Northumberland tenants bring about change

06 Apr 2017

Northumberland County Council tenants will be given the opportunity to propose improvements on how housing services are delivered with the launch of a bespoke social networking system.

The tenants forum, which was established in 2015 to represent the views and concerns of council tenants, has developed the innovative web-based system to help improve tenant engagement, and receive feedback on what is important to tenants.

The ThinkChange system will allow tenants to suggest ideas on how to improve the housing service they receive, as well as commenting on initiatives and projects.

The Forum is the first of its kind in the region to have such a bespoke tenant engagement system in place.

The council owns 8,500 properties across the county, and each tenant will be given the opportunity to sign up to the system, with a personal login, which can be accessed from any computer or mobile device.

Working in a similar way to social media sites such as Facebook, tenants would be able to put forward ideas on areas where they feel improvements could be made, with other tenants able to comment on these suggestions.

The Tenant Forum would then decide which ideas to further develop and put forward to the council. The Forum would also be able to use ThinkChange to consult with tenants on particular areas of the housing service, such as repairs and maintenance.

Karen Bailey, chair of the Tenants Forum said: “We are always looking for new ways of communicating with tenants and gaining their views on the service they receive.

“ThinkChange is an exciting project and once again demonstrates how tenants in this area are leading the way on engagement and involvement.”

Philip Soderquest, Head of Housing at Northumberland County Council, said: “We have been working closely with our tenant forum to look at ways of improving engagement with those living in council owned properties.

“As a council we strive to offer the best housing service to tenants. This new system will allow the forum to bring issues to the council that of real concern to communities, and in turn can help to shape the way in which we deliver our service in the future.

“It’s fantastic to see Northumberland leading the way once again.”

To join tenants should sign-up at  http://hfnt.think-change.co.uk/Register.aspx A short guide is available via email or post upon request.