I attach a set of slides of the current resident involvement proposals that the council has been consulting on over the past 6 months and is currently in the process of discussing with representatives of Tenants Council, Homeowners Council and the TMO Committee . The aim of the review was to improve the way that the council engages and consults with tenants and homeowners and find ways of ensuring that more people can have their say on their homes and neighbourhoods.
The consultation had over 1,100 responses and the current proposals reflect what people told us through the extensive and wide reaching consultation process, aiming to ensure that:
- Everyone living in a council home has the opportunity to participate, with more choice of how and when they can get involved.
- We direct more resources and support to the grass roots including through Tenants and Residents Associations, so tenants and residents have the support they need to improve their local estates and communities, strengthening and improving our support for TRAs and continuing our support for Tenant Management Organisations.
- All residents living in council homes not covered by a TRA can participate (as well as working with tenants and residents to increase the coverage of TRAs where this is what residents want).
- We retain elected representation of tenants and homeowners in the formal consultation structures so that tenants and homeowners chose their representatives.
- We maintain five local housing forums (keeping them separate from the wider Ward Forums) to focus solely on housing issues in each area.
- We maintain Southwark wide consultation forums for tenants and for homeowners to focus on issues that matter to tenants or homeowners, alongside a joint forum to consider the issues that tenants and homeowners have in common.
- Residents continue to set the agendas for the housing forums so that they focus on the issues that matter to them, with forums chaired by residents and open to all tenants and homeowners in each area of the borough.
- Decisions on funding for resident participation are based on what tenants and resident homeowners say they want.
- We hold an annual Southwark Tenants and Residents Conference and an annual Homeowners conference open to all who want to attend to discuss housing issues in Southwark.
- We use digital engagement as an additional way to get more people involved including an online panel of residents to give us their views alongside other forms of consultation.
- We strengthen the link between tenants & residents and the council’s Housing Scrutiny Commission to enhance resident input to the scrutiny of housing services in Southwark.
- We retain funding for independent support and advice for tenants and homeowners who need it.
In terms of next steps the intention is that we take a report to cabinet in February 2020 that sets out the proposed changes alongside an implementation plan and that we review these new arrangements after the first year to assess their effectiveness and whether any adjustments might be needed, with a report back to Cabinet by June 2021 on this review.
I know that all of your Area Forums are meeting in the next couple of weeks to discuss the housing revenue account budget and would welcome any comments that you may have from discussions at those meetings on our proposals.
Cllr Kieron Williams
Cabinet Member for Housing Management and Modernisation