Southway Housing: Tolerance Levels Are Being Tested Under Lockdown

lockdown tensions rise

Here we will share an article from our partners Southway Housing so you can get the benefit of their experience on the front line of dealing with tenant disputes and an understanding of how mediation has played a key role in supporting them combat a rising number of cases.

Here’s the article…

We hear many heart-warming stories of streets and communities coming together to support and help each other out. However, in the Neighbourhoods and ASB Team we have seen an unprecedented number of neighbourly disagreements.

As we are spending more time at home with less opportunity to leave the house, we are seeing an increase in reports of minor neighbour disputes. As a social landlord we offer mediation to settle disputes in a positive and balanced way across a wide spectrum of situations.

Our professional mediators at ADR Mediation help people work out what their issues and options are, then they use those options to reach an agreement.

A mediation service helps people to talk to each other in a constructive way so they can deal with situations more positively.

Independent, impartial mediators help people in dispute to reach a mutually acceptable agreement by:

  • Ensuring everyone has an equal chance to make their point
  • Ensuring everyone takes part in reaching a fair agreement which will work
  • Stopping any behaviour that prevents people from negotiating fairly

In the first 7 months of 2020/21 we referred 10 cases to ADR, which has already surpassed our total referrals for last year.

Below is just some of the feedback we received

“After the initial sessions and due to lockdown the parties decided to be civil with each other and both reported that they felt better as the tension between them was no longer there.”

Both parties agreed during the initial sessions that things had improved with regards to noise and they want to be good neighbours. Follow ups with them reported that they had spoken and helped with shopping. One party especially feels less stressed and she no longer overthinks the noise she hears from the neighbour.”

“Although we didn’t reach a positive resolution, the parties involved did report feeling better for talking to us.”

“Not only did we reach an agreement, ADR Mediation helped me access grief counselling as I had lost a close family member before lockdown and was struggling with this in isolation. Through some one-to-one work alongside the mediator I saw that my personal situation was affecting my responses to my neighbours behaviour. I am very thankful for the mediators help as not only have the issues lessoned, my mental health has improved, I’m able to open up more, and I feel more hopeful about life.”

The testimonials above demonstrate when two parties (or more) actively come to the table to discuss their issues openly and respectfully, mediation not only resolves their issues, but it improves their mental well-being too.

About Southway Housing

Southway are a committed and forward-thinking not-for-profit housing company in Manchester that’s passionate about providing excellent homes and outstanding customer care.

They own and manage almost 6,000 homes. Most of these are in Burnage, Chorlton, Didsbury and Withington, but they also have properties in Tameside and East Cheshire. They provide services for tenants, residents, the environment and the wider community of south Manchester and beyond.

If your housing association could do with similar support from us when handling tenant complaints, please get in touch.

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