Tuesday, 24 November 2020

Tenant honoured as 'critical friend' of housing association

Tenant honoured as 'critical friend' of housing association

A WOMAN from Sonning Common has been honoured for her work with Soha housing.

Carole Burchett, 71, of Farm Close, received the lifetime achievement award from Customer Scrutiny Inspection at an awards ceremony in Manchester.

She is chairwoman of Soha’s housing scrutiny panel and had been asked to present an award so that she didn’t know she was to receive one.

 “It was a total surprise,” said Mrs Burchett. “There was no reason for me to feel nervous as I wasn’t expecting it.

“I thoroughly enjoy being involved in scrutiny as it keeps me busy and my brain moving.”

Mrs Burchett, who used to work at the BBC archive centre at Caversham Park, is married to Dennis, a retired coach driver, 85, and has two sons Andrew, 44, and Stuart, 41. 

She has worked with Soha for the past 16 years in various roles including tenant forum member and chairwoman of the board.

She said: “As a landlord, Soha really wants to involve its tenants and take notice of what is said. I do it because it means I can help other tenants and get their views across, which is very important.”

Catherine Little, assistant director of co-regulation at Soha, said: “The housing regulator requires social landlords to make opportunities for their tenants to hold them to account and this can range from occasional ‘mystery shopping’ to the long-term, high-level commitment of someone like Carole. She is a long-serving critical friend to Soha and a constructive voice on behalf of other social tenants for many years.

“In September Carole chaired a meeting at the House of Lords where tenants nationwide put questions to housing influencers.

“We are thrilled that this award for tenant scrutiny has recognised her contribution to both the local and national housing landscape.”

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