CSR has always been woven into the very fabric of what constitutes DAB. In 2012, DAB formulated its first CSR strategy and set CSR goals for the coming years. DAB subsequently published its first CSR report in May 2013.

DAB’s CSR report targets six stakeholder groups: “Tenant democracy”, tenants, employees, society, the environment and suppliers. Specific strategic areas were chosen for each of the six groups. DAB has formulated goals, developed detailed action plans and identified indicators to monitor progress. The report provides detailed examples of how the company has worked on these areas and illustrates the accounting principles it has applied. The overall aim of DAB’s CSR report is to inspire board members of the local housing associations and housing companies it manages, and to form the basis for new, locally rooted CSR activities. 


To support local “Tenant democracy”, through tenants’ empowerment, capacity building and regular dialogue 


“Tenant democracy” is a cornerstone at DAB. “Tenant democracy” is a specificity of the Danish non-profit housing system. As per this scheme, tenant representatives make up the majority of the members of the local housing companies and associations’ boards, and are therefore directly involved in the management of one or more housing estates.

Long before legislation imposed the implementation of tenant democracy in the Danish non-profit housing, DAB had already introduced the concept. “Tenant democrats” are considered by DAB as one of its most valued stakeholder groups; DAB works continuously to empower the boards of its local housing companies and housing associations. DAB’s goal and value statement claims that: “Our cooperation with the board members should be characterized by due diligence, initiative and loyalty”.

A resourceful, committed board of tenants is the key to a well-functioning housing association. However, some housing associations still do not have an active tenant board. It is therefore DAB’s aim to further increase the number of local housing associations with an elected board, and to support tenant representatives in their mission. 


To help “tenant democrats” fufill their mission and support local tenant boards, a number of tools and actions have been developed over the years:

A portal to help empower the boards: a new internet based portal was set up for the board members. It enables easier and faster communication with tenant representatives, and enables them to store all documents pertaining to their particular housing association or housing company. Board members who are not comfortable with computers can still opt for traditional mail delivery.

Courses: DAB has provided courses for newly elected members for a number of years. These “kick-start-courses” cover issues such as board members’ responsibilities, the finances of a housing association, legal issues etc. A course on the rules and regulations of the Danish non-profit housing sector was recently added. Courses are hosted by DAB’s CEO, Vice President, CFO, Head of secretariat, Head of letting and Head of development. The participants can attend a “brush-up course” 6 months later, and after a couple of years. Other courses on more specific topics are also offered to all tenant democrats (renovation, handling of tenants moving in or out, etc.).

Regular meetings: all tenant democrats are invited to DAB’s yearly meeting of the board of representatives. Once a year, DAB hosts a free weekend seminar for all chairmen and vice chairmen of local housing companies where they are updated on the latest in DAB and in the sector and get a chance to network with each other. Every year, DAB’s CEO, Vice President, CFO and Chief of Secretariat along with staff members from DAB’s headquarter tour the country to meet and discuss with tenant democrats on site.

Operational support: DAB has taken a step to help guide and assist in the preparation and conducting the yearly tenant meeting (at which the board is elected): preparation of the agenda, proposed discussion topics, participation to the meeting... This will soon be complemented by a new course on how to conduct a meeting.

Involvement in projects: lastly, DAB involves tenant democrats into various projects. For instance, several tenant democrats participated in developing the new internet based portal, some took part to the production of a new guide for renovation and building.

Key results and benefits

  • by the end of 2013, 87,9% of the housing associations had active tenant boards (87,3% in 2012)
  • 94 % of tenant democrats think that DAB meets their expectations of decent and efficient housing management
  • 86 % of tenant democrats indicate that they are pleased with their cooperation with DAB
  • 79 % of tenant democrats feel adequately informed
  • The internet portal was introduced in 2012 and by the end of 2013 all housing companies and housing associations that wished to have access to it were using the system
  • More than 350 tenant democrats took part to the yearly meeting in 2013

European Responsible Housing Awards 2014

Modalidad Good governance and fair relations with stakeholders