North West community housing associations join forces to put tenants first

Community housing associations from across the North West met to discuss how together they are putting tenants first.

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Community housing associations from across the North West met to discuss how together they are putting tenants first.

The 18 housing associations that make up Community Housing Associations (North West) – CHANW – were joined by more than one hundred tenant delegates to attend their annual conference in Warrington.

The member organisations – which collectively manage 12,000 properties in the north west of England – work together to support each other using their distinctive strengths as community housing associations to become more creative and efficient, sharing training and expert knowledge in the housing sector.

Warrington Housing Association’s Director of customer services Lorri Holding, who supported Prima Group and Forum Housing to organise the event, said: “It’s vital that community housing associations work closely to connect and have their voices heard in the sector. There was a real buzz at the event as the attendees shared their ideas and ambitions for reaching our communities in different ways.

“A key focus of the day centred around the Nat Fed’s Together with Tenants Charter  – many of the tenants in attendance hadn’t heard of the Charter before, so it was great to share it and get their thoughts on the Charter from a community housing association perspective.”

Tenants from CHANW member WHA’s scrutiny panel created a film especially for the event to demonstrate the work they do and how they have helped shape WHA’s new customer service charter in line with the National Housing Federation’s Together with Tenants charter, while tenants from Prima Group in Liverpool talked about scrutiny work, changes to governance and their new customer board.

The delegates also heard from other leading sector figures.

NHF’s Together with Tenants policy leader Fleur Priest-Stephens spoke about its perspective on the TWT while Jackie Grannell, from TPAS, posed the question “Is there a future for tenant engagement?”

Lively discussions were chaired by WHA and CHANW on both subjects, considering inclusivity and barriers to tenant engagement and analysing what the charter will mean for members and how to take it forward.

CHANW is chaired by WHA’s CEO David Cummins. He said: “We are well connected to the communities with which we work, because we are within those communities. Our size means we know who our customers are, every single one of them. Our existing relationships with our customers mean we have been perfectly placed to embrace the proposals in the NHF’s ‘Together with Tenants’ plan.

“The CHANW conference was a great forum for community housing associations to have a strong collective voice on the subject of prioritising tenants’ own voices as part of the national housing agenda.”

For more information on CHANW, visit: https://communityhousingnw.org/

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