to report it and the support available on our website.
During the year we have made excellent progress in delivering our Equality Scheme 2018-2022 action plan and our continued commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion has helped us to retain our: • Housing Diversity Network Accreditation for excellence in equality and diversity; • Customer Service Excellence Accreditation; • Investors in People Gold accreditation; and • Place in the Times Top 100 Not for Profit companies to work for in the UK list. With equality, diversity and inclusion there is always more to be done and we are committed to doing just that. We know from experience that by working with our employees, residents and stakeholders we can combine our skills, resources and energy to create a greater impact, make a bigger difference and deliver our social purpose. We will work with our residents, customers and partners with the aim of improving equality, diversity and inclusion outcomes for everyone regardless of: age; disability; gender identity; gender expression; marriage and civil partnership; pregnancy, maternity and paternity; race, colour, nationality, ethnic or national origins; religion or belief; sex; and sexual orientation.
somewhere to feel at home