Let's put tenants at the centre of merger talks
Wednesday 15th of June 2016
Long long ago in a galaxy far away tenants had the final say about proposals to change their landlord, and plans for new ownership or management set out a range of benefits that the change would deliver for tenants.
Over time we've zoomed miles from that place. Now we often hear that mergers, collapsing group structures, stock sales and the like are pure business decisions that tenants wouldn't understand. There's also an undertone that it would be daft to get waylaid focusing on what current tenants want because the agenda's about new homes and new customers, not improvements to stock and services for people who are already well housed.
You'd be forgiven for thinking that merger is the only game in town too. In the news and at conferences it sounds like partnerships, shared services and so on are last year's thing and won't deliver this year's prize.
But if you scratch the surface you'll find that there are plenty of people who don't think that way. We know that around the country there are tenant groups discussing strategic growth options with board members and mergers delivering community investment priorities identified by residents.
Tpas is pleased to be working with a group of housing associations who've got together to produce some principles and guidance on how to consider all options and keep organisations on the front foot. They're aiming to help associations achieve successful outcomes and avoid mistakes made by others. Importantly for Tpas they will show how tenants can be at the front of making strategy and decisions and how tenants' interests can be reflected in outcomes sought.
We're hosting two round table discussions in July where tenants will discuss their experiences of mergers, changes to group structures, stock rationalisation and partnerships; consider principles that should apply when organisations are considering these things; and look at how tenant involvement practices can bring benefits. We hope that what we find will be heard in the right places and can affect what landlords and tenants do in future.
If you know a tenant who would like to attend let please let us know by contacting us before 30 June.