The Tenant Advocate's Role Description 

The Chairperson of the Housing Policy Panel will also fulfill the role of Tenant Advocate as described in the Tenant Participation Strategy for Northern Ireland. In addition, this person will be responsible for the smooth running of Housing Policy Panel meetings, allowing all Housing Policy Panel members to have their say and ensure meetings adhere to the terms of reference as set by the group.

As Tenant Advocate, the Chair's duties are:
 

  • To represent and support the interest of tenants concerning social housing policy development, but not in an individual capacity 
  • To act as a point of contact between Supporting Communities (ITO), the Housing Policy Panel, and the Department for Communities

  • To oversee and monitor the implementation of the Tenant Participation Strategy NI in conjunction with the Housing Policy Panel and Supporting Communities

  • To be the voice of tenants at a strategic level

  • To represent the interests of social housing tenants in the development and review of departmental policies and other documentation as appropriate 

  • To ensure that a two-way process of information and communication takes place with relevant stakeholders

  • Provide an annual progress report to the Housing Policy Panel

  • Represent the Housing Policy Panel in any PR events and act as a spokesperson as and when required to do so, including public events and media situations 

The Tenant Advocate should have the following experience and skills:
 

  • Experience and understanding of the social housing sector

  • Be able to listen, read and assess information and identify key points/issues 

  • Be confident to ask questions to obtain information and open discussion 

  • Analyse information to form opinions and conclusions

  • Disseminate information and collate responses to present back to the panel for discussion.  

  • Teamworking 

  • Able to leave one's 'own opinions’ at the door

    The Chairperson/Tenant Advocate and the Housing Policy Panel members will be provided with capacity building, training, and support as required.