Housing association involvement
Resident involvement
Early adopters

Together with Tenants

Housing associations work hard to create a positive relationship with their tenants and residents, alongside aiming to provide safe, decent and affordable homes. Our sector has a longstanding commitment to engaging with residents, and there are many great examples of how housing associations have shaped their organisations around the needs and views of the people they house.

However, housing associations know they do not always get it right for everyone, and are not always as accountable as they should be to residents. Our members recognise that more can be done to ensure that residents feel represented and listened to, and that they are meaningfully involved in the decision-making that determines the quality of their homes and services they use.

We have been working with residents, tenant representative groups, our members and others to understand what practical change is needed. Based on extensive consultation, and guided by our Member Steering Group and Tenant Advisory Panel we’ve developed a four-point plan to strengthen the relationship between housing associations and residents. The plan includes a new Together with Tenants Charter, which sets out in clear terms what residents can and should expect from their landlord. 

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

What’s in the plan?

  • A new requirement in the National Housing Federation Code of Governance for boards to be accountable to residents.
  • A new Together with Tenants Charter.
  • Resident oversight and reporting of progress against the charter.
  • Giving residents a stronger collective voice with the regulator.

The Together with Tenants Charter

  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 – views from residents will be sought and valued and this information will be used 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 their homes and services and the quality of the homes and services they provide
  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.

Social Housing Green Paper

Following the Government’s Social Housing Green Paper, A new deal for social housing, we are now expecting the Government to publish its White Paper, laying out what action will be taken to rebalance the relationship between landlords and tenants. We share the broad ambition of the Green Paper, and many of the ideas outlined have been welcomed by residents and landlords alike, you can find our full response.

Together with Tenants is an important way for housing associations to play their part in rebalancing the relationship between residents and landlords, and we also believe that a strong regulator, protecting the rights and interests of residents, would be a positive step. While we wait for the White Paper and next steps from Government, we will press ahead with the changes that we can make as a sector.

Who to speak to

Fleur Priest-Stephens, Policy Leader