Support for social tenants to have their say on local services

Social housing support
Published on Monday, 07 January 2013 15:04
Posted by Scott Buckler

Housing Minister Mark Prisk today launched a new training programme designed to put power firmly in the hands of social tenants

He launched the £1.2 million Tenant Training and Support Programme to give residents the skills they need to hold their landlord 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 boost in funding will offer a way for residents to ensure they get the service they deserve and that landlords offer the best possible value for money.

Mr Prisk said this new training programme would empower residents to take the first crucial step to having the necessary know-how to use their powers and take control in their neighbourhoods.

Empowering tenants

Run by the Tenant Participation Advisory Service, the programme offers advice, training and support to tenants by:

  • bringing tenants together from different neighbourhoods to discuss their experiences and inspire new tenant panels
  • helping individual tenants to engage with their landlords on a range of issues and services
  • offering face-to-face training with expert advisors for around 5,000 tenants
  • providing a tenant training programme to help them make the most of the powers they have, from accredited courses to local training systems and e-learning

By doing this, new and existing social tenants will be equipped with the skills they need to engage and negotiate confidently with their landlords.

They will also be able to sign up to Community Cashback, which enables tenants to take over the management of their neighbourhood, from overseeing maintenance and minor repairs to signing up new contractors to run cleaning services.

Mark Prisk said:

"Communities across the country want to use the powers they have to ensure their needs are reflected in the services they receive. But many simply lack the confidence to challenge the people in charge.

"That is why we've put this new tenant training scheme in place, helping make their voices heard and giving people the skills they need to ensure the changes that matter to them are made.

"And by playing this enhanced role tenants can help landlords improve the efficiency of local services and their work will help inspire even more communities to take control."

Steve Meakin, Tenant Participation Advisory Service chair said:

"This is exactly the programme we've all been waiting for. 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."

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