4 September 2012
Milestone event for community housing organisations
Community Housing Aotearoa (CHA) are pleased to announce that the first accreditation of a community housing organisation has been achieved. The successful organisation, Community of Refuge Trust (CORT), gained accreditation through Te Wana's Quality Improvement and Accreditation Programme.
CORT CEO Peter Jeffries explained that “as an organisation, CORT is committed to providing the best quality property and tenancy management service it can and to achieve this follow and measure itself against industry best practice.” To verify this they felt it was important to get an independent qualified organisation to look and assess their organisation's policies and processes.
New Zealand's community housing organisations can gain accredited status through the Te Wana Quality Programme, which is certified through the Quality Improvement Council (QIC) of Australasia. This has come about by CHA's housing related standards, developed over the years from Community Housing Aotearoa's Best Practice Guide, having been incorporated into Te Wana's quality improvement programme.
Overall CORT found the experience of gaining accreditation to be a positive one, with Te Wana and their team (including representatives from other community housing organisations) spending four days meeting with CORT's various stakeholder groups including trustees, tenants, funders and partnership agencies, staff and management.
Being granted accreditation is an achievement for any organisation stated Jeffries. "Accreditation provides assurance to CORT stakeholders including its trustees, funders and partners that CORT has the polices and systems in place to deliver on the service promises it makes. It provides a continual improvement mechanism for the organisation to ensure it is constantly looking at its systems and ways it can make further improvements. It’s also nice to get endorsement from an outside organisation that has taken the time to really get to know you.”
When asked whether he would encourage others to seek accreditation too, replied "Absolutely. It’s a little scary to start with and there is a bit of work involved in getting your systems and processes into order that others can scrutinize. However the effort is well worth the reward and assurance that Accreditation brings."
Community Housing Aotearoa believes this development is a positive step forward for the community housing sector as it gives confidence to the government and other stakeholders when working with the sector in the future. They are looking forward to the next group going through this process.