Two Regional Events - One Voice

Thursday 30th of May 2024

Our Policy and Insight Manager, Caritas Charles, recently had the immense pleasure of Chairing not one, but two Tpas regional conferences.  Here’s his update and feedback from the events:

First in High Wycombe hosted by the fantastic Red Kite Housing who told us about how they are engaging with the new world of consumer standards especially in Tenant Scrutiny. Then it was a dash over to Weston-Super-Mare to spend some time with our friends at Livewest who led us through a highly interactive presentation on their engagement work.

It was a fantastic two days of networking and discussion with excellent examples of best practice and ideas for the future. As a membership organisation, Tpas is dedicated to using our collective strength to campaign for a stronger tenant voice. We used the events as an opportunity to gather what key messages we could pass on to the regulator in this new world of engagement. Here are our top 5 takeaways from the east and western regional events. 

Ready to go?

With new legislation in effect since April and inspections beginning to happen across the country, the conferences threw up very mixed messages with regards to preparedness. Comments ranged from “we are ready bring it on” to “the first I have heard about all this is today.” Engagement staff felt knowledgeable and prepared but worried that colleagues in other departments may not be as ready or understand their role within these new standards.


Rightly, most attendees expressed concern over how the changes needed in this new housing world would be funded. On the urgent need for new housing and the concerns over the quality of existing stock to how the new qualifications for housing managers will be funded, money and the lack of it dominated the conversations.

Making the grade

At both conferences ‘what does success look like’ was on everyone’s lips. With the release of the new consumer gradings how do you get a C1, is anyone going to get one and how do you measure such a diverse sector were concerns that were mentioned on every table. Much debate was had around the perceived reluctance of the regulator to go into specifics and how as this is unchartered territory for everybody would they be able to do that.

Local Authorities

We were pleased to see a lot of our friends from council housing providers at both events. A lot of concern was raised about the regulator understanding the vastly different working environments with retained housing, and the unique challenges faced by local authorities.

It’s all about culture

An extremely strong theme that was raised repeatedly by tenants and staff alike was that for any of these regulatory changes to work, a strong change in culture is required. Many praised how far the sector had come in certain areas, but all felt that a more urgent all-encompassing move to not only a more tenant focused housing sector was needed, but that a culture that sees tenants as partners in shaping the future was essential in delivering real change.

Many thanks to all who attended and an extra special thanks to our hosts Red Kite and Livewest for being so welcoming.