Get involved - housing

The Housing Service Standards set out the service you can expect as a tenant, leaseholder or housing applicant. The tenant involvement and empowerment standard sets out how we will involve residents to help us improve our services and develop sustainable communities. This includes supporting the development of accredited residents' associations (RA) and seeking to increase the number of residents with access to an RA.

If you don't live in or lease council owned property there are other ways in which you can get involved in things that are happening in Wandsworth.

Consultation and Participation

We want to enable our residents and other stakeholders to participate in the department’s decision making process at a level that is appropriate for them.  We therefore have an established resident participation structure which aims to:

  • Inform residents of the council’s housing policies and service delivery objectives
  • Ensure that it communicates with residents in the borough
  • Provide accessible channels through which residents can make their views known
  • Value the contributions made by residents
  • Be responsive to the housing issues raised by residents
  • Maintain and develop links with other local, sub regional and national strategies

We also consult with external agencies such as other council departments and voluntary and community groups active within the borough when we draft new policies and procedures.  This is because the work of the department covers many areas and has close links to work undertaken by other council departments and external bodies.  If your organisation wishes to be consulted with on housing issues please email strategydevelopment@wandsworth.gov.uk

Ways to participate

If you are a tenant or leaseholder of a council property the tables below set out how you can become involved in decisions about your housing, services and future plans in a variety of ways. 

High level commitment - involvement opportunities which require you to dedicate your time to formal and structured meetings

 Type of involvement What does it involve? 
Residents' Associations (RA) Local residents forming a group which decide matters relating to their estate and how it is managed.  Residents are expected to attend regular meetings throughout the year and an annual general meeting.  Committee members of the RA will dedicate additional time to the management of the group.
Area Housing Panels (AHP) Resident representatives from the RAs who assist in the housing services decision making process.  Representatives attend four meetings a year.
Borough Residents' Forum (BRF) Resident representatives from the AHPs who assist in the housing services decision making process.  Representatives attend four meetings a year. 
Resident Management Organisations (RMO / Co-op) Residents who form a group to take on the management of their block or estate. Residents are expected to attend regular meetings throughout the year, and those with management responsibilities will dedicate a significant amount of their time.

Low level commitment - Informal involvement opportunities which allow you to dedicate as much of your time as you are able to.

 Type of involvement What does this involve? 
Mystery shopping Contacting the department by phone to test our service response. Volunteers will be used for a few hours every three months.
Resident Surveys Completing telephone, postal or face to face surveys about the satisfaction of the service you receive. Surveys occur three times a year and will last no more than 20 minutes.
Housing Community Champions (HCCs) Individual resident volunteers involved in their local area and who take part in projects and initiatives to benefit their community. The level of involvement will depend upon the projects undertaken.
Focus Groups Participating in small focus groups which review housing publications, websites and services.  This is likely to occur once a year.
Consultations Consulting on projects such as major works taking place to blocks or estates, or more formal consultations such as master planning for regeneration developments.  Consultations occur on an ad hoc basis. 
 Estate Inspections Councillors, staff and residents are invited to inspect the estate together which gives residents the chance to discuss local concerns.   Any housing issues raised are set out in an agreed action plan which is monitored by the attending councillor.  Inspections occur on a rota'd basis and last approximately one hour.

Help with getting involved

We have four resident participation officers who offer further advice and information on the range of ways to participate. Their role is to encourage you to take part in decisions about housing services by providing advice, information and training. Resident participation officers are based in area housing teams and help create a close working relationship between local residents and housing services.