Tenant voice and power: should mutuality be part of the future?
Tuesday 6th of November 2018
Tpas Chief Executive, Jenny Osbourne considers the benefits of developing more Mutual Home schemes.
What is a mutual home scheme?
A mutual housing scheme has a community membership where those who live in homes developed are required or are encouraged to become members – in some cases – alongside other local community members
Over the past couple of weeks I have attended a couple of sessions on mutuality run by Trowers and Hamlins and HQN. These sessions were exploring what a modern 'mutual' organisation might look like and the positive impact it could have on the services residents receive. In particular the session I was part of was asking the question “ Is mutuality a good way of ensuring tenant engagement and empowerment?
On the day itself we had presentations from some of the mutual organisations already operating across England and Wales including Tpas members Soha , based in Oxfordshire, who became a mutual last year. We heard too from award winning Tpas members Phoenix Community Housing , a resident led community housing organisation based in south London.
From my perspective a mutual model fits very neatly with the Tpas membership model of what good looks like. Tenants and staff working together for the good not only of the organisation but the wider community too. Equal views and equal respect. I like the sound of that!
The mutual model certainly needs to be publicised more across the sector. Its most definitely not for everyone and wouldn’t work everywhere. But given the scale of the housing crisis we face and the need for landlords and communities to re connect together in shared ambitions it’s got to be worth exploring what it is at least.
Have a read of the attached papers which explore abit more what mutuals are all about.