Annual General Meeting - everything you need to know
We recently wrote to all Watford Community Housing members with regard to our Annual General Meeting (AGM), which will take place on Monday 11th September. Members are invited to vote on a proposed update to our Rules, which govern how we operate. Members can vote by coming along to the AGM in person or by returning their proxy voting form by post – forms must reach us by Wednesday 6th September.
A number of residents have raised queries or concerns through social media or by telephone about the proposed changes. We hope that the following information will help to address these concerns and clarify the key points.
What are the changes that we are proposing?
We are proposing to base our new Rules on the National Housing Federation’s 2015 Model Rules, which are used by the majority of other housing associations. These have been adapted to take into consideration that we are a tenant-led organisation and that we want to continue to put tenants at the heart of our work. These would replace our existing Rules, which were based on the National Housing Federation’s 2005 Model Rules and are now out-of-date. The new Rules would help us to make sure we are operating in line with the latest changes to the law and that we continue to match the standards expected from housing organisations across the country. If you would like to read more about the proposed changes to our Rules please click here: https://www.wcht.org.uk/download.cfm?doc=docm93jijm4n3006.pdf&ver=3339
We are also proposing changes to improve how we engage with you, our tenants. These changes would further empower residents who wish to be involved in the running of Watford Community Housing. It is important to us that residents who want to have a say in the key decisions we make about our future have an effective voice. The changes we are proposing would help us to focus the membership on those people who wish to influence our policies and how our services are delivered. For us to be a community-focused social landlord, it is essential for us to place residents at the heart of the work that we do and this is not going to change.
Currently, we have a large number of members who do not choose to engage with us, so we want to ensure that our members are active and have chosen to be involved. Every tenant who wishes to become a member will still have the opportunity to do so. As well as giving more of a voice to those tenants who do wish to be involved in how we are run, updating our approach to tenant engagement will deliver significantly better value for money for all our tenants by saving on administrative costs.
What will these changes mean for tenants?
The proposed changes will help to ensure that we continue to meet the same standard as other housing organisations. They will not impact negatively on residents and are designed to ensure that we engage more effectively with residents, giving you a stronger voice.
Will these changes affect any of my rights as a tenant?
No – these changes relate purely to how Watford Community Housing is run. They do not affect your tenancy in any way. Some tenants have expressed concerns over their Preserved Right To Buy, the amount of social/affordable housing we build and the possibility of changes to their tenancy. It is important to note that these proposed changes do not relate to any of these things. We are not proposing to make any change to existing tenancies and we also remain committed to providing social and affordable homes for Watford and the surrounding communities.
Who should I ask if I have questions or concerns about the AGM or the proposed changes?
We are committed to being open and transparent about the proposed changes, and we would be happy to discuss them with you. Please call us on 0800 218 2247.
How can I get involved with how Watford Community Housing is run?
As part of our focus on improving resident engagement, we are looking to increase opportunities for residents to have an increased role in holding the organisation to account and identifying ways to shape and improve our services. We are currently working on a ‘menu of involvement’ that outlines the many and varied opportunities for all our residents to have a voice. We have included a range of small, medium and large projects in the hope that there is something suitable for everyone to participate in. We will be sharing more information on this in the near future, so keep an eye on our usual communications channels to find out more about how you can get involved.