T.R.A. - Tenants & Residents Association

What Residents Associations do, according to One Housing

There is no simple answer to this, Residents set up Associations for a whole range of reasons – to get to know their neighbours or to discuss a particular concern. An association can become involved in all types of activities from running local community initiatives to supporting youth activity schemes and supporting local employment initiatives.

· Although all associations are different, they do share some common interests and goals:

· Identify problems which affect resident’s quality of life

· Find solutions to these problems

· Put residents in touch with other organisations in the voluntary, private and public sectors

· Campaign for changes and improvements in your area

One Housing is fully committed to supporting its Residents Associations in whatever way it reasonably can and recognises Residents Associations in all the areas that it works in. Residents Associations provide a valuable link between One Housing and residents and can be instrumental in helping to curb anti-social behaviour or arranging activities for residents.

Each association has a number of volunteers who are responsible for its management (see 6). One Housing will support Residents Associations and their Executive Committees in their work with funding and training, helping them to develop the range of activities they can engage in, and to promote this to all residents. If you would like to become more involved with the association in your area, your housing officer can put you in touch with local committee members.

Getting a Residents Association Started

You probably have a clear idea of why you want to set up a Residents Association in your local area. Before you really get started you should talk to as many people as possible and find out if they feel the same way.

Talk to your Housing Officer or Resident Engagement Officer, they will help you to look at any issues with you and agree the best way forward. It will be your Resident Engagement Officer that helps you with the practicalities of setting your Association up.

The following guidelines should help, but please remember that you can only do so much and your time is limited especially if you have other commitments. Outlining why you want to set up an Association, setting clear aims and objectives at the beginning will give your Residents Association a focused start:

· Encourage people to talk to their neighbours and seek their support

· Tell them about the support and advice available from One Housing

· Be prepared to listen to other people’s ideas

· Accept that will encounter some problems, ask people to come up with what they think are solutions

· Encourage residents that you have contact with to call a meeting and arrange for a room to be made available locally

· Establish the area and homes that your Association will cover. It is very important that as many people as possible living in the area is told about your plans and then invited to meetings.

· Make sure the purpose of the meeting is clear and that it relates to the issues of concern in your area. Do not call this first meeting to elect an Executive Committee (you can do this later) as this may put people off as they might think they will be landed with all the work! You should write a list of things that will be covered in this first meeting – this is called an agenda

· You could get in touch in touch with other associations in your area who have already formed a Residents Associations and invite them to your initial meeting to talk about their experiences

· Publicise your first meeting where you will elect officers to the Executive Committee. You will need to produce leaflets and posters telling people of the need to set up a Residents Association, our Resident Engagement Officers will be pleased to help with this

· Emphasise that forming a Residents Association is a good way to work in partnership with One Housing and other local organisations to improve the area and quality of life for residents

· Encourage your group of residents to be realistic; there is a fair amount of time that goes into forming and sustaining a Residents Association but, remember, it should be a team effort amongst the Executive Committee and Members

· Set SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timed) goals and milestones for your Association – easy early quick wins will help build confidence and enable Members to ease into the roles, your Resident Engagement officer can provide support during these early stages until you are up and running and self sufficient

Once you have had your first meeting and agreed the above then you should have your first official meeting where you will elect the Executive Committee and agree the constitution. A constitution is a set of rules, aims and obligations that govern what the association can and cannot do, who can join, how decisions are made and how any money raised is accounted for.

Links below to much more information and above in the main menu "TRA"