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Welsh Tenants Federation sponsorship feature

One year on for TAP!

It’s hard to believe but yes, over a year ago, we were all sitting around the boardroom table for the first time wondering what was expected of us. Having our first meeting with the Senior Regulation Team, members of whom we have all come to know directly as a result of the Essex Review was daunting to say the least. All of us being from different parts of Wales, crossing paths from time to time, through different housing issues, getting together for one reason. We have certainly grown into an extremely resilient team over the past twelve months. We have said hello to two new members but have also seen three step down as a result of illness and other commitments and would like to take this opportunity to thank each one of them for their input into the TAP project.

Comprised of volunteers and administered by WTF and TPAS Cymru, the main outcome from the work of TAP members is to provide soft intelligence to the Regulator from tenants of registered social landlords throughout Wales. In particular, TAP members make contact with those in hard to reach places who find it difficult to voice opinion, particularly in the current context where so many organisations are making cutbacks, when even the best of us are finding it increasingly difficult to save a quid.

As a team, we have carried out our first project based on self-assessment and the Financial Viability Judgement. We looked at how the process of tenant participation has been put into practice and how the communication process between landlords and tenants of RSLs has worked in relation to these issues. We have presented our findings to the regulator who is very keen for us to follow them up with a more in-depth analysis. The regulator is also planning to develop new projects for TAP in the future.

Lots of conferences and visits have kept members of TAP in contact with many peers including WTF, TPAS Cymru and CIH Cymru as well as individual landlords such as RCT Homes and Gwalia. Events such as ATTAIN have seen the start of TAP reaching out to tenant groups. Many of us have personally seen fantastic results as we completed our Certificate in Housing Level 2 which has given us much needed confidence with some broad housing issues. We will continue to develop this new-found confidence through personal development and maybe even continue our CIH education throughout this coming year.

After months of preparation, we now have an official TAP website which boasts a range of information regarding visits and the work we do as TAP members. You can also find out a little more about us members as individuals. Please visit us at www.tapwales.org.uk and you can also follow us on twitter (@TAPPanel).

We are all very committed to the TAP project and have increasingly found our work able to influence Welsh Government practise during the year. After just one year in action, we hope to develop TAP into a household brand for the future with each of us playing our part.

For more information please contact Hannah Smith (TAP Administrator) on 01685 723922 or email on [email protected]

If you are interested in becoming a TAP member, please see our website for an application pack.

TAP would like to thank Tom James for his work with us during the year and wish him well for the future. We would also like to welcome Peter Griffiths, the new Senior Regulation Manager.

Mike Wiseman, member of TAP, provides a personal perspective on the first year of TAP in this issue of WHQ.

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