TPAS Cymru is always keen to ensure that the voices of tenants in Wales are heard: particularly when looking at housing policies

TPAS Cymru - Getting the Tenants’ Voice heard in 2023

TPAS Cymru is always keen to ensure that the voices of tenants in Wales are heard: particularly when looking at housing policies.  TPAS Cymru has a long-standing relationship with tenants from all parts of Wales and is seen as being the Voice of social landlord tenants.  Our monthly online Tenants Networks, our tenants Facebook page and our monitoring of tenants’ social media means we have our finger on the pulse of what’s important to tenants in Wales, their priorities and their concerns. 

You’ll all be familiar with the Tenants Voice surveys but below are some other examples of how TPAS Cymru has made sure that the Tenants’ Voice has been heard in 2023.

Safer Buildings in Wales – Tenant input into the White Paper proposals 
Over 25 tenants from RSLs and Local Authorities from all areas of Wales attended the online network in August to seek tenants’ views on information proposed.   Read full article here  Mike Corrigan, Welsh Government has attended previous Tenants’ Networks to share information and seek the views/thoughts of tenants on this important topic.  He focused on questions about responsibility for building safety and the type of information tenants should automatically be supplied with or could ask for.  

Mike Corrigan Welsh Government said: “Many thanks again for allowing us the opportunity to consult with the Tenants Networks during 2023. They were engaging sessions providing us with lots of important tenant insights and opinions for us to consider whilst we develop the proposals outlined in the Safer Buildings in Wales White Paper.” 

Rent setting  

Over the past few months, we’ve heard from tenants who’ve shared their experiences around rent setting with us.       

In April TPAS Cymru published an article about the information gathered via tenants’ comments on social media and from tenants who attended the March Tenants’ Network and other events.  Read the full article here   

During the Network we asked tenants some specific questions about how their rents had been set for the 2023-2024 financial year.  These included questions about: 

  • Had they been consulted about the Rent level? 

  • What information had been given to them about rent increase options and the potential impact on service of these options? 

The feedback given by tenants caused some concern to us at TPAS Cymru and the findings have been passed on to Welsh Government. 

In addition to this, we consulted with tenants on two Welsh Government consultations. One on rents in the private housing sector and one in the social housing sector. We received 1500 responses in total and the findings were shared with the Minister to support her thinking around rent policy.  

Issues affecting tenants living with disabilities. 
  • WHQS 2023 

The June Disability Network run by TPAS Cymru and Tai Pawb provided an opportunity for tenants living with, or caring for people living with disabilities, to hear about what the new WHQS 2023 standards mean in practice and how they can help disabled people to live independently. Representatives from Welsh Government gave the presentation.   

The extensive knowledge and lived experiences of the tenants who attended the network was shared with WG officials – providing them with additional valuable insight and information relating to the Standards and their implementation.   

  • Accessible housing in Wales 

TPAS Cymru and Tai Pawb are working to coordinate work on accessible housing, to include regular input from the Disability Network. Communication between tenants and landlords is essential to ensure the co-production of solutions to the chronic shortage of accessible housing in Wales. Communication and engagement is key and the Disability Network provides a platform for ensuring that the needs and desires of people living with disabilities are heard.  

WHQS 2023 - provision of Flooring in tenant’s homes  

Over the past three years, tenants have supported TPAS Cymru and Tai Pawb in a campaign to ensure tenants in social housing had flooring when they moved into a home. In 2023, Welsh Government launched the new WHQS standard that was inclusive of flooring. This is a direct legislative change as a consequence of tenant engagement.