Tenant participation has been important to IDS for many years and is about making sure that all tenants have a say in the decisions that affect their homes and communities.
What is tenant participation?
Tenant participation is about making sure that all tenants have the opportunity and choice to have a say in the decisions that affect their homes and communities. It may involve you and your neighbours attending the occasional meeting with IDS staff, normally held on your estate, to discuss current issues or changes. It includes taking part in surveys and questionnaires. It could involve becoming a tenant representative, helping form a tenants association or joining the tenants forum.
Recognising tenant participation success
IDS achieved national recognition when the Youth Engagement Project (Makin It Happen) won the prestigious iNbiz Race and Diversity Award by a judging panel including 60 housing association residents from across the country.
IDS worked in partnership with a local youth participation consultant, Steve Curtis Associates (SCA), and Hackney-based youth empowerment group CityZEN to train 20 young peer representatives, who researched the views of young people in the area to ensure their concerns are heard and acted upon. Since then the group has been involved in a wide range of events and activities including the Hackney Youth Parliament. Using interviews with elderly residents, the Makin It Happen group have recently produced a documentary Living Memories about life on the estate in days gone by.
Six young people from Makin It Happen attended the iNbiz Awards ceremony at Birminghams ICC. They were presented their award by comedienne Ruby Wax.
Makin it Happen
Makin it Happen is funded by a 48,000 grant which has been awarded over three years to recruit, train and support young people across three of IDS Hackney estates – Stoke Newington, Navarino Mansions and Evelyn Court.
The project rolled out in a number of phases. Initially a small group of young people were recruited and trained to carry out some research with 200 of their peers and 30 older tenants on three Hackney estates – Stoke Newington, Navarino Mansions and Evelyn Court. The second phase of training helped group members to become effective in their roles and involved team work, decision making, dealing with conflict, holding effective meetings and action planning.
The group made a film of videotaped interviews with older residents including reminiscences about the old days on the estate and, for the teenagers involved with the project, proved a unique glimpse into what life was like in previous decades as well as the opportunity to meet better understand their elderly neighbours.
Tenant participation in action
Recent achievements in community development work and successful project funding include the following:-
- Funding for UK On-Line Centre providing IT training
- Summer play-scheme
- Out-of-school club
- IT business start-up project in partnership with Bootstrap Enterprises
- Improvements to community hall at Stepney Green
- Sure Start project
- Music therapy sessions
- Training courses for tenants in managing community buildings
- Bids for neighbourhood renewal funding