The Federation's four-point action and charter

The proposed Actions

  • A new requirement in the National Housing Federation Code of Governance for boards to be accountable to their tenants and residents.

    • Introducing a new commitment at board level will help ensure all organisations value the voice and experience of tenants and residents, and use this insight to inform decision-making and moreover that this becomes an important conversation for boards where this isn't already the case.
    • The governance standards set out by the regulator specify that 'registered providers shall adopt and comply with an appropriate code of governance' and 'areas of non-compliance with their chosen code of governance should be explained'. By including this new commitment in the Federation's Code of Governance, organisations will be assessed by the regulator on their compliance with this commitment, and there will be consequences where standards are not met.
  • A new Together with Tenants Charter.

    • The charter will ensure all tenants and residents know what they can expect from their housing association landlord, regardless of where they live, what type of home they live in or who their landlord is.
    • The charter is intended to ensure a more consistent experience for tenants and residents, while leaving room for tenants, residents and housing associations to agree more specific standards and targets on the issues that are important to them.
  • Tenant and resident oversight and reporting of progress against the Charter.

    • Introducing tenant and resident oversight and public reporting against the commitments set out in the charter will give tenants and residents a stronger role in holding their landlord to account. Boards will be expected to respond and take action where required.
    • Tenants and residents that want to be involved in this oversight will receive support from their housing association to agree what will be measured, and how performance will be reported. This will include using a wide range of data and information to ensure that the charter doesn’t become a tick-box exercise and a range of views are sought.
  • Giving tenants and residents a stronger collective voice with the regulator.

    • Tenant and resident oversight and reporting against the charter may uncover issues of interest to the regulator, including potential non-compliance with the consumer standards.

    • Linking the Together with Tenants approach to regulation in this way will ensure the plan has teeth and action is taken where necessary to protect the rights and interests of tenants and residents.

The Proposed Charter

  • Relationships – housing associations will treat all tenants and residents with respect in all of their interactions. Relationships between tenants, residents and housing associations will be based on openness, honesty and transparency.
  • Communication – tenants and residents will receive clear, accessible and timely information from their housing association on the issues that matter to them, including important information about their homes and local community, how the organisation is working to address problems, how the organisation is run, and information about performance on key issues.
  • Voice and influence – views from tenants and residents will be sought and valued and this information will be used to inform decisions. Every individual tenant and resident will feel listened to by their housing association on the issues that matter to them and can speak without fear.
  • Accountability – collectively, tenants and residents will work in partnership with their housing association to independently scrutinise and hold their housing association to account for the decisions that affect their homes and services and the quality of the homes and services they provide.
  • Quality – tenants and residents can expect their homes to be good quality, well maintained, safe and well managed.
  • When things go wrong – tenants and residents will have simple and accessible routes for raising issues, making complaints and seeking redress. Tenants and residents will receive timely advice and support when things go wrong.