CSR underpins all SBHA activities and has done so since its inception. Since its very creation, SBHA has integrated residents’ views, concerns and priorities into its business operations. SBHA works with them to tackle and resolve complex issues which build financial and social inclusion with a portfolio of “added extra” services. The trust built in west London also allows SBHA to offer these services to the wider community, meaning they make a much wider community impact. SBHA approach to CSR is factored in all its strategies, within the general framework provided by SBHA business plan (2013-2016). ‘Delighting our residents’ is one of the five corporate priorities. An annual report is produced for tenants, which includes a section on “resident involvement and empowerment”. 


To further improve resident involvement, both at operational and strategic levels. 


Since its creation in 1968, Shepherds Bush Housing Association has involved residents in its work. At the outset they wanted to tackle the social exclusion suffered by most of their residents. SBHA led the way as one of the earliest pioneers of resident involvement. In 1989 it set up the Independent Tenants’ Committee (ITC). The ITC received financial support from SBHA, but acted independently with founding members studying for professional qualifications to support their voluntary commitment. The ITC became SBHA’s main recognised body for tenant consultation. Up to five members sat on SBHA board and the ITC was consulted on all housing policies, virtually unheard of in the UK housing system.

From this, SBHA wanted to achieve a more trusted, accountable working relationship, true to its goal to be a resident focused housing association. This led to a series of initiatives to involve tenants, including “Resident Voice”. 


SBHA constantly looks at how it can improve resident involvement. In 2010, an external review was commissioned, which residents were fully involved in. It recommended that the Independent Tenants’ Committee evolve into a new residents’ body to review, influence and direct the work at a strategic level, whilst maintaining an active role in the testing and monitoring of services. This led to Resident Voice, an elected panel of 12 residents, two of whom sit on the board. Posts are held for three years.

Resident Voice’s mission is to contribute to the development of the core strategy, as well as monitoring and improving day to day activities. Resident Voice (RV) meets twice a quarter. One meeting reviews and discusses current policies and procedures. The second plans the RV work programme. RV also:

  • monitors work on estates and empty homes;
  • plans events and forums to meet with other residents;
  • produces an RV newsletter for all residents;
  • keeps informed of national events and issues that affect resident involvement to feedback to other residents; and
  • offers training and support to residents who wish to get involved and develop skills and knowledge to ensure they can fully participate.

In addition to the creation of Resident Voice, SBHA also decided, following the 2010 review, to hold elections to directly elect residents to the board. As a result, SBHA continues to allocate one third of its board places to residents, but all residents have a say in who these are. These measures are also complemented by a set of other tenant involvement tools and practices (see “tools used”).

Key results and benefits

  • Increase in residents’ satisfaction by 10% over the last 3 years.
  • A score of 96% in the last external assessment for participation and empowerment
  • Four of 12 board members are residents and two of the chairs have been residents
  • Some 85% of SBHA’s shareholding members are residents
  • More than 2000 residents actively involved in SBHA activities (175 events) each year
  • £116,500 (£36 per rented home) invested each year on resident involvement (worker salary, budgets controlled by tenants) and £157,000 invested on staff time at involvement activities.

SBHA is the founder of PlaceShapers, a national network of over 100 housing associations which aims at promoting and championing the role of community and resident focused housing associations.

European Responsible Housing Awards 2014

Modalidad Good governance and fair relations with stakeholders