On 12 and 13 July Sasha McGregor (Community Consultation Officer for Grand Union Housing Group) and two residents from our Stakeholder Panels, Karen Glanville and Virginia Olds, attended the Tpas National Tenant Conference 2017 near Kenilworth, Warwickshire.

Over 220 social housing tenants and officers were gathered together where the key theme of the conference was ‘change’, with four sub-themes: changing housing, changing communities, changing engagement and changing me.

The conference was opened by Jenny Osbourne, Tpas Chief Executive, who spoke about the challenging times we face, including universal credit, a move to more development and less social provision by some landlords, raising the profile of social housing and engaging residents in a way which suits them.

The first keynote speaker was Nigel Wilson, CEO of Wythenshawe Community Housing Group who spoke about being ‘stronger together’, with landlords and residents working together for the right reasons. This included having the right resources and remembering why we exist as social landlords.

Our second keynote speaker was Alex Blow from Fourteen19, a youth engagement agency who spoke about engaging with young people successfully. This included identifying young people to work with and having meaningful projects and activities to work with them on. The points discussed can also be used with other individuals or groups we wish to engage with.

There were also over 25 workshops across the two days of the conference around a range of topics including getting involved, community based events and resolving complaints, however the workshops we attended included:

  • Going digital
  • Community wellbeing: being safe and healthy
  • Community led engagement: it works!
  • Helping communities be financially smart
  • Raising the standards in tenant engagement
  • Linking customer insight with effective engagement
  • Regeneration: a real life perspective
  • Getting the knowledge

Virginia said: “There was so much to take in, but it was great to meet others from different areas and see what they are doing.”

Karen said: “The conference was amazing; I’ve got so much information and am looking forward to getting some new projects started in my local area.”

If you would like to find out more about this event, or how you can get involved, please contact Sasha McGregor, Community Consultation Officer on 01525 844510 or at sasha.mcgregor@aragon-housing.co.uk