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Billy Brown, the Chair of our Resident Strategy Group has been appointed to TPAS’ (England’s leading tenant engagement experts) Board of Directors.

What exactly does this mean for Southern Housing residents? We spoke to Billy about his appointment, why he got involved and what he hopes to achieve.

He said: “This is a very exciting opportunity for me to support the governance, financial performance, legal obligations, and strategic direction of a leading influential national organisation. It provides Southern Housing residents with an advocate and a national voice. We can directly influence and shape policy, training, involvement, and relationships. And I’ll be able to share what’s happening in the wider sector with the organisation.

Billy has been a Southern Housing resident for 12 years, and he joined us as an involved resident in 2020, prompted by an advert. He observed his local panel and found everyone to be friendly, engaged, generous with their time and knowledge and keen to improve.

“Sharing my perspective as a resident was invaluable, I could actually feel, hear and see the impact I was having. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time being involved; I haven’t looked back at all. I’d recommend other residents to join too. I’ve got so much from this experience, and it feels good knowing I’m making a difference in my own small way.

I’m so passionate about the social housing sector and tenant involvement, that I wanted to continue my journey, so I applied for the TPAS position. Good quality housing has the most profound effect on people’s lives and wellbeing, I know this as I’ve lived in social housing all my life.

I believe my values and personal mission closely align with those of TPAS. My lived experience, combined with a successful career in the private sector, and my resident scrutiny knowledge will enable me to support the organisation, and inspire fellow residents and providers.

I’ve worked tirelessly as an involved resident to improve standards in service and delivery, working closely with board members and the executive team to share my lived experience. I’m looking forward to continuing to work with stakeholders, so together we can influence policy and decisions for the benefit of residents and the sector.

I’d like to share some of the skills I’ve learned with residents. Involvement is for everyone, and I want to show my fellow residents that they too can participate and achieve great things. I especially want to encourage residents from underrepresented backgrounds to get involved. The different points of view and lived experiences that this brings to discussions and decisions is so important, encouraging others to consider things they might never have thought about.

The social housing movement and business model is a force for good and I’m passionate about championing the cause for future generations. We need to close the gap in standards and opportunities between people on lower incomes. That’s why I want to be an advocate for the sector and the people within it.

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Who are TPAS?

Tpas are England’s leading tenant engagement experts. They’re a not-for-profit organisation and have been representing members across England since 1988. They promote, support and champion tenant involvement and empowerment in social housing across England. Membership is made up of local tenants and landlord organisations, covering 3 million homes.