There used to be a strong and active tenants movement in most parts of the UK. Tenants Federations sprung up to co-ordinate
Associations within a local authority area which in turn sent delegates to national meetings and debates.
But in the 1990s a whole new industry of ‘Tenant Participation’ was encouraged by government to wrestle control of tenant
Under the guise of ‘empowerment’ tenants organisations were sanitised and new forums and panels created. Instead of open debate
want to give us tenant directors gagged by confidentiality clauses and overcome with business plans, missions and visions. So
‘tenant representatives’ end up spending more time with government officials than organising meetings with tenants.
Now they are proposing to set up a national ‘consumer panel’; and saying that the regulator will only have to consult that panel
can ignore the rest of us! It’s not on.
But there are encouraging signs around the country of more tenants turning against this controlled Tenants Participation
we’re starting to organise ourselves into the kind of independent tenants organisations that we’ll need to fight off the latest
If we are to succeed we’ll have to ignore the flattery and refuse the seductive offers of funding if conditions that restrict
rights to organise and say what we want are attached. We expect and demand that, however we organise ourselves, our landlords
hand over funds
from our rents to finance our independent tenants movement, with no strings attached.
For more information about the history of the tenants movement; why having tenants on boards of directors means less power; and
attempt to replace tenant organisation with consumer panels, see factsheets and publications on the left, and press articles on