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How can a national platform for tenants work with landlords to drive safety?

Sponsored by Aico

An Inside Housing webinar, sponsored by Aico, looked at how a national platform for tenants might work in practice

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Picture: Getty
Picture: Getty

“This topic is of fundamental importance. After Grenfell, various groups concluded a tenants voice should be set up and funded by government – the #SocialHousingWhitePaper doesn’t include a proposal” – @MartinHilditch (Sponsored) @Aico_Limited #UKhousing

“@TAROETrust has been calling for this. Residents should be heard at the highest level of decision-making,” says CEO Darren Hartley (Sponsored) @Aico_Limited #UKhousing

“We could learn from other sectors to improve tenant engagement – the sector is brilliant at informing but do we truly collaborate with residents to empower them?” asks Tina Mistry @Aico_Limited (Sponsored) #UKhousing

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Many areas of the housing sector are represented by collectives, federations or lobby groups that propel the members’ views from a local organisation conversation to a national level. While the recent white paper underlines the importance of improving engagement between tenants and landlords, it does not include a proposal for a platform to help feed the collective experience of residents.


A tenant’s perspective on how to make the white paper workA tenant’s perspective on how to make the white paper work
Government criticised for sidelining plans for national tenant voiceGovernment criticised for sidelining plans for national tenant voice
How the Social Housing White Paper will impact the sector: the tenantsHow the Social Housing White Paper will impact the sector: the tenants
Tenants asked for opinion on establishing new National Tenant VoiceTenants asked for opinion on establishing new National Tenant Voice
The Social Housing White Paper is an important realignment of the landlord/tenant relationshipThe Social Housing White Paper is an important realignment of the landlord/tenant relationship

In this webinar, as part of its Resident Safety Campaign sponsored by Aico, Inside Housing asks how such a platform might be established and organised; how it might lead to tenants’ voices being heard nationally and by the regulator on issues of safety; what tenant insight landlords would find useful; and how the experiences of residents might inform decision-making.

Inside Housing and Aico webinar: the speakers

Darren Hartley, CEO, TAROE Trust

Darren Hartley has worked in the regulated housing sector for almost 20 years. Since 2016 he has been chief executive of the tenant charity TAROE Trust, working on behalf of tenants and tenant groups on a broad range of issues and lobbying for change at a national policy level.

In 2018, Mr Hartley was chair of the Residents’ Voice Working Group as part of the Dame Judith Hackitt Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety.

He also works as a consultant for Altair Ltd, providing a broad range of governance and regulatory compliance advice to Registered Providers and RSLs across England and Wales.

Sasha Deepwell, CEO, Irwell Valley Homes

Sasha Deepwell is a senior housing executive with a track record of transformational leadership that has made a real difference for customers. She joined Irwell Valley Homes in 2017 as chief executive. Prior to her current role, Ms Deepwell has held senior positions in housing and led many award-winning development and regeneration partnerships. Her non-executive roles include: board member of North West Housing Services (the UK’s largest mutual services agency for housing co-operatives and community led housing) and chair of the Centre for Women’s Justice, a national human rights charity. She leads on social inclusion and equality & diversity issues for the Greater Manchester Housing Partnership and sits on the ‘Tackling Inequalities’ board of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority.

Tina Mistry, relationship manager, Aico

Tina Mistry joined Aico in November 2015 as a regional specification manager in North London and early in 2020 was promoted to southern specification manager. Ms Mistry has been a driving force in developing strategic relationships to facilitate change within the social housing sector and has now taken the new role of relationship manager. Her objectives are to create strategic collaborative partnerships across all nations and collectively identify key barriers, work together to address them, and create further change to keep residents safe.

Alan Strickland, director of external affairs & resident involvement, Optivo

Before joining Optivo in 2018, Alan Strickland spent seven years as cabinet member for housing and regeneration for a London borough and led volunteering policy at Volunteering England and NCVO (National Council of Voluntary Organisations). Mr Strickland’s present role includes leading a Resident Governance Review; co-creating a working group with residents to tackle projects relating to safety, antisocial behaviour and sustainability; and forming informal groups with residents at neighbourhood level to focus on projects that make a difference to their community.

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