New Service Centres Announced to Boost Resident Engagement
Residents on Westminster City Council estates will benefit from support and advice much closer to home under a new borough-wide scheme to reopen housing centres. How will this heighten resident engagement?

The first of four new Housing Service Centres was officially announced this week, enabling residents to drop in and speak face-to-face with the housing team about the range of issues including repairs and maintenance, or to seek advice if they need support with paying their bills.

Ensuring that housing problems are dealt with quickly is essential

On Mozart Estate, Bruckner Steet, in Queen’s Park, the facility was officially opened by Council Leader Adam Hug and Cllr Liza Begum, Cabinet Member for Housing Services.

Highlighting this, Council Leader Adam Hug explained that it is crucial to provide residents with support: “The council is committed to improving its housing services so that problems are dealt with quickly and efficiently.

“Over the past year, we’ve been listening to residents’ concerns and making changes to our services and Bruckner Street is just one way of bringing our housing officers closer to the residents they are here to support.”

In the initial rollout, three further facilities in Pimlico, Bayswater and Soho will be opened in the coming months ensuring residents across the borough benefit.

Housing officers will be hired to cover smaller patches

Through the initiative, the council is working to make it easier for local tenants and leaseholders to work with the housing team by bringing their housing officers closer to them. To do this, the council is hiring more housing officers with a smaller patch to cover.

The council’s ‘Fairer Westminster Delivery Plan’ is aiming to give tenants better face-to-face contact with housing staff by increasing the locations officers can work from across the city.

Westminster City Council has revealed that its residents have told it that the facilities and the one-to-one interaction with dedicated housing officers were a valuable resource that they want to be restored.

Cllr Begum expressed that this feedback shows the importance of the offices: “The council plans to open more local offices like this one, to make it easier for residents to speak face-to-face with our housing staff so that we are making it easier for residents to discuss any queries or concerns.”

Introducing ‘Community Thursdays’, the council will work to have council housing teams visit residents on their doorstep to talk about issues that matter to them and provide help with issues specific to their home, block, or estate.

In addition, Westminster will also be holding more local surgeries, hiring more housing officers, and making it quicker and easier to contact the call centre. The council has also introduced a tenants’ panel so that residents can express their opinions on the projects we undertake and the council’s decisions.