What is tenant participation?
Tenant participation is about tenants taking part in decision making processes and influencing decisions about housing policies; housing conditions; and housing (and related) services. It is a two way process which involves the sharing of information, ideas and knowledge. Its aim is to improve the standard of housing conditions and service.
We have developed a range of both formal and informal opportunities to allow varying levels of participation, for example from individual contact through to involvement at a strategic level with the East Ayrshire Federation
The right to participate comes from a reasonable expectation on the part of tenants that housing services and policies should meet their needs and preferences, as far as possible within available resources.
What are the benefits of tenant participation?
When working well, tenant participation delivers clear benefits for tenants, staff and landlords alike.
The benefits of effective tenant participation for everyone include:
- better service delivery and improved value for money
- opportunities to develop new knowledge and skills
- better communication between staff and tenants
- better links between the community and landlords
- informed and knowledgeable tenants who have the skills and confidence to influence decisions
- staff and tenants being more aware of each other’s perspectives and organisational and financial limitations
- breaking down misunderstandings, helping to remove any mistrust between landlord and tenants, and building mutual respect and understanding
- increased tenant satisfaction with their home and neighbourhood
- increased job satisfaction for staff
How you can get involved and influence the housing service and your community
We want to encourage as many tenants and those who use our services to have their say on how the Housing Service is managed and delivered. This is why, we have developed a suite of participation opportunities to get involved and to influence decisions that affect tenants and customers at the right level, the right time and at a place that suits them.
We will be visiting local communities over 2018 to inform and encourage you to come along and meet with members of the East Ayrshire federation and Housing staff to discuss tenant participation and scrutiny. we will be in the following venues:
- Rothesay House, Marriage Suite, Cumnock on Thursday 17 May from 2.30pm to 6pm
- Town Hall, New Cumnock on Thursday 14 June at 2pm to 6pm
- Dalrymple Community Centre, Dalrymple on Thursday 21 June at 3pm to 7pm
Information and communication
Consultation, participation and scrutiny
The Community Champion acts as a vehicle between the Housing Improvement project and the community and is able to influence the delivery of the project. They also are made aware of local organisations and encouraged to become more involved in such groups.
Monitoring and evaluation
Senior Officers from Housing Services meet with members of the East Ayrshire Federation quarterly to discuss performance across a number of areas. This is then fed back to the wider membership of the East Ayrshire Federation thus keeping everyone involved.
Tenant participation strategy monitoring and implementation strategy
This group, consisting of tenant representatives and Council Officers meet to review progress of Tenant Participation and Service User Involvement against the Action Plan aims.
End of year annual performance return
Each year Council Officers meet with members of the East Ayrshire Federation to present the Council’s Annual Return on the Scottish Social Housing Charter. This is a return which contains over 300 pieces of performance information and allows tenants, service users, other customers, staff and peer authorities to compare their performance against similar sized organisations.
Service improvement groups
The creation of three Service Improvement Groups has afforded tenant representatives the opportunity to attend and gain a greater knowledge and understanding of:
- Allocation and Voids
- Income Maximisation and Arrears Recovery
- Homelessness, Housing Options and Tenancy Sustainment
The tenant representatives feedback information from the meetings to members of the East Ayrshire Federation and this is then cascaded to the wider membership via Open Meetings and in publications.
Performance information at area level
In addition to Council Officers meeting with and presenting end of year performance information to the East Ayrshire Federation, Neighbourhood Managers also meet with members of tenants and residents associations in their respective areas and present local performance information.