A Voice for Tenants – a Tpas Members update
Wednesday 11th of October 2017
In the summer I updated members on the call from ourselves, CCH, Taroe and NFTMO to Government for a discussion about establishing a new national voice for tenants.
Tpas’s reason for being part of the call remains clear; we want to see tenants and communities having a respected and valued voice at the heart of policy making and to enable them, across England, to contribute their expertise and insight of their experiences direct to key decision makers. Since then we have seen positive progress in our contact with Government.
Tpas, along with the other National Tenant Organisations and representatives on the steering group, have met with Housing Minister, Alok Sharma, on two occasions, to discuss how he can meet with and discuss in person the issues and concerns of tenants across England.
From those discussions we are now helping CLG to hold a series of events for the Housing Minister to meet directly with tenants. These will be interactive events, to be held in October and November 2017, that will enable tenants attending to set out their personal thoughts and experiences about social housing policy. Tpas Director and social housing tenant Leslie Channon commented “it is most welcome that the Housing Minister wants to meet with tenants to hear their views.
We are assisting him in developing these events, particularly aiming that the events will be hosted by landlords who are noted for their excellence in involving tenants. It will be a great opportunity for tenants to discuss key issues, particularly regarding safety issues and the importance of tenants having a voice”.
CCH Head of Policy and housing co-op tenant, Nic Bliss, added that “we see this as an excellent starting point to developing the Prime Minister’s commitment that social housing tenants are brought into the political process. The Housing Minister has indicated a keenness to understand the views of tenants and to enable an ongoing dialogue, and we are assisting him in making this real and meaningful.”
As Nic says, Tpas are clear that this is the start of dialogue not the end. And there is much more to be done to ensure as wide a consultation as possible takes place that really gets to grips with the problems, and then importantly, the possible solutions.
We are meeting soon again with CLG officials to discuss the initial call for a national voice for tenants and we will keep members updated on the progress of those talks in due course.