New features added to our customer self-service portal, My Account

Posted on April 9th, 2024 by Tammy Palmer

Citizen adds more features to its self-service portal, My Account, offering customers a more convenient way to manage their tenancy.  

The portal, first launched 10 years ago, and rebranded five years ago, offers customers the choice to pay rent, view their rent account, raise queries, and manage their repair bookings, online. 

 

Frances, a Citizen customer, said: “I have recommended My Account to other customers as it is quick and easy to use, for me. I realise not everyone is OK with setting up and using My Account. I helped my friend set up a My Account with Citizen. He has been in his property since the 1990’s. He likes that repairs can be booked on the system, as he was always using up credit on his pay as you go phone.”

 

As part of its continuous improvement programme, the Customer Experience Team at Citizen carried out a review of how customers were using the portal. Taking customers feedback into consideration, the team has now added a set of new functions, offering customers more choice in how they access and use services.  

 

The new features, include: 

 

At the same time, customers can enjoy the legacy features of the portal:    

 

Scott Worth, Director of Customer Experience at Citizen, said: “We understand that in today’s fast-paced world, people lead busy lives, and traditional office hours may not always be convenient for our customers to access services – which is why we are enhancing our customer portal.  The portal offers customers the flexibility to self-manage their account, anywhere, at a time, that suits them.  We strive to improve our services based on customers’ feedback and the positive response to the portal, to date, is encouraging, and we want to build on this success.  We encourage customer to continue sharing their thoughts and suggestions to ensure we are providing services that meet their needs.”

 

Find out more about My Account, here and join the thousands of customers managing their own tenancy. 

 If you are a customer and already registered with My Account, but have forgotten your password or username, revisit the My Account page to reset your login details. 

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Consumer regulation standards go live in April

Posted on March 27th, 2024 by Tammy Palmer

Social housing landlords are now required to meet standards set by the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH). In September 2023, we told you about the changes that the regulator was proposing to the Consumer Standards to ensure that tenants live in safe, quality homes, have choice and protection, and can hold landlords to account.  

The regulator consulted with over 2000 tenants in developing the new Standards and invited all social housing tenants and landlords to give their views. Citizen invited you to have your say on our website and in the September 2023 newsletter and we also responded directly to the consultation, including valuable feedback from our involved tenants. 

 The new Consumer Standards and Code of Practice will be available on the Government’s website here from 1 April 2024, when they come into effect. They relate to safety and quality, transparency, influence and accountability; neighbourhood and community; and tenancy. 

Citizen fully supports the changes and remains committed to ensuring that we comply with them. We will continue to provide you with further information on these changes. 

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Citizen signs up to new initiative to prevent homelessness across the region

Posted on February 28th, 2024 by Tammy Palmer

Citizen, a leading social housing provider, has recently taken a significant step towards preventing homelessness by participating in the Commitment to Collaborate (C2C) process to Prevent and Relieve Homelessness, a new initiative developed by the West Midlands Combined Authority’s [WMCA] Homelessness Taskforce, in partnership with Birmingham Voluntary Service Council (BVSC). 

The initiative comprises a toolkit, that supports organisations and partnerships to work through practical steps and develop action plans they can implement to prevent and relieve homelessness – as well as spot the early signifiers of someone becoming homeless.  

The toolkit’s primary objective is to facilitate a collaborative response to homelessness with roundtable discussions, case studies, discussion logs and shared action plans.  

After working through the toolkit, organisations submit their pledges to WMCA and are honoured with the coveted C2C logo. To maintain accountability organisations are required to periodically report to WMCA on the progress of meeting these pledges.   

Kevin Rodgers, Chief Executive Officer at Citizen, said: “We believe that preventing homelessness requires a united effort. Our participation in the Commitment to Collaborate initiative aligns with our commitment to making a tangible difference to preventing homelessness. These pledges are not just promises – they represent actionable steps towards a future where homelessness is a rare occurrence.”

 

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and Chair of the WMCA, added: “Right from the very outset of my time in office, I’ve made tackling homelessness a key priority. But it’s a difficult issue to solve and requires innovative and collaborative working, across organisations, to better support people at the earliest opportunity. 

“That’s why I’m so pleased that Citizen has chosen to work with us and use our Commitment to Collaborate toolkit as part of its ongoing commitment to designing out homelessness. The pledges Citizen has committed to will make a significant and lasting difference in preventing homelessness for the people they work alongside. 

 “By collaborating in this way, we can help give people the support they need to change their lives for the better, building their resources, skills, incomes and opportunities so they can have a secure an affordable home from which to reach their full potential.” 

Citizen has made three pledges: 

  1. Comprehensive pre-tenancy support: Citizen pledges to develop and implement a comprehensive pre-tenancy information and guidance programme, ensuring tenants have access to necessary resources, during their transition to new accommodation, to avoid becoming homeless.
  2. Data-driven decision-making: Citizen commits to establishing a robust data analysis system to track and analyse tenancy breakdowns. The organisation will collaborate with key stakeholders and local authorities to share that information, to enhance data-driven decision-making in homelessness prevention and relief efforts.
  3. Collaborative partnerships: Citizen vows to foster strong collaborative and partnership working with key stakeholders, including local authorities, support agencies, and community organisations. This collaborative effort aims to add significant value to collective initiatives, addressing homelessness prevention and relief, including pathways and support.

Citizen has developed a comprehensive action plan to guide the implementation of these pledges. This strategic approach ensures transparency and allows the organisation to report progress, accurately – demonstrating a commitment to real and measurable impact to end homelessness. 

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Update on ownership of XL Bully type dogs

Posted on February 28th, 2024 by Tammy Palmer

From 1 February 2024, it will be a criminal offence to be in possession of an XL Bully type dog, unless the dog has been certified as exempt on the Index of Exempted Dogs and is compliant with these requirements. 

 

People who are in possession of these dogs must apply to DEFRA for a Certificate of Exemption by 31 January 2024, to be granted a Certificate of Exemption.  

 

After the 1 February 2024, if you think someone has an XL Bully type dog without a Certificate of Exemption you should report this to the Police. 

 

To find out more about having a pet in your home take a look at the My Tenancy section of the website.

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Demolition of tower block underway as part of Citizen’s Wyken regeneration project

Posted on January 9th, 2024 by Tammy Palmer

The demolition of Vincent Wyles House is now underway as part of Citizen’s regeneration programme to transform an area of Wyken in Coventry.  

  

The demolition of the tower block is part of a £21 million regeneration project, being delivered in partnership with Wates, that includes the demolition of Vincent Wyles House and William Malcolm House. Once cleared, the site will make way for around 90 much needed modern homes to be built in the area.   

  

The overall project will see major investment into Wyken and is due to be completed over the next four years, with the demolition of Vincent Wyles House being finished in summer 2024.  

  

Kevin Roach, Director of Regeneration Services, at Citizen, said: “The demolition of Vincent Wyles House marks a key milestone in the project and is one that I know the community of Wyken will welcome. We are in the process of developing our plans to redevelop the site with new modern, affordable, homes and will be consulting with the community on the proposals in the spring and summer of this year.”  

Councillor David Welsh, Cabinet Member for Housing and Communities: said: “I’m pleased to see that Citizen has started work to demolish Vincent Wyles House. There is a need for more good quality affordable homes across Coventry and the demolition signals the start of much needed investment and regeneration in the area. Citizen will be replacing the current one bed flats with a mix of 2, 3 and 4 bed homes which will be more modern and more sustainable – a real win all around.” 

Citizen is in the process of rehousing the residents of William Malcolm House in preparation to demolish the tower later in the year. 

Find out more here.

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