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Setting customer service expectations for public housing tenants

Tenants have long complained about the way they get treated by the staff of their housing manager currently branded as the Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) Housing but by February 2024 a part of Homes NSW.

Over the last couple of years DCJ have developed Housing Practice Standards. DCJ staff have been trained in the new standards and there should be a notice about the standards tenants should expect in the public area in DCJ Housing Offices.

The Waterloo Newsletter December 2023 contains an article on these standards from DCJ which is applicable to all public tenants and not just those in Waterloo, so we have reproduced it below.

The Department of Communities and Justice (DCJ) has Housing Practice Standards, which are designed to help us deliver our DCJ Values of Service, Trust, Accountability, Integrity, and Respect.

These Standards clearly set out the expectations we have of how staff will do their job and what you as our clients should expect, when interacting with DCJ staff.

The six standards are:

  1. Respectful service, we put people at the centre of everything we do;
  2. Culture is ever present;
  3. Language impacts on practice;
  4. Continual learning and critique leads to improved practice;
  5. Trusting relationships create positive change;
  6. Integrity and accountability are essential in every aspect of our work.

It is very important to DCJ that clients are aware of the Standards that underpin our practice and what you can expect when interacting with us. You can read more about them here or talk to staff at your local Housing Office. We hope that our staff will be treated respectfully as they strive to meet the DCJ Values and that we can work together with you, to improve how our services are delivered and to ensure safety for both clients and staff.

Local office enquiries should be escalated to the DCJ Team Leader if no update or outcome has been provided within the following timeframes:

  • Transfers: after 28 days of all documents being submitted;
  • Antisocial behaviour complaints: after 14 days of report being lodged;
  • Other tenancy related matters: after14 days of being lodged.

There are also processes to escalate the matter to the Manager of Housing Services and then to the Director Housing Services if an adequate response has not been received. If you have problems escalating an issue after these timeframes through the team leader then talk to your local community centre or support service who should be able to assist with further escalation.

Geoff Turnbull is the Spokesperson for REDWatch and is a Co-Chair of the Waterloo Human Service Collaborative’s Service Integration and Systems Coordination Group which is tasked to improve customer service for all service users.

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