London Tenants Federation E-bulletin June 2018
Are tenants adequately involved in decisions that affect their homes?
London Assembly Housing Committee Post-Grenfell Investigation
Email your comments or evidence to the committee by 29 June
Through discussion with the chair of the London Assembly Housing Committee, Sian Berry AM, it was agreed that LTF would support the committee’s investigation into social housing tenants’ involvement in decision-making about their homes, post-Grenfell, by facilitating a meeting of social housing tenant representatives with the committee.
Since the Grenfell tower fire, last year, LTF has argued that as part of efforts to prevent such a tragedy occurring again, there must be change in policy and practice around participation of tenants in decision-making about their homes – to ensure our voices are properly heard.
For some time, we have seen the gradual loss of democratic and accountable tenant participation processes, including removal of funding from an increasing number of council tenant federations or organisations that bring together elected tenant and resident representatives around borough-wide issues. Instead, consumerist models that were more common in the housing association sector are being gradually adopted across social landlords. Such models include a wide range of panels, forums and mystery shopping, through which tenants (sometimes selected) might engage, but without a remit to couch the views of others, or to feed back to them. Necessarily many tenants lack trust in these processes, resulting in disengagement and ultimately disempowerment.
LTF, alongside other groups that we have contacts with – including Camden Housing Association Tenants Forum, Genesis Residents, London Federation of Housing Co-operatives and Race on the Agenda, presented concerns to the meeting, which also facilitated an open mic session. Together we agreed a list of ‘asks’ of the London Mayor.
This link provides information about the investigation including the committee’s key topics and, towards the bottom of the page, a link to a full recording of the meeting, held on 24 May.
While the London Assembly doesn’t have policy-making powers, it has a role in scrutinising the Mayor. Its investigations can put pressure on the Mayor and ultimately contribute to policy changes.
There are opportunities for tenants and residents to submit written comments or evidence to the committee and we encourage you, your TRA, TMO, Co-operatives and / or wider networks to do so, by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org by 29 June.
We have attached an document that highlights our key asks of the London Mayor and some of the issues that we discussed with the other groups that we worked with, in preparing for the London Assembly meeting.
Please also find links here to a briefing on TRAs (with a case study), on TMOs (with case study) and Co-operatives that we produced for the London Assembly Housing Committee members, a comment piece from LTF delegates published in Inside Housing and an article published in the Times which reported on the London Assembly Housing Committee meeting.