Can you help focus on tenants’ housing needs?

This Is Wiltshire: A Bird's Eye view of Pinehurst, where much of the housing is owned by the council A Bird's Eye view of Pinehurst, where much of the housing is owned by the council

A GROUP which scrutinises Swindon Council’s housing service needs new volunteers.

The tenant scrutiny panel is made up by council tenants and gives an independent view of the council’s housing service and performance.

The panel highlights areas of good practice in the housing service and areas for improvement.

It also conducts reviews of areas within housing and reports back to council officers with recommendations for action, also producing a Work Plan, showing service areas which need to be prioritised.

The annual report to tenants, which lists the service standards expected from tenants, is also produced with the help of the panel.

It has completed reviews for the housing repair team’s satisfaction surveys and the neighbourhood warden service. The panel also assisted in the Housing STAR survey and independently reviews Housing Stage 4 complaints. It is currently working through a review of housing evictions.

The panel meets twice a month at the Civic Offices and is open to all tenants. Tenants are selected by interview although the selection criteria states that tenants on the panel should not be in rent arrears.

Coun Emma Faramarzi, cabinet member for housing and public safety, said: “Tenants are in the best position to tell us what works well and where improvements need to be made... we hope the new volunteers will continue to provide a valuable insight into our housing services.”

Contact the housing participation team on 01793 463320 or 01793 464286 if you are interested in joining the Tenant Scrutiny Panel.

Comments (1)

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12:58pm Tue 19 Aug 14

house on the hill says...

""The tenant scrutiny panel is made up by council tenants and gives an independent view of the council’s housing service and performance."""

How can it be independent if it is purely made up of tenants who have a vested interest???? Why not have some taxpayers on it who fund more than half of their rental income in the form of housing benefit that 2/3rds of the tenants receive either in full or part to get a truly independent view?

It just seems a strange system to me that those who are already living in housing subsidised by the taxpayer have so much say on how their service is run but those who pay their own market rate rents have pretty much no say in how their service is run. Add to that the grossly unfair system of right to buy at a discount that only council tenants get (and a few housing associations), is it any wonder that council housing is viewed by many the way it is!

And before the usual trolls get on their high horses, I have never been against social housing and giving help to those who truly need it, just how it is allocated and why those whose lives improve are still subsidised with cheap rents and how unfair the whole system is that those already being subsidised by the tax payer want jam on it too!
""The tenant scrutiny panel is made up by council tenants and gives an independent view of the council’s housing service and performance.""" How can it be independent if it is purely made up of tenants who have a vested interest???? Why not have some taxpayers on it who fund more than half of their rental income in the form of housing benefit that 2/3rds of the tenants receive either in full or part to get a truly independent view? It just seems a strange system to me that those who are already living in housing subsidised by the taxpayer have so much say on how their service is run but those who pay their own market rate rents have pretty much no say in how their service is run. Add to that the grossly unfair system of right to buy at a discount that only council tenants get (and a few housing associations), is it any wonder that council housing is viewed by many the way it is! And before the usual trolls get on their high horses, I have never been against social housing and giving help to those who truly need it, just how it is allocated and why those whose lives improve are still subsidised with cheap rents and how unfair the whole system is that those already being subsidised by the tax payer want jam on it too! house on the hill
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