AnthonyWe spoke to one of our Neighbourhood Housing Managers, Anthony Perekekeme, about his role at Town & Country Housing (TCH) and what his day-to-day work involves. Anthony joined us in November 2021 having previously worked in various housing associations and councils as a housing manager across Peterborough, London, and Dudley.

How did you come to work for TCH?

I saw the advert and thought it sounded like a really interesting and rewarding role, so I applied and was pleased to be successful at interview.

My first six months have flown by. It’s been great, getting to know the organisation, the housing team and our residents.

What geographical area do you cover?

Each Neighbourhood Housing Manager gets their own geographical area known as a patch to look after. The areas I cover are:

  • Crawley
  • Tunbridge Wells Town Centre
  • Tonbridge
  • Sevenoaks

Tell us about your role as neighbourhood housing manager?

It’s always varied and interesting. We deal with a whole range of things such as:

  • Signing up new tenancies
  • Giving tenancy advice and information
  • Antisocial behaviour cases and neighbour disputes
  • Tenancy-related issues including household changes
  • Neighbourhood improvements.

I spend lots of time liaising with other TCH teams to find solutions to tenancy issues or making referrals to external support services like social services, fire safety teams, mental health teams and Occupational Therapists. I often work closely with the families of residents to understand individual needs and arrange help and support. Along with this goes all the administrative work to make sure our records are kept up to date.

What do you think is most important to our residents?

That we really listen to and understand the issues they raise and take action promptly to help to resolve issues and provide appropriate support and advice. Housing Managers are here to support residents, taking positive actions within the framework of our policies and procedures . We always aim to be empathetic and treat all residents with respect and don’t take sides in disputes, giving impartial guidance to try to reach a resolution.

I recently worked with someone whose parent had sadly passed away leaving her living in the property that had been her home all her life. Unfortunately she had no legal right to stay in the property. However in this case we were able to use some discretion in line with our policy and I was able to support her and her family to remain in the property and take on the tenancy. The resident was very happy that she had not been left alone to deal with the situation and that I had supported her during this difficult time.

What’s your favourite part of the role?

Listening and then working towards a solution that the resident is satisfied with. It’s great when we can involve residents in the process to find a solution to their issue.

What do you find most challenging in the role?

When a resident doesn’t initially appreciate that you want to work with them to resolve an issue. Some people can be very defensive at first until I’m able to explain that TCH will always try to support residents and understand their perspective and situation.

Anything else you wish to add?

A good team who support each other is always a bonus in this work. That is what I’ve found at TCH.