Get involved

This page provides information about how you as a tenant of Reading Borough Council, including those managed by Affinity Housing, can get involved in decisions regarding your home and the local community.

As a council we can make better decisions when you tell us what is important to you. There are many ways that you can give your views, from simply filling in a survey through to monitoring and shaping the services we provide.

We have a range of options for you to get involved and we also provide free training and support to help you do so.

On this page:

Who can get involved

Anyone who is a tenant or leaseholder of Reading Borough Council including anyone who is in temporary or sheltered housing.

How can I get involved?

There are a number of different ways you can get involved in the decision we make, depending on how much time you have to dedicate to tenant participation and how much influence you want your involvement to have.

The information below outlines the different ways of getting involved and indicates how much time they will take and how much influence they have.

Fill out a survey

Low time commitment, low level of influence.

We carry out surveys throughout the year. One survey is the Annual Tenant Satisfaction Survey, this is a requirement for all social housing landlords. It enables us to understand what tenants think of our services and also lets tenants compare our performance with other landlords. An independent company carries out this survey, so your answers are confidential (unless they state otherwise). We carry out other surveys via text, post, phone and email to get tenant views on other services.

Check publicity material

Low time commitment, low level of influence.

This includes looking over leaflets, letters and other material to make sure it is easy to understand and get our message across clearly. Once it has been seen by our customers, the document will receive a ‘Tenant Quality Mark’ stamp. You can review documents from your own home.

Attend a focus group

Low time commitment, medium level of influence.

This is a small group, usually 8-12 people, who come together for a one-off meeting to discuss a particular issue or concern. It allows us to get more in-depth feedback and usually takes no longer than 2 hours.

Attend a housing information day

Low time commitment, medium level of influence.

We hold these at the Civic Centre and in local community buildings. Tenants can come along and have their questions answered by a member of the housing team. Staff attend from a lot of departments, for example: housing management, antisocial behaviour team, repairs and the safer communities team.

Become a mystery shopper

Medium time commitment, medium level of influence.

Posing as a customer, you will help us understand the experience of our customers when they first contact us. You will be given full training to help you know what you should ask on the phone or in an email, or what you should do on the website or in person. There will then be a short form for you to complete to report on your experience.

Block champion

Medium time commitment, medium-high level of influence.

Block champions keep an eye on their apartment blocks and report any issues such as litter, repairs and concerns around the standard of cleaning or building safety. As a champion, you will be issued with a handbook and reporting sheets so you can record and problems you report.

Building cleaning panel member

High time commitment, high level of influence.

The Building Cleaning Panel is a group of tenants who meet with housing management and the building cleaning service to monitor the standard of cleaning in communal areas across our blocks of flats. Panel members look at data and performance information and check and challenge the standards of the cleaning service. Members also carry out mystery shopping block inspections to look at the standard of cleaning across the blocks.

Scrutiny panel member

High time commitment, high level of influence.

Tenant and Council Together (TACT) is our tenant scrutiny panel. It consists of a group of trained tenants who identify areas of the Housing Service to carry out a deep performance assessment on. This involves looking at data, interviewing senior and front line members of staff and tenants and producing a report with recommendations for improvements which is submitted to senior housing managers.

Tenant complaints panel member

High time commitment, high level of influence.

Complaints provide an important source of information for landlords letting us know where our services are not performing well. This panel is a new panel that will look at complaints and make sure we are responding to them on time, using each complaint as an opportunity to learn how we can improve for all tenants.

Tenant engagement panel member

High time commitment, high level of influence.

Housing has a long history of involving tenants in the decisions it makes regarding their homes and local neighbourhood. The pandemic made us rethink our ways of working and more services moved online in response to lockdown. Now is a good time to look at how we engage with our tenants, how we respond to what they tell us and identify the ways that tenants wish to give their views. This is a new panel that will oversee the drafting of tenant engagement strategy, identify appropriate actions and monitor the progress.

The Sounding Board

If you are interested in getting involved in any of the opportunities mentioned above, inquire about the Sounding Board by contacting the Tenant Engagement Team on 01189 372 730 or email

The sounding board contains a list of everyone who wants to get involved, how they would like to be involved and any areas of interest, for example their neighbourhood, the repairs service or becoming a member of one of our panels. When an opportunity to give your views comes up, we match the opportunity with your preferences. If there is a match, we will let you know and you decide if you would like to be involved or not.

Training opportunities

We offer a wide variety of training opportunities that will develop your skills and knowledge that you can use not only for  your involvement but also home and work life too:

Four million homes

Funded through the department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, Four Million Homes is a free resource for all social housing tenants (you do not have to be involved in your landlord activities to use it). It provides free guidance, training events, videos and webinars that you can access to find out about your rights as a tenant and how to stand up for them.

Online training

We provide a number of online training opportunities that you can do from the comfort of your own home.  If you don’t have access to the internet we can help you with this too, contact to find out how we can help and support you get online.

In-person training

We provide in person training throughout the year on subjects that will help you in your role as an involved tenant. These sessions are usually fun, informal and a great opportunity to meet like minded tenants and begin to build your network of support. Contact to find out about the sessions we have coming up.


If we don’t offer a training course either online or in person that would help you in your role, we have access to information on many other local and national providers who do. As part of signing you up to the Sounding Board to get involved we can discuss your training and support needs and make a plan to help you.

The Tenant Academy

The Tenant Academy is a 12-module course which looks at different aspects of the housing service and gives you a greater understanding of the services we offer, the reasons behind the decisions we make and how you can influence future decisions. Modules include the repairs service, antisocial behaviour, your rights to get involved, and estate management.  You can attend all sessions or just the ones that you feel are relevant to you. 

Last updated on 28/05/2024