Get involved with your housing service

We want to know how we can improve our housing service and would like your help to do this.

It’s important to us that we hear your views as council tenants and leaseholders.

There are many ways you can get involved, from taking part in groups, events and estate walkabouts to filling in surveys from the comfort of your home.

You can choose the ways you want to be involved, whether this is a local issue on your street or a wider area issue. If you have to travel to an event, reasonable expenses will be paid.

We’ll give you the opportunity to improve your skills, including training sessions with the Tenant Participation Advisory Service and expert council officers. You’ll also meet other like-minded tenants across the district and within your area.

Sign up to get involved with your housing service

To sign up by phone, you can call the Resident Engagement team on 01227 862 142.

Activities you can get involved in

Tenant surveys and consultations

Every year we’ll send you a tenant survey. The questions are set by the Regulator of Social Housing.

This survey allows us to gather information on how the housing service is performing and your satisfaction as tenants. If you respond, you’ll be entered into a prize draw to win a voucher too!

Every three years, we’ll also send you a consultation about how you'd like to be  involved in the housing service as tenants.

How much time they will take

The tenant survey should take you no more than half an hour.

The tenant consultation should take you less than an hour.

Armchair Advisors

This gives you a way to share your views with us online.

We ask for feedback on our policies, service standards, and other important issues. Sometimes we'll ask you to complete a 'pulse' survey on specific service areas. A pulse survey is just a few questions and is sent out more often than the tenant survey. 

How much time it will take

It's up to you how much time you want to commit to. We'll ask for your feedback about every three months, but this is flexible and you can pick and choose the topics you want to comment on.

Garden competition

The garden competition is a way to engage tenants that don't normally get involved.

We promote it and publish photos of all the entries in tenant newsletters to encourage people to take care of their gardens and help improve the overall look of the estates.

How much time it will take

The competition is held once a year. It's up to you how much time you spend on your garden before the judging day.

Submitting your entry should only take you a few minutes, and we then come and spend about 20 minutes looking at your garden.

If you win a prize you'll be invited to an awards ceremony.

Community Champions

Community Champions are people who:

  • take pride in their home and neighbourhood
  • care about where they live, and want their neighbourhood to be safe, clean and friendly
  • want to make a positive difference
  • are recruited from communities that work with us to spot the most important issues in their area

We'll involve you in estate walks; where you have the opportunity to meet council officers, ward councillors and local support agencies to talk about any issues in the neighbourhood.

We'll also invite you to Community Partnership days; where you can talk to people from organisations like Kent Police, Kent Fire and Rescue, Kent County Council and Canterbury Food Bank.

How much time it will take

We organise eight estate walks and four Community Partnership days throughout the year. These are spread across the district.

Disability Forum

The Disability Forum makes sure that disabled tenants are heard and their views taken into account when we make decisions and write policies.

The forum:

  • helps all disabled tenants and leaseholders give their views
  • work with us to suggest improvements to the service we give disabled tenants and leaseholders
  • lets us consult on the implications of our policies and plans for disabled people

How much time it will take

Forum meetings happen about every three months, but can be more often if they're needed by us.

Every meeting lasts about two hours and you need to spend up to an hour reading documents before the meetings.

Resident Engagement Panel

This panel gives tenants and leaseholders the chance to look closely at important areas of our housing service.

The panel:

  • keep a close eye on our performance as a council
  • help all tenants have their voices heard by us
  • work with us to decide the most important things to work on
  • carry out at least two service reviews every year, with support from us
  • help organise and deliver the garden competition, with support from us

Panel members are chosen through an application process to make sure tenants from different areas and backgrounds are represented.

How much time it will take

Panel meetings are every three months. Every meeting lasts about two hours, and you will need to spend up to an hour reading documents before the meeting.

Service reviews normally take about four to six hours across two or three meetings, but this can change depending on the topic.

Helping to arrange the garden competition is optional.

If you want to do it, there are at least two meetings that take about two hours each. There's about six or seven hours for general organisation and prep. Judging the entries takes a day, and the awards ceremony takes half a day.

Independent Living Forum

Independent Living Forum members work to promote the best interests of people living in sheltered housing by:

  • meeting to talk about any housing issues
  • working to improve conditions for tenants in sheltered housing schemes
  • working with us to make sure money allocated for the schemes is spent in the right ways
  • encouraging joint working between different sheltered housing schemes to run events and activities for residents
  • appointing a resident as chair of the forum each year

Each sheltered housing or sheltered housing plus scheme nominates two residents to attend the forum.

How much time it will take

Forum meetings happen every three months. Every meeting lasts about two hours.

You need to spend up to an hour reading documents before the meetings.

You will also be expected to speak to your neighbours and get their feedback.