As a company, Wenen Limburg is a proactive and looks beyond the stones. For example, the company also considers the health of its tenants to be important. They see their role in this in three ways: improving health in the physical home, identifying care needs and connecting with the network, and finally building social cohesion. Director Wim Hazew explains.
A housing company, what is this actually? According to director Wim Hazoo, you can put the word “building” in parentheses. ‘Real estate is one of the ways to help our tenants. We want to give people a home, and that takes more than just stones. If we fail to do so, we will suffer from it as an individual and as a society. “Presenting a home is an increasingly complex thing nowadays. Due to legislation and changes in healthcare, companies are seeing a major change in the target groups that they shelter. Hazo: “ Housing union areas in particular have become less financially flexible as a result. In some neighborhoods, we still see few strong shoulders, and as a result, issues like informal care and helping neighbors have yet to start. ”
Hazo saw the role of companies changing within ten years. “We do not provide health care, but we are a very important party when it comes to identification and communication.” According to Hazo, health problems are part of the widespread social problems in vulnerable neighborhoods. A broad view of positive health helps the company give multiple dimensions to the subject of vulnerability and teaches employees what buttons to turn into and what to pay attention to when contacting tenants. “We often encounter tenants who are avoiding attention and keeping the door tightly closed. Now we are not a doctor, we are not prescribing a prescription. But we are indicating that something is happening and that we are making communication between people and organizations that can make a difference there.”
In what ways does Wonen Limburg specifically treat these health problems? Hazo says there are gains to be made in the homes themselves. “Certainly in homes where ventilation is poor and there are mold problems. By improving these homes, you are making a huge health difference. “Hazeu does not see this as the biggest challenge, it has been the experience of the housing association sector for many years. However, it is becoming increasingly important to teach residents how to handle their refurbished homes. Smart ventilation systems have instructions for use. The challenge here is to make it simple for the residents and communicate clearly. We did this recently in Heerlen while revamping Teletext in six languages. You want to do everything in your power to prevent improper and therefore unhealthy home use.
Often home renovations also provide the impetus to start using additional energy in a neighborhood, street, or compound. The company comes to the tenants behind the front door and indicates that things are not going well, which is another reason for the network to operate. In the new construction, Wenen Limburg is conducting experiments to involve future tenants. “We are in the process of creating courtyard houses. To do this, we ask our tenants what they should look like and think carefully about who we allow each other to live in a yard. The intent is for people there to have a great deal of contact with each other. ”
building the society
Sometimes, tenants in fragile situations become isolated and lose contact with their environment Hazeu also sees an important mission for the company in this: building the community, without pulling the cart. Hazoo: “We think we know what is good, but that often does not coincide with what residents themselves consider important. The trick is not to have a plan like a pro, but to look for needs out of real interest and curiosity and organize something from there.
Sometimes this is manifested in support of population initiatives or stimulating self-management among the population. On a larger scale, the company is also involved in the development of integrated areas where, along with care and luxury, it makes an inventory of how people are performing. For example, the conversation revolves around what people find important in their daily life and what they can do by themselves for the neighborhood. Then together, we look at how to support these populations and catalyze initiatives. ”
Finally, Hazeu sees an important role for the organization in identifying problems and communicating with other organizations. He sees many opportunities for improvement in this regard: “I think we operate very institutionally in the Netherlands. Sometimes I get disrupted when I see how many organizations are all entering an apartment in the morning, it is very fragmented!” Hazo says. He regularly sees that the professionals don’t have them. Mandate to do what’s really necessary. “I think we should organize it differently in a way that the professionals in the neighborhood are colleagues to each other and together have an organizational goal that goes beyond the organization.” “Housing, Care and Safety work together in the neighborhood and for the neighborhood.” New steps towards this, Wonen Limburg is looking for neighborhood expansion in cooperation with municipalities. That is why it is necessary to live performance agreements not only with a housing local councilor, but with a local councilor who deals with the social sphere. ”It would be great if the larger healthcare parties join in. Also to this table in the near future. Then we can really make progress together. “