Tpas Visits the North East for our Regional Members Event

Thursday 16th of May 2024

On Thursday 2nd May, our North East regional member event took place. We visited the seaside town of Blyth and was kindly hosted by Northumberland County Council.

It was a fantastic turnout with 60 attendees from 10 different member organisations from across the North East – we had a great mix of Local Authority and HA staff and tenants.

There was a full agenda covering the latest on Housing Policy and Tpas Membership news.

We had an interesting presentation from our Hosts who gave us an insight into their engagement structure and what they are currently working on, including the challenges they are facing along the way, embracing the new regulation. It was great to hear that now with a full team of engagement staff they are doing lots of work including various panels such as their complaints and scrutiny panel, tenant alliance panel and voids groups. It was also good to hear about the DIY skills sessions they offer and armed forces support group.

NCC also facilitated a fun session to get our members talking about a tenant induction programme for new tenants.

There was lots of positivity, questions, feedback and sharing of good practice from our members throughout the day. The attendees had some in depth discussions on their tables about how ready their organisations are for the new regulation and inspections – they also came up with some key messages and questions for the regulator.

These messages included:

  • Need to consider the ramifications of non compliance and fines to an organisation
  • The reviews need to consider soft outcomes, the results that are harder to measure
  • Can the regulations be more user friendly – re worded online in a simpler format
  • Need to be actively listening to customers and their lived experiences and history
  • Be flexible with SLAs, based on individual circumstances and things that may have affected this
  • Look at local skills shortages and what an organisation is doing about that
  • Learn from Ofsted and the issues they have had
  • One word cannot describe it all – need robust evidence
  • Ratings can be demoralising – need to be conscious of that and league tables are a worry
  • Need to ensure the regulator talks to involved and non involved tenants to get the full picture – also a good cross section of flats, houses, rural, city centre etc
  • Not be a blame culture – look at it as a learning curve
  • Regulator needs to emphasise that the whole organisation needs to be responsible for engagement
  • What is the whistle blowing policy – make this clear

We’d like to thank our host Northumberland CC for making the event a success, and we look forward to more of our regional events over the coming weeks, with dates already planned for:

Eastern member eventTuesday 21st May – High Wycombe
South-West member event Wednesday 22nd May – Weston Super Mare
London & SE event Tuesday 2nd July - Croydon

Please book your place and take a look on our website.

We look forward to welcoming you.