For the past few years, TPAS Scotland has worked with and supported Wellhouse Housing Association to support tenant engagement projects, including working with tenants on rent setting and The Scottish Governments Next Steps programme.
The aim of Next Steps is to support landlords by working with tenants, officers and governing body members through a participative programme of workshops and a desktop audit of policies and practices to create a jointly agreed action plan to improve tenant participation.
What did TPAS do that really made a difference to Wellhouse?
Having recently employed a new team of staff, Wellhouse Housing Association has driven forward their performance and the quality of services to tenants. They are working hard to maintain this momentum and build new and better relationship with its tenants.
As well as conducting a tenant survey on future rent options, TPAS Scotland facilitated training sessions for tenants on how Wellhouse Housing Association should best use tenants’ rental income. Tenants enjoyed the sessions as they were able to influence the future investment plans for the Association.
Having delivered the ‘Next Steps programme’ enabled Wellhouse Housing Association to rebuild and totally overhaul their tenant participation strategy.
Carol Hamilton, Housing and Customer Service Manager said,
“Using TPAS Scotland as an independent organisation to undertake the rent setting exercise with tenants, has enabled us to continue to build better relationships with tenants.
TPAS Scotland has assisted enormously with our successful bid for the Scottish Govt ‘’Next Steps Programme which helped our Governing Board and Customer Opinion Panel to understand the process and contribute to the action plan. Our community always value independent advice and support and participation is always enhanced because of the friendly, informative and relaxed sessions that TPAS deliver. They also respond more positively to events that are facilitated by TPAS Scotland. The sessions on tenant’s preferences and priorities for spending their rent money were highly engaging and informing.
I have had a valuable working relationship with TPAS for over 20 years from a Local Authority and a Housing Association perspective. Since the late 1990s I have witnessed Tenant involvement in the social rented sector grow in various directions with the help and support of TPAS. I have watched small RTOs evolve and grow in confidence with the help of dedicated TPAS officers who have provided training and encouragement. Peer mentoring has contributed greatly to the process. The sharing of best practice and good ideas have added value, depth, and credibility to the work that tenant volunteers carry out.
In my experience, the independent and professional input from TPAS Scotland has enhanced any decision- making process and is especially appreciated by tenants who are represented as well as elected governing members.
Over the years I have attended TPAS Scotland events and conferences and I’ve met lots of people, many of whom have been happily involved in tenant participation on a voluntary basis for a very long time, and it’s lovely to see that the enthusiasm is still apparent. Much of the success is due to TPAS Scotland recognising that each housing sector has different requirements and that each volunteer group has different strengths and purpose. Involvement at all levels is accepted, appreciated, and nurtured.
From a landlord perspective, TPAS Scotland can be relied upon to facilitate and encourage tenant involvement and to provide legislative advice and support when required. I have always appreciated that resource.
I was amazed at how many organisations were involved in the TPAS Scrutiny Events taking place in November 2020 and I couldn’t help noticing that all participants across the country were comfortable, relaxed, and eager to be involved – just like a big happy family of Scottish tenants! It is testament to TPAS that tenant participation has evolved in a way that tenant’s voices are heard, concerns are addressed, and a difference has been made to the social rented sector and tenants across the nation”