Tenant participation policy
We seek to involve our tenants in the monitoring and development of our housing services.
We recognise in our tenant participation policy the value of working together with our tenants towards a common goal of better housing services and conditions in Aberdeenshire.
We strive to make sure that tenants participate in the delivery of high quality housing services across Aberdeenshire.
We aim to make sure that tenants play their part in decision making processes and have the opportunity to influence decisions about:
- housing policies
- housing conditions and
- the standard of housing and related services.
We recognise that tenant participation is a two-way process which involves the sharing of information, ideas and power. Decision making rests with our Councillors; recommendations for the development of housing services rests with officers and tenants together.
In partnership with our tenants, we have agreed a joint statement of objectives or outcomes which are used to continously develop and improve tenant participation in Aberdeenshire. We have also agreed a joint action plan detailing how these objectives and outcomes will be achieved. The action plan is continuously monitored and reviewed by tenants.
The following key principles have been endorsed by ourselves and Aberdeenshire Tenants' organisations promoting a consensus about good tenant participation practice:
- Tenant participation requires mutual trust, respect and partnership between tenants, elected members and housing officers at all levels, working together towards a common goal of better housing conditions and housing services.
- Tenant participation practice should be seen as a continuous process where information, ideas and power are shared and common understandings of problems are sought, including consensus on solutions.
- Good tenant participation allows all parties to contribute to the agenda. All participants require to have the information needed to consider issues properly; that information requires to be clear, timely and accessible and to ensure equal opportunities. Tenants need to be kept informed about our policies and practices so that they are better placed to enter realistic and reasoned discussion on housing issues.
Processes of decision making should be open, clear and fully accountable.
- Adequate time should be given to tenant representatives to consider issues fully. Tenants should have the opportunity to work out a common view in advance of meeting landlord's representatives.
- Good tenant participation requires the landlord to recognise the independence of tenants' organisations.
- Good working relationships evolve gradually and should be flexible enough to adapt to local circumstances.
- Tenants organisations require adequate resources for organisation, training and support.
- Tenant participation in rural areas must be tailored to suit the particular circumstances and needs of tenants in these communities.
- Tenant participation must comply with legislation surrounding equal opportunities. Good practice in participation removes barriers to effective participation arising from ethnicity, religion, geographic location, special needs, language differences, learning difficulties, sexual orientation, or disability.
Our policy for tenant participation relies upon the shared commitment of both landlord and tenant.
- Involve tenants as partners in considering matters affecting their communities and, whilst taking into account the views of each of our tenants, recognise the collective concerns of tenants.
- Encourage and support the development of effective, representative and geographically viable tenants' organisations in all parts of Aberdeenshire and agree recognition criteria with them.
- Keep under review the level and source of resources that are available to sustain and promote tenant participation in Aberdeenshire, keeping tenants informed of budgetary issues affecting the availability of these resources.
- Commit resources as current budgets allow to promote good tenant participation practice in Aberdeenshire.
- Recognise the importance of independent advice to tenants.
- Recognise and respect the rights of properly constituted tenants' organisations to be independent of ourselves.
- Make sure that councillors, management and front-line staff are provided with adequate information and training to work in partnership with tenants on housing service issues.
- Provide clear information on our housing services to all tenants.
Aberdeenshire tenants organisations have agreed to:
- Work as partners with us on matters affecting their communities.
- Provide information to tenants in the areas covered by their organisations.
- Aim to represent the views and interests of all our tenants, and identify issues of concern.
- Provide information and expert local knowledge to us.
- Identify resource needs, including training for tenants.
- Be accountable for the use of public funds.
- Recognise and respect the statutory, regulatory and financial frameworks within which we are required to operate.