Spotlight on tenant involvement

15 Dec 2016

Northumberland County Council’s ground-breaking work around tenant involvement was once again the focus of attention at a prestigious tenants conference in Leeds.

Representatives from the council and the Tenants Forum were invited to deliver workshops at last week’s conference, organised by the Northern Housing Consortium. One area of discussion and interest focused on the role of Tenant Voice which provides an opportunity for direct consultation with tenants and for them to raise and debate issues with the council.

The workshops focused on how the council handled tenant involvement during the change in management of council housing, previously undertaken by the Arms Length Management Organisation, Homes for Northumberland, before being brought within the council in September.

Head of Housing Philip Soderquest, Amanda Mason, Residents Involvement Manager, and representatives from the Tenant Forum presented to more than 60 tenants and officers sharing their experience of  working with local authorities.

The team was invited to present at the 6th Annual Tenant Panel and Scrutiny conference following a similar appearance at a national event in Blackpool earlier in the year.

Philip said: “We gave two workshops focusing on how the council has welcomed and embraced tenant involvement since it took over the management of the council housing service. It was great to tell our story and share our experiences with colleagues from across the country, many of whom are facing similar changes and challenges.

“We have since been contacted by a number of other local authorities who are about to embark on the same journey, so it’s fantastic that we can offer our advice and share best practice. We are really proud of the relationship with have with our tenants and will continue to ensure their views and concerns are heard.”

* Pictured from left to right: Head of Housing Philip Soderquest, tenant Keith Annakin, Resident Involvement Manager Amanda Mason and tenant Dawn Pearson.