Tenants Taking Control
6th Annual Conference
24th - 26th September 1999
The International Co-operative College, Stanford Hall, Loughborough
Too much has been imposed from above, when experience shows that success depends on communities themselves having the power and taking the responsibility to make things better.
The Prime Minister, The Right Hon. Tony Blair MP.
- A green paper on housing expected in the new year.
- Hilary Armstrong promising a "radical" rethink on housing policy.
- The start of a debate on raising grant rates for public sector housing.
- The housing Corporation developing a strategy for resident control, in partnership with the CCH, the Local Government Association, the NHF and DETR.
- Partnerships developing between housing co-operatives, local authorities and housing associations.
- The Confederation of Co-operative Housing at the centre of these policy developments, publishing its policy paper, "Tenants in Control".
Who would have thought that these things would have happened two years ago, but here we stand on the crest of new policy directions that could lead to major new developments of housing co-operatives and tenant controlled housing across the country.
We are now winning the arguments that housing co-ops and tenant controlled housing organisations make sense. The 20-year track record of success of the housing co-operative movement demonstrates that for us. However, the challenge now is to find practical ways to get the housing co-operative and tenant control movement moving again.
The CCH's 6th annual conference will prove to be a key forum where the future of housing co-operatives and tenant control can be discussed. This is a conference that is run for and by housing co-op members and tenants, although we welcome housing practitioners who support the principles of tenant control and community self-help.
Executive Summary of the policy document 'Tenants Taking Control'.
|from 5pm||Registration & buffet|
|6.45-7.30||Introduction for new delegates.|
Andy Moran, from Mushroom Housing co-op, himself a new attendee at last year's conference, will facilitate an introductory session for new attendees to CCH conferences, outlining how the CCH works, what it does, and the wider movement, amongst other things.
|6.45-7.30||Briefing session for Saturday plenary session.|
For those interested in political developments in the housing co-op movement, this session will provide a briefing on the progress of consultation with government, and will consider Saturday's plenary session and questions that could be asked of the speakers.
Usually a good means of getting to meet other delegates, representatives from groups at the conference will be asked to say a few words on where they come from, what their group is and what they hope to gain from the conference. Please make every effort to attend this session, with one of your group prepared to speak!
|9.00-9.45||Introduction for new delegates. A repeat of the session for later arrivals.|
|10.00-10.15||Welcome & introduction|
|10.15-10.30||Speakers: Lord Graham of Edmonton, Chairman UK Co-operative Council|
|10.30-11.00||Hilary Armstrong MP, the Housing Minister|
|11.00-11.15||Launch of the CCH Policy Paper. "Tenants Taking Control"|
|11.30-12.00||Baroness Dean, the Chairman of the Housing Corporation|
|12.00-12.30||Jenny Jones MP, the Chair of the All Party Political Grouping on Housing co-operatives|
|2.00-3.15||Workshops 1 to 5|
|3.30-4.45||Workshops 6 to 10|
|7.00||Dinner followed by Entertainment!|
|10.00-10.15||Tenants Taking Control, Blase Lambert, CCH General Council|
|10.15-10.30||The Resident Control Strategy, Noel Campbell, the Housing Corporation|
|10.30-11.45||Workshops 11 to 15|
|12.00-1.00||Policy conference and conclusions.|
As a democratic organisation, members of the CCH are entitled to submit motions for the policy conference for discussion and to be voted on by the membership. Only organisations directly affiliated to the CCH can submit motions. Motions must be received at the CCH office by 16 August 1999, and must be proposed and seconded by different CCH member organisations (the motion must be signed by the Chair and Secretary of the proposing member organisation, and minutes where the motion was discussed, must be supplied with the motion). The proposer of the motion will be asked to speak to the motion for a maximum of three minutes at the conference and the CCH General Council will respond to the motion. A maximum of two representatives per CCH member organisation may attend the policy conference only at no cost.
1. A beginners guide to Housing co-operatives
Margaret Jones, Secretary of the CCH.
What is a housing co-op? How does it work? What's the difference between members and tenants? A session for tenants and other representatives who know nothing, or next to nothing about housing co-ops.
