My virtual involvement

By Dean O’Shea

I have recently attended my first Northern Housing Consortium virtual conference.

The conference was very interesting. The speakers were from the Housing Ombudsman and the Social Housing Regulator. Both spoke about their services before and since the Covid-19 Lockdown.

The Regulator referred specifically to the Government forthcoming White Paper on Social Housing, hoping that when it is discussed in Parliament, that issues that have arisen in the social housing sector over the last three months, will be addressed, so that provision can be made in the Bill, to assist in the future.

One question that was put to the Regulator, was whether priority will be given to tenants with disabilities, once Landlord services are running again? As a person with a disability, I concur with the Regulator that no priority should be given to any specific group of tenants. Social Housing is for all!

I made reference to the Panel about Landlords, like BCH, making use of technology for future virtual meetings during Lockdown. I urged that after Lockdown, if nothing else, the benefit of virtual meetings in the sector and with tenants, will ease the Carbon Footprint.

The second day of the virtual conference was held yesterday, Wednesday 10th June, and I was very interested in what Cath Owston (Director of Customer Services at Yorkshire Housing) and Yvonne Davies (Managing Director at Scrutiny & Empowerment Partners), two members of the panel, had to say in terms of greater Tenant and Leaseholder participation, which I would like to feed into future BCH Customer Panel meetings.

If you’re interested in getting involved in volunteering with BCH, they are very keen for all customers to participate in all kinds of projects. To find out more, contact the Customer Involvement Team on 01253 477911 or email


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