Mark Johnston, Communities Officer, tells us how tenants can get involved with our housing services:
“My name is Mark Johnston and I am a Communities Officer (Community Worker). I am working to make sure that more of our tenants can become involved in Tenant Participation and that they feel that their voices can be heard.
We have a long-standing group of tenants who meet monthly and are involved in areas like Rent Setting, Scrutineering and general Tenant Participation issues. We also have some local tenant and resident groups supported by the Pride in Place Communities Officers in their areas.
I’m particularly, although not only, interested in finding ways to involve tenants aged under 25 as they are currently under-represented. We also need to try to find ways to involve more tenants who cannot attend the current meetings due to caring or work commitments and to try to get the views and involvement of new residents, particularly where they face a language barrier.
Some of our tenants do not have the skills, confidence, funding or equipment to take part in online surveys or to email us their views and we need to make sure that, whatever processes we put in place, we do not further exclude these individuals.
For those who can and do access the internet we can make more information on the Tenant Participation work and issues available on the Housing Blog and through the Facebook pages of the Communities Teams. There is also the option to make wider use of online tools like Survey Monkey and Social pinpoint to gain views and to encourage participation.
I am keen to learn from tenants and staff. It would be good to hear what they think would help. I’ll consider whatever suggestions they come up with or discuss what has already been tried and how we could usefully adapt it. Please drop me an email or give me a call if there is anything you would like to discuss or become involved with”.