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Tenant Sevices Authority - Young people turn out in London to talk about their neighbourhoods and social housing

Young people turn out in London to talk about their neighbourhoods and social housing

Almost 100 young people from across London and as far away as Portsmouth and Nottingham turned out today to have their say about their neighbourhoods, their communities and their social housing.

Issues such as dangerous dogs, how younger people can have a greater say in their communities and youth centres were top of the agenda.

The My House, My Street, My Say! event, which was run by the Tenant Services Authority (TSA), the social housing regulator, and housing association Poplar HARCA, also saw attendees talking about the TSA’s proposed new standards for social housing landlords, and recording messages about what they want the next Prime Minster to do to bring about change in their communities.

Sumaia Mashal, Chair of Poplar HARCA Youth Board said, “Younger people have so many ideas but don’t always know how to put them into practice. So an event like this helps share ideas and helps them to go back to their communities knowing how to go about making changes.”

Ruhul Alam, one of Poplar HARCA’s tenants who attended the event said, “Young people are not only interested in young issues – they’re interested in all issues. I want to show that young people do want to get involved in issues that affect them – like decision-making policies.”

Peter Marsh, Chief Executive of the TSA, said, “Good quality decent homes and safe and secure neighbourhoods make a huge difference to how people get on in life. This event has given young people a voice – a chance to tell us what matters most to them about social housing and the neighbourhoods in which they live.”

Poplar HARCA’s Resident Empowerment Manager Fintan Tynan said, “This is a start for some young tenants. Some have not had the confidence to go to their landlord or their landlord doesn’t listen to them when they have a problem. Now they are keen to go back to their landlord – it’s the next step for them.”

Clips from the Big Brother-style diary room, where attendees participated in a ‘Dear Prime Minister’ initiative, will be posted on www.socialbreakfast.org – a new independent discussion forum for young people set up by Ashram Housing Association and Social Media Partnership. The messages will be delivered to the new PM in his first week in office.

For media enquiries, contact the press office on 07771 371 590.

Notes to editors:
1) Peter Marsh, Chief Executive of the Tenant Services Authority, speaks about engaging young people and finding out what matters most to them on
www.socialbreakfast.org

2) The TSA is consulting with social housing tenants and their landlords, as well as stakeholders, to develop new standards to improve services for tenants. The statutory consultation, which begun on 12 November 2009, will close on 5 February.

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