FAQ Resident Involvement
What do you mean by ‘resident involvement?’
Resident involvement is how you, as tenant, leaseholder or resident, can influence how the council provides services to you. It is a two-way process, which means that we will share information and ideas with you, and we will listen to your suggestions and comments. Successful resident involvement should lead to improvements in the services you receive and help the council to make better decisions.
We would like to involve as many residents across Birmingham as possible. Each district has a tenant participation officer whose job it is to help you become involved and to support the residents who are already involved.
These Frequently Asked Questions explain more about how you can get involved:
- Do I need housing experience or skills to get involved?
- How can I get involved?
- What is a Tenant Management Organisation?
- What is a Housing Liaison Board?
- What is a residents’ association?
- I’m too shy to sit around in a meeting. What else can I do?
- If I cannot attend a meeting how will my views be heard?
- As an owner occupier / leaseholder, how can I be involved?
- I’m worried about the costs of some of these activities – I can’t afford to pay for travel and childcare. How can I get involved?
- If I get involved, will there be opportunities for training or guidance?
- I don’t speak English very well, what help will I get?
- I have a disability. What support can you offer so that I can still be involved?
- I’m not sure what I want to be involved in. Can I come and see what happens at the meetings without making a commitment?
- Who do I contact if I have any questions about resident involvement?
Do I need housing experience or skills to get involved?
No. As a tenant, leaseholder or resident you are our eyes and ears for your community. The most important thing that you can bring is an interest in improving our services. We will try to help you to gain the confidence and knowledge to be able to make meaningful decisions about your housing services.
There are lots of ways that you can get involved. Some of these activities only take up a little of your time, and many of these take place inside your own home. Examples include surveys by post, telephone or email, mystery shopping, conferences and events.
Other activities take longer or happen more frequently and involve meetings and events. Getting involved at this level gives you an even greater say in the changes we make to our services and offers a chance to meet new people. Examples include focus groups, Housing Liaison Boards (HLBs), Tenant Management Organisations (TMOs) and residents’ associations.
What is a Tenant Management Organisation?
A Tenant Management Organisation (TMO) is set up by residents to manage the homes in a specific area on behalf of the council. As a member of a TMO you will have a say in the way your housing service is run and you will still be a tenant of the council.
What is a Housing Liaison Board?
A Housing Liaison Board is made up of a group of tenants, leaseholders, local residents, Councillors and housing staff who monitor and improve housing services in their local area.
You can find out more by visiting the Housing Liaison Board web page.
What is a residents’ association?
A residents’ association is a group of local residents that works to tackle issues of concern in a specified area. If they meet certain criteria, they can then apply for an annual administration grant from Birmingham City Council.
I’m too shy to sit around in a meeting. What else can I do?
There are a number of activities that you can do in your own home. For example, email and telephone surveys, telephone interviews and online questionnaires. You can also share your views with your tenant participation officer over the telephone. If this is difficult for you, we can also arrange for someone to visit you at home.
Our menu of resident involvement lists all of the activities we offer.
If I cannot attend a meeting how will my views be heard?
Your views are important to us, so if you are unable to attend any meetings, please let your tenant participation officer know. They may ask you to complete a questionnaire or send an email with your comments and they will then arrange for your views to be put forward.
As an owner occupier / leaseholder, how can I be involved?
We want to hear from anyone who accesses our housing services so you do not necessarily have to be a council tenant to get involved. However, some of the formal groups (such as Housing Liaison Boards and residents’ associations) may have limitations on what you can vote on. Your local tenant participation officer can tell you more.
I’m worried about the costs of some of these activities – I can’t afford to pay for travel and childcare. How can I get involved?
If you prefer, you can begin by trying some of our resident involvement activities from home, such as surveys and telephone conferences.
We want you to be able to participate in any way you wish so we can support you to take part in resident involvement activities that take place outside the home. We will pay for your travelling expenses (bus fare, taxi provided by us or mileage for using your own vehicle) and childcare. Your local tenant participation officer can tell you more.
If I get involved, will there be opportunities for training or guidance?
There is an annual training plan that is agreed in partnership with tenant-led groups. The training is designed to help members to extend their knowledge, develop their skills and build their confidence.
I don’t speak English very well, what help will I get?
We can provide interpreters or written information in your preferred language upon request. Please speak to your local tenant participation officer to find out more.
I have a disability. What support can you offer so that I can still be involved?
If you wish to attend any events or meetings, we will ensure that the venues are fully accessible. We also provide hearing loops for those with hearing loss and large print documents or audio CDs for those who are visually impaired.
You also have the option of participating in resident involvement activities from home.
I’m not sure what I want to be involved in. Can I come and see what happens at the meetings without making a commitment?
You are welcome to come to a number of meetings as an observer to get a feel of how our customers work with us. To arrange this, speak to your local tenant participation officer.
Who do I contact if I have any questions about resident involvement?
To find out more about getting involved with us, you can telephone your local tenant participation officer on one of the numbers below:
Erdington: 0121 675 0314
Sutton Coldfield: 0121 303 1952
Perry Barr: 0121 303 3074
Ladywood: 0121 464 1614
Edgbaston: 0121 303 5359
Yardley: 0121 303 7128
Hodge Hill: 0121 464 1615
Northfield: 0121 464 3492
Selly Oak: 0121 464 3626
Hall Green: 0121 675 6098
You can also email the central resident involvement team on: firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 0121 675 4881.