Tenant Participation

Tenant participation has been important to IDS for many years. Particular emphasis has been given to it since 2000 following the appointment of an IDS Tenant Participation Officer.

Tenant participation is about making sure that all tenants have a say in the decisions that affect their homes and communities.

IDS will pay your travel and childcare expenses to attend Forum, Committee, Sub-committee and Board meetings.

IDS Committee Meeting


If you would like more information about getting more involved either with IDS or your local community, give the IDS Tenant Participation Officer a call on 020 8800 9606 or email elee@ids.org.uk.

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

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.

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 IDS Board.

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

tenant fun day

Typical tenant participation activities:

Estate Meetings

IDS staff organise regular tenants meetings on your estate. Attending a short meeting is the best way for you to make sure that your opinions are heard and for you to really influence the decisions that IDS will take about your housing and local community.

Surveys – involvement at home

We realise that not everybody can always go out to meetings so we carry out regular surveys by post, email and telephone. Surveys give us very useful information about what you think of the services we provide. Occasionally, we ask tenants to undertake research on behalf of IDS. Using a structured survey, peer researchers ask their fellow tenants questions to find out what you think on a variety of topics to do with your home, the services we provide and the local

Tenant representatives

We have a number of Tenant Representatives on our estates and at other properties. These are tenants who volunteer and assist us in carrying out joint inspections, reporting communal repairs, monitoring cleaning contractors and sometimes acting as key holders for communal areas. Tenant Representatives also help us to consult other tenants on community improvements and other issues, acting as an important link between landlord and tenant. We are always looking for more volunteer representatives please get in touch for more information.

Tenants’ forum

The Tenants Forum acts as a consultative body for our tenants and is made up of representatives from our estates as well as our other properties. It seeks to communicate the interests of all those we house. The Tenants Forum regularly meets with senior managers to put across tenants views and be consulted on all our activities.

Youth forum

The views and opinions of young people are often overlooked and undervalued in todays society. To ensure that the voices of our young people are heard, a Youth Forum is being set-up in order that the issues and concerns they face have a platform at IDS and so that our younger residents have a say in their housing future.

Community development fun

Community activities

IDS has an exciting programme of community activities such as community fun days, sports activities, keep-fit, dance, drama and martial arts classes, computer training, estate events, cultural exchange days, theme park outings and, for our elderly tenants, parties, outings and special events. There are plenty of opportunities for you to get involved, either by helping to organise activities, or simply by taking part in them.

Free training for IDS tenants

IDS works with local partner organisations to provide free training for tenants in areas such as computer skills, English and Maths. For tenants who would like to get more involved, for instance as a Tenants Rep, a free, tailored training programme can be arranged. This could include training on presentation and public speaking skills, life skills, fundraising, how to run a meeting, as well as training
to help you understand and prepare for the role of a chairperson, treasurer or secretary of a tenants association. The training is designed to increase your confidence as well as give you the practical know-how to play a wider part in community activities.

IDS Family Fun Day

Tenants’ associations

A tenants association is a group of local people who have joined together for a particular reason. This may be to tackle environmental problems on an estate or conduct a road-safety campaign. IDS can help in all types of activities from running a community building to organising activities for young people. A tenants association is also the best way to apply for funding to help with community improvements. We have tenants associations on most of our large estates and would encourage you to attend their meetings as a way of getting more involved.

Issue-based groups

Sometimes groups of tenants and staff are formed to look at single issues in greater detail in order to make recommendations and solve community problems. These might include issues such as major repairs, environmental improvements, security, estate inspections or fundraising.


The services that IDS provides its tenants are overseen by a number of sub-committees. These specialise in areas such as housing management, development, repairs and maintenance. Tenant representatives are welcome to join a sub-committee. This will ensure that you can have your say in important issues that affect your housing, but will also give you a greater understanding of the way in which IDS works.

Tenant board member

The Board at IDS is made up of a group of volunteers from all walks of life. The Board is responsible for the custodianship of the assets IDS has, the overall direction it takes in the future, risk management and budgetary control, as well as overseeing each aspect of IDS work. Each board member brings a particular skill or area of expertise, such as financial or management expertise or local knowledge. There are three tenant places on the Board. The level of commitment is generally to attend one evening meeting a month.