Supporting Communities welcomes yesterday’s launch of the Tenant Participation Strategy by Social Development Minister Lord Morrow MLA.
We have long advocated the establishment of an appropriate context for tenant participation in Northern Ireland and concur with the Minister that the principal missing element was an overarching strategy setting out how social landlords and tenants can work together to improve services.
Supporting Communities has been working for over 35 years to empower individuals and groups to build strong, cohesive communities and this strategy will help us to continue to challenge all social housing landlords to increase the extent and effectiveness of their tenant participation services in Northern Ireland.
The Tenant Participation Strategy 2015-2020 sets out what social landlords, including the Northern Ireland Housing Executive and Housing Associations, should do in order to give tenants the opportunity and choice to participate in the decisions that affect them. The Strategy also sets out how government will help.
Tenant participation can range from being a member of a Board and being involved in a resident or community-based group to responding to consultations or being engaged in focus groups.
Minister Morrow said: “My vision for social housing is more than just providing a home for those in need, it is about creating communities with efficient services that respond to local needs.
“The voices of tenants are vital and the Tenant Participation Strategy will afford them an opportunity to influence decisions and services which affect them. I would encourage all tenants to participate in whatever way they can, either as individuals or as part of a wider group.”
The Tenant Participation Strategy sets out 10 principles for tenant participation and includes the measures and outcomes expected to achieve effective engagement between tenants and their social housing providers.
Minister Morrow continued: “There are already many good examples of landlord/tenant collaboration, however, we must continue to build on this and promote best practice across the sector. I want this strategy to challenge all social housing landlords to increase the extent and effectiveness of this participation and listen to their tenants to ensure the delivery of better, more responsive services.”
The Tenant Participation Strategy, subsequent Action plan, and Easy read version can be viewedhere: https://www.dsdni.gov.uk/publications/tenant-participation-strategy-northern-ireland-2015-2020