A new report entitled “An Investment Not a Cost” – which was created as part of an on-going Tenants Leading Change programme – has highlighted that tenant involvement can produce benefits of a financial and social nature, as well as having a positive impact on the community. However, the survey found that the benefits are often ignored.
The report claimed that the housing sector needs to put more effort into identifying and publicising the benefits and business opportunities that can arise as a result of tenant involvement.
The Tenants Leading Change programme endeavours to highlight the business case for tenant involvement, in order to broaden its reach.
As part of the program, tenants and landlords were questioned about financial benefits, service improvement and satisfaction, amongst other benefits. The research engaged with approximately half of the housing industry in some capacity.
The findings of the research showed that a large proportion of the respondents believed that tenant involvement makes a difference and is beneficial in some way. The figures showed that the respondents largely felt that tenant involvement has the potential to contribute towards delivering value for money services and saving money.
The majority of the respondents said that service improvements can arise as a result of tenant involvement. The improvements mostly relate to efficiencies and to tenant focussed services.
A percentage of the respondents spoke of the social dividend and community benefits which tenant involvement encourages.
Some of the respondents identified tenant involvement as a way for tenants to socialise with neighbours, which as a result contributes to solving the problem of isolation and loneliness.
As a result of tenant involvement, many respondents said that tenants appeared more confident, had higher self-esteem and were more employable.
Of those working in the housing sector, many believed that tenants have a positive impact on their colleagues, which leads to a more satisfying career.