2. Working in partnership with Housing Associations
Phillippa O'Neill, National Housing Federation.
One possibility for new housing co-operative development may be in partnership with larger housing associations. Is this consorting with the enemy? How could such partnerships work?
3. Are we accessible to everyone? Tenant control and equal opportunities
Viv Harrison/Phil Beardmore, Balsall Heath Housing Co-op.
Balsall Heath Housing Co-op have worked in partnership with the Campaign for Racial Equality and others to design their equal opportunities policy. This workshop will examine the lessons they have learnt.
4. Let's cross that bridge when we come to it, or shall we have a planned maintenance programme?
Matthew Esplen, Rainbow Housing Co-op.
Can you bridge together your repairs when the time comes? Or is it a good idea to plan for the future? This session will look at the practical steps to plan a maintenance programme.
5. Tenant Management co-operatives - Where next?
Trevor Bell, Priority Estates Project.
With stock transfer becoming a significant issue in local authority properties, what are the opportunities for tenant management co-ops? Is community ownership what tenants want or even a realistic possibility?
6. The ATIC litmus test for real community empowerment
Paul Lusk, Partners In Change.
Tenant empowerment? Capacity Building? Options studies? Best Value? Tenant Participation Compacts? All current ideas and strategies. But what do they mean to the ordinary person. ATIC has developed a litmus test, to see if "they" really are giving you any power. This session will examine it.
7. A borough wide co-operative strategy Redditch MBC
Carl Taylor, Redditch co-operative Homes and Hazel Surdo, Melen Street Housing co-op.
By popular demand, this workshop revisits Redditch MBC's borough-wide housing co-operative strategy and looks at the progress that has been made in the last two years. Does the Redditch model demonstrate what can be achieved with a supportive local authority?
8. Involving tenants in design
Jon Brooke, Architype and Charlie Baker, Build For Change
It is now beginning to be recognised that involving communities in the construction of their homes and environment is central to ensuring that the community cares for their neighbourhood. This workshop will examine how this can be done.
9. He who pays the piper calls the tune - Understanding budgets
Nic Bliss, 20/20 Housing co-op.
"Money's all too complicated for me to understand", "We just leave the money side up to the treasurer", "We let our agents tell us what to do with our money". If you don't know where your money's going to, how much control do you really have? This session is a practical look at setting and reviewing budgets.
10. Credit Unions - Banking on ourselves
Ann Mold, Birmingham Credit Union Development Agency.
Credit unions are financial co-operatives where the assets of the local community are collectively controlled by its members. This workshop will look at how credit unions operate, and the key issues facing them.
11. Raising the baseline of tenant control
Jackie Flanders, Waltham Forest Community Based Housing Association (CBHA).
Waltham Forest CBHA was set up to empower the tenants in their area and is tenant controlled through a majority tenant board. This workshop will look at how this happened, what their hopes are for the future, and what similarities there are between this model and housing co-ops.
12. Working in partnership with Local Authorities
Carole Hassan, Chief Executive, Watford City Council
It is local authorities who set local housing strategies and if the housing co-op movement is going to develop, it hsa to be in partnership with them. This workshop will look at ways in which we can influence local authority strategies.
13. Getting the best out of your service providers
Alan Sheerins, Co-op Homes Services
We pay them loads of money and get a terrible service from them, or they work really hard and really care about co-operatives. Many housing co-ops buy support services. Are you getting a good deal? What can be improved? This session will examine what we want to see from service providers.
14. Making allocations systems work for us
Ursula Barrington, Birmingham Co-operative Housing Services.
Inside everyone there's a co-operator trying to get out. Some areas are facing falling demand for housing, while other areas have high demand and very few relets. In these environments, what can be done to maximise involvement amongst new co-op members?
15. Building for yourselves - The self build option
Pauline Rutter, Greenhouse Housing Co-operative.
Increasing numbers of people are taking up the self-build option to solve their housing problems, where ordinary people take self-help to the extreme by building their own homes. This workshop will examine how this is done.