TPAS appointed by housing minister to 'hand power back to tenants'
Published by TPAS for TPAS in Central Government and also in Communities, Housing
TPAS has been appointed to deliver the national ‘Tenant Empowerment Programme’ designed to give social tenants support to engage confidently with their landlords.
Housing Minister, Mark Prisk, launched the £1.2m Tenant Training and Support Programme to give residents the advice and training they may need to hold their landlords to account, whether on their own, by setting up a tenant panel, or by taking over the management and maintenance of their homes and neighbourhoods themselves.
The Tenant Training and Support Programme will be led by TPAS in partnership with the National Federation of Tenant Management Organisations, Tenants and Residents Organisations of England, and the Confederation of Cooperative Housing. We will also be working closely with HouseMark, Make It Happen, and the Co-regulatory Champions to deliver the programme.
As a partnership approach the programme will be launched under the name of ‘Tenant Central’ with a dedicated website and online learning resources.
Some of the key highlights of the Tenant Central programme, launched in April 2013, will include:
- A free national tenant training programme, accessible online and in a variety of locations across England.
- Support and advice on local tenant panel arrangements
- An exciting approach of tenant-to-tenant training and support
- A community cashback scheme to allow tenants to influence and lead on how resources are managed and prioritised within their community.
- Free infographics, social media toolkits, and online advice and information on a dedicated ‘Tenant Central’ website
Michelle Reid, TPAS Chief Executive said “We’re delighted to have been appointed to deliver this programme. We will not only rely on our own skills and experience from the past 25 years of promoting tenant involvement, but we have also put
together a great team of partners to ensure that tenants get the opportunity to access a huge range of support and advice across the programme”.
NFTMO Chair, Nick Reynolds, believes the Community Cashback element of the programme offers a chance for more tenants to get a taste of tenant-run services. “Tenants have been running housing services for decades through TMOs and Co-ops, but in recent years there have been fewer new groups discovering the potential benefits. We’re pleased to be working with TPAS to develop the Community Cashback scheme, and hope this will generate new interest in tenant management”.
CCH Chair, Nic Bliss will be particularly involved in the delivery of the Local Tenant Panel section of the programme, providing advice and support to a range of tenants. “Tenant panels are about tenants being empowered to hold their landlords to account so that they provide the best possible services to tenants” said Nic. “They help landlords design their services around their residents and ultimately perform better”.
Building on the success of last year’s interim “Growing Together” training programme, we will be using the skills and experience of expert tenants in delivering training and advice to other tenants. Michael Gelling, Chair of TAROE said “This is fantastic news for tenants and we’re looking forward to working with the ‘Tenant Central’ team”.
Summing up the Housing Minister’s decision, TPAS Chair and Housing Association tenant Steve Meakin said “This is exactly the programme and investment we’ve all been waiting for, and it’s a fantastic start to our 25th year. I urge any tenant who wants to be involved and make a difference in their community to get in touch and take advantage of the free support and training on offer.“