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TPAS Cymru sponsorship feature

A Right to Participate?

In our response to Meeting the Housing Challenge: Building a Consensus for Action, TPAS Cymru introduced the notion of a \’Right to Participate\’ – a legislative requirement on all social landlords in Wales to involve tenants as partners in the decision making processes.

Social housing tenants have existing rights to information and consultation, but modern good practice in participation goes beyond the basic level of consultation (asking for tenants’ views on the landlord’s proposals) to include tenants as partners in agenda setting and decision-making. Welsh Government already has policy commitments to citizens and tenants being at the heart of services and the forthcoming Housing Bill should reflect the commitment to tenants being at the centre of social housing landlords.

Despite significant improvements in tenant participation over the years there is a wide variety in quality of practice, and still some poor practice. It was noted in earlier research into the quality of tenant participation that landlords were more likely to publicise tenants’ rights and to meet them where these rights were in legislation. We believe that a ‘Right to Participate’ in legislation would lead to better and more uniform practice in tenant participation, as well as giving tenants clear expectations about how they should be involved.

We envisage that a new ‘Right to Participate’ would subsume the existing rights to information and consultation and would cover the following areas- information provision, consultation with tenants, participation and decision making, and a revised Right to Manage.

Feedback from our members, gained from TPAS Cymru Housing White Paper consultation events, and other discussions and outputs from policy sessions at TPAS Cymru Annual Conferences, supports the introduction of legislation for tenant participation. Many landlords and tenants now feel that this is the time to enshrine tenant participation good practice into legislation, ensuring that all social housing tenants have the right to participate with their landlord in decision making processes.

If you would like any further information on the ‘Right to Participate’ that TPAS Cymru is proposing, please contact:
John Drysdale or Amanda Oliver,
Email: [email protected] or [email protected]

Phone: 029 2023 7303

Website www.tpascymru.org.uk/policy/

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