Tenant and Community Empowerment

…a selection of our Tenant & Community Empowerment projects

We produce tenant empowerment strategies for councils and Housing Associations and work with council tenants on tenant management initiatives. We are a member of ATIC (Agencies & Trainers in Involved Communities) and undertake a wide variety of projects and related training.

Wirral Partnership Homes. Following our work for them in 2007 to help develop a new resident involvement strategy and resident handbook, we were asked in 2008 by Wirral Partnership Homes to examine some difficult issues in resident involvement, including the future of the Wirral Federation of Tenant and Resident Associations. To carry out this work we devised a questionnaire based upon Wirral’s unique Three-Way Agreement, and then got the views of WPH, the Federation, and the Council on its operation. We also met with individual tenants and resident associations to understand what they do and their aspirations for the future. Our report formed the basis of a resident conference held in Birkenhead in November 2008.

Wear Valley Customer Panels. Wear Valley District Council appointed us to recruit and support the developmentof a new ‘Citizen’s Panel’ for the district. Following a public consultation exercise, it was decided to call the Panel ‘Future Aspects: The Voice of WearValley’.

Our work involved;

• The preparation and distribution of publicity material and a questionnaire to an agreed sample of 3,000 residents

• The recruitment of some 220 people to be members of the Panel

• Securing the agreement of three of the five secondary schools in the district to work with the council on the development of a junior panel.

Southway Housing Trust. Working with a specially appointed Steering Group we recently produced for Southway Housing Trust in Manchester a detailed Customer Involvement Review.

This lead to our production for Southway of;

• A Customer Involvement Strategy

• An annual audit pro-forma for assessing the well-being of tenant and resident associations

• A Southway customer guide to getting involved

The ‘menu’ of involvement opportunities we developed as part of this work contains 31 ways in which Southway’s customers can influence policy development or service delivery.

Changing Avenham. Steve Sharples produced the original ‘Changing Avenham’ strategy for Collingwood (now Contour) Housing Association. This was a comprehensive neighbourhood renewal programme for part of the Avenham ward in the centre of Preston, in which the transfer of 1,000 council homes to Collingwood was the centrepiece. With initial design work by Triangle Architects, ‘Changing Avenham’ was a neighbourhood action plan that tackled both physical and social problems and included the establishment of a community regeneration trust.

Other similar projects include:
AvenQuest Homes
Gateshead MBC
City of Newcastle
Rotherham MBC
Chorley Community Housing
Broxtowe Borough Council
Hull City Council