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Published 04 February 2021

West Dunbartonshire Council is leading the way with initiatives to ensure tenants are as involved as possible in decision making.

In the past four years, a number of enhancements have been made to ensure tenants can be actively involved in Housing decisions that affect them.

These include:

  • establishing West Dunbartonshire Scrutiny Panel who monitor Housing services performance
  • ensure there is a person-centred approach to improving performance
  • running a joint rent group made up of tenant volunteers, Housing employees and the Housing Convener to ensure transparency about spending of the Housing Revenue Account
  • holding annual rent-setting consultations to get feedback on rent payments.

In addition, the Housing service communicates valuable community information through Tenants and Residents Associations (TRAs), the Interested Tenants Register, the Sheltered Housing Forum, the Scrutiny Panel and a tenants social media page.

A recent survey on tenant participation also showed that  73.9% of tenants believed the culture and practice of involving tenants had improved.  

The successes were highlighted in a report to the Housing and Communities committee after which elected members approved an updated tenant participation strategy.

Involving You, the Council’s Tenant Participation Strategy for 2021-2024, aims to improve tenant participation even further by enhancing feedback to tenants, continuing to encourage involvement of under-represented groups including young people, homeless people and minority ethnic groups, and promoting the personal benefits to tenants of participating in decision-making processes.

The report also details how  tenants can be involved in tenant participation in West Dunbartonshire, as well as providing information on resources available and support required for effective tenant participation.

 Councillor Diane Docherty, Convener of Housing and Communities, said: “Our tenants are at the heart of everything we do, and the decisions being made involve them, so it’s only right that we give them every opportunity to be involved in the process. Their input has been invaluable in a number of recent decisions, and I am grateful to those who give up their own time to be part of that.

“This updated strategy will build on the success we have already seen.”

Councillor Caroline McAllister, Vice Convener of Housing and Communities, added: “As the report shows, our previous strategy to ensure tenants were more involved has been hugely successful, but we won’t stop there. We continue to be committed to delivering positive outcomes for our tenants and wider communities and we will keep working to ensure tenants are involved every step of the way.”