TRA Model Constitution and Code of Conduct Consultation

Closes 14 Apr 2024

Opened 22 Jan 2024

Overview

This is a consultation for all Tenants and Residents Associations in the borough. It is important that TRAs consult their members and ask for their opinions and feedback on the consultation questions before filling out the survey. 

Background 

In December 2022, Hackney Council adopted the new Resident Engagement Strategy. The strategy was co-produced with residents and reaffirms our commitment to get residents more involved in influencing our services and enhancing the quality of life in your local area, as well as offering better support to Hackney tenants and resident associations (TRAs). 

To support this commitment, the Housing Services Resident Participation Team (RPT) has now produced a new "Guide to Resident Engagement". This sets out a wide range of information and guidance on setting up and running a TRA, as well as more general information about more informal types of engagement and running community projects. The guide will be designed and published online shortly, allowing residents to click into areas which interest them and /or print off sections of particular interest. 

A task and finish group involving residents and RPT staff was set up in May 2023 to review key sections of the guide and provide feedback at draft stage. The aim of this approach was twofold: to build ownership and consensus around resident engagement policies and processes in the spirit of co-production,  and to ensure these are informed by the lived experience of involved residents who play such an important role in making resident participation work.

The model constitution and code of conduct 

Within the guide we are proposing to include a new model constitution and code of conduct. These are documents of special importance as they set out a number of practices which we propose should be mandatory for those TRAs who want to be registered with the Council.  In particular, each registered group will need to:

  • Be open to all tenants, leaseholders, sub-tenants of leaseholders, shared owners and freeholders within its designated area;

  • Make its constitution and code of conduct available to all members of the Association on request;

  • Elect a committee of no fewer than 4 and no more than 15 members;

  • Deem any Officer or committee member who does not attend three consecutive committee meetings without a reasonable explanation /apologies to have resigned;

  • Hold an Annual General Meeting (AGM) once each calendar year, and not more than 15 months apart (unless written permission is given by the Council);

  • Adopt a quorate figure for AGMs in line with agreed guidelines set out in the model constitution;

  • Hold at least four General (open) meetings of the Association each year (which included ETRA meetings where Housing officers are present);

  • Give reasonable notice of its AGM and General Meetings to all members (21 days and 14 days respectively);

  • Review it safeguarding and equality and diversity statement at least every three years at an AGM; 

  • Hold a Special General Meeting where more than ten members of the TRA requests this; and

  • Take appropriate action when behaviours of members breach the agreed code of conduct.

Many locally agreed constitutions will already include some of these provisions, but the standardisation of core requirements aims to:

  • promote more consistency across TRAs and make it easier for all Hackney housing residents to understand how their TRA conducts its business and makes decisions;

  • make it easier for the resident participation team to identify those TRAs which may need support to be sustainable in the long-term and to take action when TRAs do not demonstrate good practice in their governance;  

  • provide some safeguards against decisions being taken by an unduly small number of residents, especially on our larger estates;

  • bring the Council’s approach to TRAs in line with good practice e.g most other London boroughs either require adoption of a model constitution or expect certain key criteria to be included).

  • makes it clear how TRAs can deal with inappropriate behaviour at meetings, and the steps they can take to challenge and deal with persistent breaches of the code.

Why your views matter

Involved residents who have been part of the task and finish group have had significant input into shaping the model constitution and code of conduct and now feel  the two documents set out provisions which are workable. However, individual TRAs may have different issues and concerns and, before taking this work forward, we want to ensure that all TRAs have an opportunity to give their views. 

We are therefore carrying out a consultation to give all TRAs the opportunity to provide feedback on the new model constitution and code of conduct, and highlight any changes that could affect your TRA positively or negatively, or give feedback on  anything else you should have included.

Give us your views

Areas

  • All Areas

Audiences

  • Community groups/ organisations
  • Residents

Interests

  • Understanding views