Among many other failings, the Grenfell Tower fire of 14th June 2017, revealed the worst possible consequences of landlords repeatedly failing to seek out or listen to the views of their tenants.
On 24th May 2018, London Tenants Federation held an open mic session with the London Assembly to give evidence on current practice in tenant involvement. You can watch some of the testimonies given here.
We also made the following recommendations to the London Assembly and Mayor:
- Encourage social housing landlords in London to use participatory, democratic and accountable ways of involving tenants in relation to decision-making about their homes – from the local to the regional level.
- Lead by example. Establish a community forum for tenants (of all tenures) and other housing and homelessness groups to into London Housing Strategy policy and engage in monitoring outcomes. This is needed as a replacement for the disbanded Mayor’s Housing Forum and its Community Engagement Sub-Group. LTF has previously put forward this proposal on this, but it has not been acknowledged by the Mayor’s office.
- Host the launch of a London Tenants Federation publication on participatory, democratic and accountable involvement of tenants in decision-making about their homes, later this year or early next year.
- Require social housing landlords, as a condition of any GLA affordable housing contracts, to have good (participatory, democratic and accountable) tenant involvement processes in place and evidence that they are properly maintaining their existing homes.
- Publish regular monitoring reports relating to the condition of existing social / affordable homes.
- Encourage boroughs in London to use the powers of the Localism Act to reinstate housing committees so that more councillors and tenants’ representatives are involved in developing and overseeing local authority housing policy.
- Ensure that social housing landlords that have contracts with the Mayor’s office for delivering new social / affordable housing are compliant with the Public Sector Equality Duty. Encourage wide debate on the extent to which socio-economic disadvantage and negative stereotyping of social housing tenants was a key issue in respect of the poor treatment of Grenfell tenants and potentially of social housing tenants elsewhere.
- Lobby Government to provide housing association tenants with the Right to Manage and the Right to Transfer.
The London Assembly’s final report on this matter can be read here.