Landlords charged for consultation visits
Housing providers will have to pay £2,000 a day for a visit from the Tenant Services Authority’s comments camper van.
The bright pink van was unveiled yesterday as part of the regulator’s ‘national conversation’ consultation. It will tour England during February and March allowing tenants to share their views with TSA staff.
Social landlords are being encouraged to use the van as part of ‘local conversations’ with their tenants that will feed into the national review. But it has emerged that they will have to pay for a visit.
The marketing agency responsible for the van, The Mill Group, admitted it was offering the van to providers at a ‘discounted rate’ of £1,995 a day plus VAT for such off-route, personal visits – with further reductions for multiple bookings.
These are in addition to nine scheduled visits that the van is making during a two-month tour of England.
Director David Fawcett said housing associations were getting ‘great feedback’ from customers.
‘Some associations are choosing to engage in the local conversation in offices and community centres. I suppose it does come down to budget,’ he said.
Tenant Alex Brown, from the Yorkshire and Humber Tenants Association, said he was pleased with the range of consultation the TSA was doing, but of the charge for the van he said ‘the kindest word I can think of is absurd’.
Jane Allen, assistant director of operations for arm’s-length management organisation Rochdale Boroughwide Housing, said: ‘We would be unable to justify spending £2,000 of residents’ money for this opportunity.’