Adele Rae Conference Blog:
Attending a regional Tpas meeting recently I was asked by a fellow tenant how it could be justified asking landlords to pay for tenants to attend the Tpas conference in the light of the 1% rent cuts. It is a fact; there is less money available in budgets but we must make a distinction between swinging cost cutting and value for money.Value for money is not simply about cutting costs to reduce budgets it is about ensuring that every penny spent adds value to the business.
Resident involvement should not be seen as a tick box exercise. If tenants are going to make a valuable contribution, with its acknowledged benefits, to their housing providers they must be given the opportunity, like paid staff, to develop their knowledge and utilise their skills.
The Tpas conference is an ideal opportunity to bring tenants and housing professionals together. Not only is there a wide range of workshops, from scrutiny to resident involvement, it is a forum to share good practice and learn from other delegates. It is invaluable and the atmosphere is welcoming and inclusive.
The second reason I urge landlords to invest in sending delegates to the conference, and it is an investment, is that Tpas is committed to representing the views of tenants and to make a strong case for social housing. Consequently, it is a chance to get your views, and that of your landlord, heard and learn about what is going on in the sector. Can your landlord afford to send delegates to this year’s conference? My answer to you is; can they afford not to?
Adele Rae – Leeds and Yorkshire Housing Association’s current tenant board member