Councils ‘empowering and engaging’ tenants

But LGA/Tpas report calls for firmer commitment to social homes from central government.

A new report published by the LGA/Tpas sets out how councils are empowering and engaging their tenants.

It sets out the findings of detailed research across 35 councils and 20 arms-length management organisations (ALMOs) which found that creative engagement helped reinforce council housing and its tenants at the heart of communities.

Examples include:

  • Hull City Council, which set up its  Housing Academy to empower residents with the confidence, knowledge and skills to directly participate in decisions affecting them
  • ALMO Tower Hamlets Homes set up an insight programme aimed at tackling loneliness and social isolation through the development of targeted interventions for tenants in need
  • Gedling Borough Council have rolled out its customer-centred service, the Gedling Conversation, which includes dropping in on tenants to ensure their issues are resolved through face-to-face interventions

By recently lifting the cap on councils’ ability to borrow and invest in new and existing affordable homes, government has accepted that homes for affordable and social rent are key to solving our housing crisis.

To build on this, the LGA is calling for government to allow councils to keep 100% of their Right To Buy receipts and set discounts locally so councils can replace any homes sold.

Cllr Martin Tett, LGA Housing spokesman, said the report not only identifies good practice but demonstrates the value of effective, local communication.

He said: “This is at the heart of building communities where people can be proud to live.

“The social housing green paper is a positive step from the government, giving priority to empowering tenants. But we must also see a firmer commitment to building more social homes.

“Ensuring tenants are truly engaged can only be achieved through a conversation between landlords and tenants.”

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