Friday, 27 November 2015

Household’s progress to influence tenancy renewal decision

Tenants asked to sign ‘ambition plans’

A south west housing association is requiring new tenants to sign up to a plan to improve their lifestyle, which will be linked to their future access to housing.

Yarlington Housing Group is asking new tenants to commit to a ‘household ambition plan’ when they are issued with its standard seven-year, fixed term tenancy. Progress against the plan will be considered when the tenancy is reviewed.

The plans will be created individually for each household based on the ‘ambitions and aspirations’ of the family. Yarlington executive director Phyllida Culpin said criteria could include ‘gaining employment, adopting a healthy lifestyle, getting a qualification or contributing to their local community’.

‘It’s at their own level, but we are looking for them to commit to it, and see it through,’ she said.

The 9,000-home landlord’s initiative is being launched today at the Chartered Institute of Housing’s south west conference.

In a statement Yarlington said it ‘understands that some people may feel uncomfortable about committing to a plan’.

‘If they decide that they do not want to take advantage of this opportunity, they will be advised to bid for homes offered by other housing providers who do not have a similar scheme,’ it states.

Ms Culpin said: ‘Our approach to getting a positive involvement from new tenants is crucial to the success of our company aim to build communities. These communities consist of people from all walks of life across all abilities. We expect everyone entering this with us to do the very best that they are able.’

A spokesperson for the group said they believe this is the first such agreement to be put in place by a housing association, but expects other providers to follow the example. She added that pilot versions of the initiative have been well received by tenants, and the full scheme will be active from today.

Bromford Group said it has been running a similar scheme - The deal - for around a year, and has seen positive results with around 2,200 tenants signed up.

A spokesperson said: ‘The deal sets out in a clear and simple way the rights and responsibilities we each agree to have a two-way relationship that works. We call this “something for something”. We promise to provide customers with great services and great places to live in. In return customers promise to keep to all of their tenancy responsibilities.’

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