Get Involved with the Stirling Tenants Assembly
The Stirling Tenants Assembly (STA) are a group of tenants from Stirling Council area who have come together to get involved in Housing and having their say in Housing policies and services. They were first established in 2003 and since then they have been involved in many of the housing policy and procedural changes within Stirling Housing Services.The group mainly discuss Housing but do examine other issues which may affect tenants from time to time.
They hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) every year which everyone can attend and this is where they can vote on new members. There is a constitution in place for the STA and this is agreed with the Council and the Tenant participation Advisory Service (TPAS).
It is important to have a tenants group like the STA as the Scottish Government implemented a Charter which confirmed that all Social landlords must show and prove that they are engaging with their tenants. The STA is a good (but small) example of this. Stirling Council are also trying to engage with other tenants throughout Stirling Council Area. Stirling Council want to show that they engage with all groups, irrespective of age, all ethnic groups and are accessible to all tenants despite someone’s disabilities or needs.
This is where you come in.
Many of our tenants who volunteer to get involved are of retirement age and we think that younger tenants are just as important as older tenants so we need to listen to you too, to help improve services.
Involvement can be as little as filling in a survey or attending a family fun day organised by Housing or the STA.
Other ways tenants like you can get involved are;
Where tenants state they are happy to be the spokesperson within their community. Therefore, their neighbours could come to them with any issues they had regarding Housing and that person would raise it with Stirling Council to get it resolved.
This could be the Repairs Group – where issues regarding repairs are discussed and tenants identify areas where the Repairs service can be improved. This is not a way for tenants to raise their own personal repair issues – these should always be reported to Stirling Council through the proper process.(There is a variety of groups that tenants can get involved in)
This group look at the Open Door newsletter and discuss the content and any articles they wish to see in the next edition. They also ensure the content of the newsletter is easy to understand for everyone. The group will also look at any other publications that Housing Services send out.
Tenant Led Inspections:
Tenants identify a service they wish to look at and examine how this service can be improved. Areas are usually chosen by identifying low satisfaction rates on the 3 year satisfaction survey completed by all tenants.
Not all tenants want to come along to meetings so would prefer to attend a family fun day where the council and the STA will have a stand. Others prefer just to complete online surveys or telephone surveys. All tenants are asked to give their feedback on any policy changes this can include changes in how houses are allocated, how repairs are categorised etc. They are also consulted in changes in rents.
On a recent survey Stirling Council received 1155 responses which was really good. This response helped Stirling Council make a decision to change their current policy to provide a better service to its applicants and tenants.
Stirling Council also employ a Tenant participation Officer who is independent, and they are employed by Tenant Participation Advisory Scotland (TPAS). The Tenant Participation Officer supports the tenants by arranging and attending meetings between the tenants and staff and giving impartial advice on procedures or policies. The tenants also attend the TPAS annual conference as this is a great opportunity for them to meet other tenants and staff from throughout Scotland and learn different practices.