In a recent TPAS webinar we heard from 4 different organizations on how their resident organisation came about and how it has made a difference in their communities.

Carol Hannaford, the Development Officer at Aberdeen City Council discussed their Sheltered Housing Group. Carol said, “Older folk always want to know about change and this is a great way to inform them. Establishing the group was relatively easy but keeping it going to is where the difficulty lies. A lot of the elderly folk who want to come along are too frail to make the meetings.

We hold over 90 email addresses for these individuals and use this as a key communication channel to talk this audience. This has been particularly useful during lockdown.”

The Sheltered Housing Residents Association (SHRA) is now 10 years old and in that time the residents have got involved in lots of different activities that have really made a difference including

  • staff interviews
  • they held a campaign to save the local bus
  • they helped develop several policies
  • recommended wi-fi is installed in all common rooms in SHO complexes.

Colin Stewart is a tenant of Castlehill Housing Association and the Chairperson of the Castlehill Residents & Tenants Organisation (CaRTO). CaRTO are another great example of a Residents Association making a difference to their community. Colin shared an example that demonstrated that it’s good for tenants to not always agree with their landlord and if they think things are being done incorrectly, speak up as it really can make a difference.

Frances Carson from Muirhead TRA also spoke at the webinar about how they instigated change to be able to influence decisions being made about their community and make things better. As well as a clothing bank and food banks, they have created a ‘Birthday Bank’ which is set up for children who are unlikely to receive a birthday present from their parents due to lack of funds. ‘Communication is paramount, and the group belongs to the community’ says Frances.

Rab Clark from Fife Council also shared a video with the group showing interviews from various TRAs throughout Fife. Rab hopes to share this video again at the TPAS Scotland’s Housing Professional Conference in October so if you missed it, you will have a chance to see it again!