Take Control and Get Involved housing conference 2014

Housing board

Launch of the Take Control & Get Involved housing board

Wednesday 1 October saw the launch of the new involvement structure at the Take Control & Get Involved housing conference, which was attended by over a 100 delegates from across the borough. The new arrangements provide more opportunities for local people to be involved and hold housing service to account.

Councillor Pete Lowe, deputy leader of the council, formally introduced the new housing board community representatives.

Councillor Pete Lowe said:

“This is a really great initiative which I am proud of being associated with. It gets local people involved in the running of their housing service – something we really endorse as a community council. I would encourage anyone interested in having a greater say in how we delivery our housing service to get in touch and we still have a couple of vacancies waiting to be filled, or why not have a look at one of the other participation opportunities, such as mystery shopping, we have available!

“Why not ‘Take Control and Get Involved’ now?”

A new tenants and residents portal (www.housingtakecontrol.org.uk) was also launched and will be ‘the’ place to go for information, involvement opportunities and updates. You can sign up to the new portal to receive updates as they are posted.

Delegates also participated in four interactive workshops:

  • Estate Management Review This provided an opportunity for participants to give their views about the service, complete an on-line questionnaire and take part in the interactive U-Cube (Diary room). Look out for the clips on the portal.
  • Governance and Challenge This workshop provided a taster session to give an understanding of the new housing board and how tenants and residents can be involved in challenging services.
  • Spending Priorities This was an interactive session where local people allocated resources to influence future spending plans.

The Conference attendees recognised that as a housing service it is not possible to be able to afford to do everything, and that hard choices have to be made as to how we prioritise spending our valuable resources.

Residents accepted that we have to provide homes for the people of Dudley, with new build and dealing with empty homes still the major priority, but keeping our existing homes in good order, and making these homes more affordable to live in, through efficient heating systems, double glazing and where appropriate use of new technologies is also key. However, it was also recognised that in order to maximise best use of resources, some empty homes may not be brought back into circulation and an element of stock remodelling and investment in estates and communities would help provide homes and communities that people that want to live in in the future.

  • Get Involved and Make a Difference This was an enjoyable forum theatre session with Fizzog as to why getting involved really can make a difference. Some delegated even joined in on stage with the production

Overall the response from the people who attended the event was very positive (96% satisfaction), and that more than 60% want to be involved in helping Dudley shape its housing services.

Thank you to all of the volunteers who helped to make the event a success.

If you would like to get involved or would like to know more please contact the participation development team on 01384 815168, email us at participation@dudley.gov.uk or visit the new on line Portal www.housingtakecontrol.org.uk