Your TP Strategy
Tenant participation means providing all tenants with a range of opportunities to have a say about how their housing services are delivered. It is a two-way process where landlords value the engagement and recognise it as a vital component to improving their business.
To be meaningful and effective, tenant participation must be embedded in the organisation's DNA at every level. Tenant participation is not solely a housing management role; every staff member must be fully conversant with the concept.
Successful tenant participation comes from knowing your customer base, understanding what issues are important to your tenants and how you, as a landlord, should communicate with them. It is essential to recognise the vast and varying needs of tenants and to consider adopting a range of engagement methods to ensure your tenants can easily and equitably be involved (if they wish to be).
"Tenant participation is everybody’s job.
It should be in the very DNA of the organisation."
Levels of Tenant Participation
There are a number of levels of tenant participation ranging from operational to strategic. These are broadly represented as information, consultation, involvement and partnership. The engagement at each of these levels will be very much dependent on a tenant's interests, capacity and availability. It is necessary to stress that all engagement levels are equally important in the effective delivery of services.
Approaches to Tenant Participation
Finding the right approach is key! The thing to remember, though, is that one shoe does not fit all. So how do you know what approaches to use? The answer is simple - ask your tenants!
Traditional methods of conducting meetings are not always the most suitable for a variety of reasons. Some tenants may be quite happy to complete surveys, provide feedback on literature from the comfort of their own homes whilst others may want to scrutinise services or indeed sit on your board. Whatever approaches are offered, they must be supported with appropriate training for staff, board members and tenants.
How We Can Help
Supporting Communities can assist housing associations in many ways to help them engage with their tenants and encourage their participation in the business to benefit everyone involved. For example, we can help you to:
Develop a meaningful tenant participation strategy
Develop an action plan
Review and monitor your tenant participation strategy
Review existing structures and practices
Assess your tenant participation strategy in line with the ten principles outlined in the Tenant Participation Strategy NI 2015 - 2020
Identify your areas of good practice and areas of weaknesses to enhance your tenant participation strategy.
Advise you on the best methods of engagement to suit your customers
Undertake tenant engagement surveys (including collating and analysing data)
Facilitate focus groups with tenants, staff and board members
As the Independent Tenant Organisation (ITO) for Northern Ireland, we provided guidance in line with the Department of Communities' Tenant Participation Strategy for NI 2015-2020.
Now, Supporting Communities is playing an instrumental part in the consultation for the strategy's new iteration.