Tenant delegates had an opportunity to discuss a wide range of issues with Thurrock Council officers and others at an all day meeting and workshops at Orsett Hall last week (Friday, 12 March).
The Housing Stakeholder event, opened by Cllr Tunde Ojetola, Thurrock’s Cabinet Member for Housing, saw tenants and representatives from many council departments, and partners including Europa, the police, contractors and the Housing Quality Network (HQN), debate a wide range of issues, such as anti-social behaviour, repairs and decent homes, as well as how tenants can become more involved in the Housing Department’s work.
Ellis Blackmore from the HQN gave Friday’s conference an overview of the work and responsibilities of the Tenants Services Authority (TSA). The TSA is a national organisation which oversees and regulates all social housing, and will become responsible for regulating council housing, including Thurrock, from April this year. The TSA has set out National Standards that need to be met by all social housing providers, as well as areas where local standards will need to be developed and agreed with tenants – and the Stakeholder event kick-started this process.
In addition, a series of workshops were held, looking at each area of the TSA standards, including: home repairs/decent homes; customer services; tenancy, allocations rents and tenure; and value for money.
Speaking afterwards, Cllr Ojetola said: “Thurrock Council has always taken the views of its tenants seriously.
“Events such as this give representatives of our thousands of tenants a chance to meet face-to-face with the people who deal with the issues which they face day by day.
“We hold many smaller meetings, but this event brings all interested parties together for several hours, so opinions and views can be passed on in both formal sessions, and in a less formal atmosphere at the breaks and lunch.”