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Together with Tenants

See our new Together with Tenants report

We've just launched the full report for Together with Tenants. Read on to find out more about the initiative or click below to go straight to the report.

Together with Tenants is a sector-wide initiative focused on strengthening the relationship between residents and housing association landlords.

Together with Tenants embodies all the great work happening across the sector to create positive relationships with residents. But it also challenges our sector to go further – presenting an opportunity for housing associations to take the lead in accountability and resident oversight.

We have been working with residents, an independent Tenant Advisory Panel, a Member Steering Group and our members to understand what change is needed.

Through this we have developed a four-point plan, including a new charter that sets out in clear terms what residents can and should expect from their landlord. 

Over the last 12 months, 130 early adopter organisations have been working with their residents to test out the charter, adapting it to their own local contexts, and sharing what they’ve learnt in order to support even more housing associations to adopt it.

Now, our ambition is for all housing associations to support our plan and consider adopting the Together with Tenants charter. This will embed a culture across our sector that values the voice and experience of residents, and strengthens the relationship between residents and housing association landlords.

Find out more about Together with Tenants:

The government published the Social Housing White Paper on 17 November, which aims to deliver the improvement in transparency and accountability promised in the 2018 green paper.

The paper sets out a Charter for Social Housing Residents, which echoes many of the commitments housing associations are making in the Together with Tenants charter, particularly on tenant voice, relationships, accountability, quality, and complaints.

You can read our initial summary of the white paper, and we will publish further information soon.

The Together with Tenants plan

We have established a four-point plan for change:

  1. A new requirement in the National Housing Federation Code of Governance for boards to be accountable to their residents

We are producing a new Code of Governance, which will be published later this year, in collaboration with partners and stakeholders, including residents. The new 2020 code builds on earlier versions to include provisions that the views and needs of residents and other customers must be at the heart of strategic decision-making.

  1. A new Together with Tenants charter

The charter is designed to ensure all residents know what they can expect from their housing association landlord, regardless of where they live, what type of home they live in, or who their landlord is. You can read the charter below.

  1. Resident oversight and reporting of progress against the charter

Resident oversight and public reporting against the commitments set out in the charter will give residents a stronger role in holding their landlord to account. This aims to prevent Together with Tenants from becoming a tick-box exercise that does not drive change. Boards will be expected to respond and take action where required. 

  1. Giving residents a stronger collective voice with the regulator

Resident oversight and reporting against the charter may uncover issues of interest to the regulator, including potential non-compliance with consumer standards. Linking the Together with Tenants approach to regulation in this way will ensure that action is taken where necessary to protect the rights and interests of residents.

quote

"The Together with Tenants plan is an important next step. It asks for a real commitment from housing associations. This commitment is important, as it helps build trust in their relationships with residents."

- Margaret Ashmead, Optivo Resident

The Together with Tenants Charter

Housing associations that adopt the Together with Tenants charter are making six commitments.

  1. Relationships: Housing associations will treat all residents with respect in all of their interactions. Relationships between residents and housing associations will be based on openness, honesty and transparency.
  2. Communication: Residents will receive clear, accessible and timely information from their housing association on the issues that matter to them, including important information about their homes and local community, how the organisation is working to address problems, how the organisation is run, and information about performance on key issues.
  3. Voice and influence: Housing associations will seek and value the views of residents, and will use this information to inform decisions. Every individual resident will feel listened to by their housing association on the issues that matter to them and can speak without fear.
  4. Accountability: Collectively, residents will work in partnership with their housing association to independently scrutinise and hold their housing association to account for the decisions that affect the quality of their homes and services. 
  5. Quality: Residents can expect their homes to be good quality, well maintained, safe and well managed.
  6. When things go wrong: Residents will have simple and accessible routes for raising issues, making complaints and seeking redress. Residents will receive timely advice and support when things go wrong.

Who to speak to

Fleur Priest-Stephens, Policy Leader