In an unexpected statement from the government it’s been announced that social housing residents will be able to get training and support “to speak up and raise issues with their landlord.”A £500,000 grant to provide training, boost confidence and offer toolkits for residents on a range of social housing issues has opened for bids.The so-called Resident Opportunities and Empowerment programme will run from Autumn 2022 to Spring 2025. According to a statement from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities it “will empower social housing residents across England to hold their landlord to account.”
It includes opportunities for residents to learn how to influence landlord decisions that affect tenants and their community. For example, guidance on how to form a residents panel will help residents in engaging with their landlords where services, such as repairs and maintenance, do not meet required standards.Junior housing minister Eddie Hughes says: “Tenants have a right for their voices to be heard – and we want to ensure they have the tools and resources to do this. We committed to rebalancing the relationship between social housing tenants and landlords as part of our Social Housing White Paper. “This new grant will enable an organisation with expertise in the sector to help tenants take an active role in how their home is managed.
“The £500,000 grant is open to bids from organisations or partnerships in England with relevant expertise in the social housing sector and an understanding of the importance of resident empowerment. “
Applicants should have experience in: providing training within the social housing sector; working collaboratively with landlords to deliver outcomes beneficial to residents and their communities; establishing links and networks to reach social housing residents, including underrepresented demographics and new audiences; and delivering projects that provide value for money.