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TENANTS' VOICE ON POLICY TO BE HEARD BY GOVERNMENT

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For the first time, council and housing association tenants will meet ...
For the first time, council and housing association tenants will meet

regularly with housing minister Lord Falconer to air their views

and influence housing policy.

Announcing the establishment of a new tenant sounding board during a

London conference attended by social sector landlords and tenants

today, Lord Falconer, said this would be an ideal opportunity for

tenants to make their voices heard.

'This is a chance for me to hear from local communities about what is

happening on the ground, particularly the issues and problems we need

to reflect in developing and implementing our policies.

'I am already in regular contact with tenants working with national

organisations but this is a chance for new voices to be heard. The

sounding board is about bringing in new people who want to learn and

share views with tenants across social housing.'

The sounding board will meet three times a year to discuss the key

housing issues affecting tenants and their communities.

Recruitment for six council tenants, four housing association tenants

and one tenant from an arms length management organisation was

launched at the conference.

Lord Falconer also launched new guidance on using tenant

participation compacts to resolve disputes between council landlords

and tenants and announced a review of the National Framework for

Tenant Participation Compacts.

'We want to see dispute resolution techniques being used widely to

help prevent disagreements arising in future. Dealing with disputes

in a formal way works, saves worry and distress and is best for

everyone involved.'

Announcing the review of the National Framework for Tenant

Participation Compacts the minister said it was important to ensure

the Compacts provided a valuable and effective service to tenants.

Notes

1. The sounding board will be comprised of a dozen tenants to

brainstorm a particular topic. At the end of the meetings Lord

Falconer will join the meeting so that tenants can feed back their

findings to the minister and raise issues and concerns.

2. Tenants' Participation Advisory Service (TPAS) have been appointed

to recruit and manage the sounding board and to facilitate the

meetings. TPAS will mail out to tenants groups, as well as national

tenant and other bodies and networks, and advertise on the DTLR and

TPAS websites. Closing date for applications to be received by TPAS

is 7 June.

3. The guidance note on using tenant Participation Compacts to

resolve disputes between council landlords and tenant groups will be

sent out to all councils, national tenant and other bodies and

published on the DTLR website .

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