Exploring how we can make tower block issue reporting clearer and more transparent for everyone

 

Tower Blocks UK is working with mySociety—the charity behind websites like TheyWorkForYou and WhatDoTheyKnow—to design a service that could help tower block residents track and report safety and maintenance issues in their buildings.

During 2019, we conducted user research, talking to lawyers, health and safety specialists, residents, tenant organisers, local councillors, and housing technology specialists, to find out what issues are most pressing in relation to tower block safety. We identified four key areas where we feel we have the opportunity to make a difference to how safe and happy residents feel in their homes: 

  1. Educating and informing  Designing a service that helps tenants identify and diagnose problems around them – like our Fire Safety Checklist, but for other common issues like leaks, damp, and over- or under-heating.

  2. Legal pathways Publishing plain English guides to the ways tower block tenants can use the law to their advantage. This might include template letters, or self-help questionnaires, or case studies of legal success stories.

  3. Case management Designing a service that helps tenants track, manage, and potentially share their issue reports and the interactions they have with housing providers and contractors.

  4. Community building  Developing tools that help tower block tenants tap into the support networks in their buildings, and beyond – sharing evidence, experience, and best practice, so no tenant feels they have to go through this on their own.

 

You can read more about how we conducted this research in our Alpha Report below.

Help us shape this project

So we’ve identified these four areas on which to focus — but now  we need input from tower block tenants and housing provider staff to make sure we build a service that works for everyone.

During 2020, we’ll be designing some early prototypes of services that could help.

Are you active in your tower block’s community? We need people like you to help us pilot the service!

Contact us if you’d like to get involved.

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