We know that if our four-point plan is going to work, we need to design it with tenants and residents. That’s why we’ve been working closely with tenants and residents throughout this process.
Our open consultation
From our 1300 responses to the open consultation on our four-point plan, over 80% came from tenants and residents. Many of these were submitted via our online questionnaire for tenants and residents, and many more came from our dedicated tenant events and workshops.
We held events and workshops in Manchester, Birmingham, London and Leeds where we heard from a wide range of tenants and residents. The feedback from these workshops is now being used to outline proposals to our plan.
We also produced resources for housing associations to use in their own consultation events with tenants and residents.
A new tenant advisory panel
To help build a stronger relationship between tenants, residents and landlords, the Federation is working with the Centre for Public Scrutiny to convene a new tenant advisory panel. Applications for the panel closed on 4 April, and the successful candidates will be announced shortly.
The panel is independent of the Federation, and its role will be to guide and critique our Together with Tenants work as it develops.
Tenant and resident oversight and scrutiny
In our four-point plan, we’ve proposed a new Together with Tenants Charter that will provide a consistent framework for housing association boards to assess whether they are meeting the expectations of their tenants and residents.
Tenants and residents are better placed than anyone to take a view on the homes and services their landlord is providing, and must be trusted to do so. We’re therefore proposing that the Together with Tenants charter will provide a mechanism for tenants and residents to play a vital role in oversight and scrutiny – holding their landlord to account.
Our proposal is that tenants and residents report to the housing association board, who in turn would be expected to respond and put plans in place to address any issues, in a transparent and public way.
We will use the feedback gathered through the open consultation to revise and refine our approach, with a view to outlining some proposed changes to the plan in June.
We will be working with our group of early adopters to test and evaluate this approach, and we’d encourage housing associations and their tenants and residents to consider how they would implement this process in practice.
A national tenant voice group
We are also advocating a strong national voice for social housing tenants and residents, through our support for the work of the ‘A Voice for Tenants’ steering group and our ongoing close collaboration with tenant representative organisations throughout the development of this plan.