Housing association residents from across the West Midlands met in Birmingham for a major national consultation on the relationship between tenants and social landlords in England.
The conference took place earlier this month, and was one of the largest events for the Together with Tenants campaign, which was launched in February by the National Housing Federation. The campaign aims to build relationships between tenants and housing associations, as well as giving residents a strong role in scrutinising their landlord.
Matrix Housing Partnership – a group of seven Midlands-based housing associations – organised and hosted the event, bringing over 100 residents together to discuss the Together with Tenants proposals.
Attendees were given the chance to share their views on key parts of the draft proposals, including a new charter setting out what residents can expect from their landlord. Attendees heard from a number of speakers including, Kate Henderson, the Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation.
Katie Teasdale, Head of Member Relations at the National Housing Federation, said:
“This event was a really great opportunity for residents to shape Together with Tenants. Residents are at the heart of these ambitious proposals, and we are now looking at their feedback, alongside views from tenants across the country.”
Chris Handy, Chief Executive at Accord Housing Association, which leads the Matrix Housing Partnership, added: “Having the opportunity to host the Together with Tenants event on such a large scale meant we could engage with our residents as individual housing associations and in our joint partnerships. This event was an excellent opportunity for Matrix and its tenants, as it gave everyone involved the chance to strengthen the relationship between landlords and residents.”
Feedback from the event was positive with lots of useful ideas to feed into the Together with Tenants consultation. All of the Matrix partners are early adopters of Together with Tenants and will be testing out the proposals over the coming months.
Daisy Halford, a resident who spoke at the event, hailed the day as a success. She said: “The day was great. I met some really great people. I really enjoyed hearing from other Housing Associations. It was great hearing personal stories from different people and, I hope that moving forward that we can change stigma and hold Housing Associations accountable when needed.”
Tenants Wendy Walsh and Sue Spicer also shared their experiences of working with their landlords on number of community projects and the successes it has brought. They added: “It was great to see so many tenants from across the region coming together to talk about this important agenda. We hope that by sharing the story of our involvement at Castle Vale we helped to show how important tenant voices are in shaping really great places to live.”