Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Here at Chisel Neighbourhood Housing Association we were interested to learn of the tenant cashback pilot designed to enable tenants to take an active role in maintaining their homes (Inside Housing, 15 April).

Chisel tenants have carried out various works to their homes including replacing kitchens and bathrooms and external decorations as well as smaller items.

In offering this opportunity to tenants, Chisel has not primarily been looking to save money, although this may often be the outcome. Our experience is that tenant maintenance generally requires a higher level of administration and staff time than using contractors but is worth it for the way it allows some tenants the ability to take greater control over and pride in their homes. As you might expect, most tenants do not wish to be tenant maintainers and are quite content to allow us as their landlord to keep this responsibility and we are happy that this remains the case.

Other providers may be concerned about difficulties relating to competence, health and safety and insurance. Our tenant maintainers’ policy attempts to address these issues and for anyone interested can be downloaded from our website at www.chisel.org.uk. We wish the pilot schemes every success.

John Smith, director, Chisel