Tenants get a louder voice

HOUSING tenants across Northumberland now have a new way to have a say about issues that affect them.

The Northumberland Tenants’ Voice has been launched by Northumberland County Council and partner housing organisations to give social housing tenants who live in the county a stronger voice.

The council has been working with its own arm’s length management company Homes for Northumberland, as well as with Isos Housing, the Bernicia Group and Berwick Borough Housing - with the aim of sharing opportunities and ways of dealing with common issues.

Expressions of interest in joining the panel were submitted from tenants of each organisation. The successful tenants have formed the first Northumberland-wide tenants’ panel which will feed the views, aspirations and priorities of social tenants back to all organisations involved.

The tenants’ voice panel will develop a clear and simple communication network fitting broadly across the social housing providers involved at this stage.

The panel will also enable joint comments and contributions to emerging policies that will impact on social housing tenants.

Coun Tom Brechany, executive member responsible for housing at Northumberland County Council said: “We want social housing tenants to have as many opportunities as possible to be involved in things that affect them.

“This panel will be able consider what current issues are faced by housing providers and how they impact on tenants. It will also act as a mechanism for consulting tenants of the partner organisations – complementing other engagement mechanisms.

“I am sure that the tenants’ voice group will be a success, and fulfilling for those tenants who get involved.”

The group will meet at least four times a year, with each event hosted by one of the partners. A tenant representing the host organisation will chair the meeting and all activities will be supported by officers from Northumberland County Council.

Northumberland Tenants’ Voice has been developed by the council and a steering group of nominated tenants from each partner organisation. It has also had the support of the Tenant Participation Advisory Service.

Coun Brechany added: “The council and its partners would like to recognise and offer thanks to all members of the steering group for their efforts in developing Northumberland Tenants’ Voice.”