As part of our work with Tenant Involvement we identified a gap in feedback and engagement from young tenants, specifically those becoming tenants for the first time, we approached Rush House and Roundabout to ask if we could run some sessions with their residents.
We agreed to run these at Rush House over lunchtimes and provide food (pizza). We have now been running these since April 2023 on a six-week basis. On average around 10 people attend a session. It is not always the same people who attend. The people who attend these sessions are at different stages of their journey in becoming tenants; some already registered with key choices ready to bid on properties while others aren’t yet ready to begin this process. All residents are supported by the teams at Rush House & Roundabout, who also attend the sessions with them.
Our approach has been to keep the sessions relaxed and informal to help build trust and allow us to open up conversations with the residents around living on their own and becoming tenants. This has resulted in some insightful discussions and feedback.
Feedback from sessions:
|Tenancy information & expectations||While there is good information about applying to be a tenant there is limited information about things like timescales involved, what they can expect a property to contain, the standard it is kitted out to.||Residents are often going from places with new white goods and decorated nicely to something they feel is a step down, so it’s about managing their expectations|
|Bidding process||They can sometimes feel overwhelmed by how quickly they must decide on a property with the limited information provided||Additional support available to those that may need it. Longer time allowed to decide.|
|Perceptions of council homes||Some resident’s families are/have been council tenants so they can have a negative opinion of being a tenant; homes are not in good repair, they all look the same, they are in under resourced areas …||Visits to council properties & TARAs|
|Tenancy AQA qualification||As part of their pre-tenancy support residents complete this training. They are very positive about how helpful this has been and feel more confident about living alone without the support they currently receive. A lot of them talked about the bin information and how it has helped them to recycle more.||This training is available for others to complete too|
Rush House and Roundabout residents and staff are happy for us to continue to run these regular sessions and to gain some more insights, with a view overtime to creating a young tenant forum / group hopefully with some tenant reps emerging.