Smaller groups could receive some of NTV’s £1.5 million budget
Move for national tenant body to fund local resident groups
A new pan-England tenants’ body could be handed responsibility for funding and improving regional tenant and resident groups.
The National Tenant Voice is a new tenant-run group that will be created this summer with a budget of £1.5 million to give tenants more say on the national stage. But the government is already drawing up plans for the NTV to give regional tenants’ bodies financial help or develop new groups.
As part of the process the Communities and Local Government department has commissioned a study by IRIS Consulting to evaluate the nine existing regional groups and three national tenant bodies.
If improvements are needed or requested the NTV could then use its budget to fund them. The new housing regulator, the Tenant Services Authority, could also have a role to play, according to IRIS project director John Harvey.
Michael Gelling, chair of national group the Tenants’ and Residents’ Organisations of England, said tenant groups’ total lack of funding and reliance on volunteers meant it was ‘not their fault’ if the study found they need improvement. ‘This is a critical look at what the organisations say they will do, who they represent, whether they are doing what they say they are and how funding can help that,’ he said.
‘We have already said to the government that £1.5 million may not be enough.’
Allan Harley, chair of the North East Council of Tenants’ and Residents’ Associations, said an independent evaluation would either ‘give us credibility or get rid of us’.
‘No one is going to give us x number of pounds unless we are delivering what we say we will,’ he said.