Headlines: October 20th, 2008

For the first time social housing tenants will have a voice at the centre of housing policy. Two tenants, Julie Fawcett and Dennis Rees, have been appointed to join experts on the new Tenant Services Authority.

Julie, from London, has been a tenant for 28 years and works at a community centre on the estate where she lives. She is a non-executive member of the board of the Housing Corporation and has been chair of governors at her children’s primary school in Stockwell. She also serves as elected director to the Brixton Challenge and a board member of the Waltham Forest Housing Action Trust. Dennis Rees has been involved with tenant participation in Derby for 14 years. He chairs the National Federation of Arms Length Management Organisations and has spoken nationally about the benefits of ALMOs to tenants, local councils and Government ministers.

They join six other members of the Authority under the chairmanship of Anthony Mayer who said, “The social housing sector faces the twin challenges of giving a better deal to tenants and getting across the current financial shoals. The newly appointed board members will bring a wealth of relevant experience and expertise to help meet these challenges.”

The Housing Minister, Ian Wright, said the board of the new body would work to improve services for tenants making sure people who lived in social housing had a strong voice. Improvements will be at the heart of its role.