Private Tenants Forum win at the Housing Awards
The Private Tenants' Forum has been recognised for its achievements at the recent Housing Awards by winning the ‘More than Bricks and Mortar' award.
Members of the Private Tenants' Forum attended the award ceremony in Belfast City Hall on Friday 27 March 2015.
Jan Branch, one of the founding members, explains what it means to the Forum to win this award
"It’s a very welcome recognition of the work done by Forum members, past and present, and an acknowledgement of the support given to the Forum by Housing Rights Service and the Oak Foundation. Combined with our successful meetings with MLAs and government department officials, and the launch of the Agenda for Action last November, it puts the Forum really on the map of the housing sector in Northern Ireland . And our first award gives us the jumping off point for the next stages of our campaign!" Jan Branch, forum member
The Forum was recognised for helping to put the private rented sector onto the wider policy agenda. It has had significant engagement with policy makers and has produced many positive results. In the past couple of years, the forum has
- undertaken a mystery shopping exercise into letting fees in the Private Rented Sector.
- commisioned and helped to develop an animated video to help people find private rented accommodation and understand their rights.
- created the Private Tenants' Forum Agenda for Action, a manifesto looking at key issues that policy makers need to consider to improve the Private Rented Sector
- submitted responses to Department for Social Development's Facing the Future consultation and Department of Finance and Personnel's review of rates liability for landlords
Next steps for the Forum
The members of the forum are looking forward to the next stages of their campaign to increase rights for Private renters.
Tracey McKeating from the forum said
"I am really looking forward to see what is in store for the future of the forum, and of course I would like the Minister to take on our asks. I would love to see the estate agent fees banned as this is a BIG problem. I would also like all the private rented sector to have more regulation and more enforcement on landlords who are not abiding by the law." Tracey McKeating, forum member
The forum would like to increase the membership, with more members of all ages and areas joining to represent the private rental sector here, and have input into forum policy and publicity.
If you think you would be interested in joining, or would like to more information, please contact Sharon Geary.