Published on

9 November 2023

Housing service up for award

Good luck to Wokingham Borough Council’s housing service, who are nominated for an award at this year’s Affordable Housing Awards.

Six tenant volunteers and a guide dog stand outside a new row of council houses nearing construction

Wokingham Borough Council’s housing service is nominated for an award at this year’s Affordable Housing Awards in the ‘excellence in community-led decision making’ category, recognising their Tenant and Landlord Improvement Panel (TLIP) and Tenant Charter.

The council’s TLIP is a partnership of council staff, councillors, Wokingham Borough Council tenants, the voluntary sector and housing associations. Set up in the early 2000s, the partnership ensures tenants are part of decision making and have a voice in the services their landlord provides, ensuring improvements are identified, developed and implemented.

Group of 5 adults sitting round a table at a meeting with papers and drinks on the table

Tenants at the heart of decision making

One of the many projects the Tenant Volunteers have been involved in is the Tenant Charter, which was updated in 2022. It initially was introduced when the Tenant Volunteers and TLIP started talking about ways of improving services and how they could make a bigger impact in the places they live and quality of service they receive, ensuring tenants were at the heart of decision making and had a voice.

The updated charter in 2022 included ten updated aspirations, including tackling the stigma associated with being a council tenant, improving communications with tenants, identifying patterns of future need and demand, and making council housing services as accessible as possible.

The work of the community-led decision making has resulted in many successes, including:

  • Introducing text reminders for rent due dates, reducing rent arrears to their lowest in many years.
  • Holding community engagement events, planned by the Tenant Volunteer Neighbourhoods Group, in partnership with local communities and council teams
  • Ensuring a Tenant Volunteer sits on all housing staff interview panels
  • Getting TLIP involved in housing service contract management and procurement

Delivering great outcomes for tenants and residents

These are just some of the achievements made by the TLIP, ensuring all partners are working together towards Tenant Charter aspirations and allowing tenants to have a meaningful voice, with further projects planned for the coming year.

The community-led decision making has been recognised at the Affordable Housing Awards, an annual event judged by tenants and experts. The awards celebrate the success of those who work with their communities to deliver great outcomes for tenants and residents, with the award ceremony taking place 17 November.

A group of adults wearing high viz jackets in pink and yellow and wearing hard hats stands inside one of the new modular homes at Grovelands

Working with residents

Councillor Stephen Conway, leader of the council and executive member for housing, said: “Firstly, I wish to congratulate the members of the Tenant and Landlord Improvement Panel for their well-deserved nomination and the recognition of their work to make improvements in the places it really matters for our tenants.

“It also demonstrates what can be achieved when the council works in partnership with the right people and works with, not just for, their residents. By working together with tenants and partners, the council has been able to make improvements that matter to the communities, while supporting council priorities.

“I wish them luck at the upcoming awards, but regardless of the outcome, they should be as proud as I am of the work they have achieved for better communities.”

Give website feedback