Being part of a Tenants and Residents Association (TRA) is a great way to get involved with improving your community.
Areas with an active TRA generally have an excellent reputation for creating a strong sense of community cohesion.
What is a TRA?
TRAs are made up of local residents who get together to represent the views and interests of everyone living in a particular area. They work in partnership with Lewisham Homes to help make their neighbourhood a better place to live.
TRAs organise events and activities to bring local people together and deal with challenges they may be facing, including housing issues such as repairs and maintenance, or other community concerns such as the environment or crime.
Made up of residents and an elected committee, TRAs have regular meetings throughout the year. A representative from Lewisham Homes also attends the meetings to give updates and look into any issues raised.
The committee and their roles
There are four key roles in a TRA committee:
Chair: the Chair keeps overall control of the TRA by encouraging discussions, and ensuring everyone gets a chance to express their views and understands decisions.
Vice Chair: the Vice Chair heads up the meetings when the Chair can’t attend, and steps in when needed.
Secretary: the Secretary helps prepare and distribute the agenda for meetings, as well as taking and circulating minutes.
Treasurer: the Treasurer looks after the TRA’s finances, including reporting the bank balance along with recent transactions, completing grant applications, and distributing copies of the financial report.
Who can stand for the committee or other involved positions?
Everybody who lives in the area is a member of the TRA, and anybody can choose to stand for a more involved position, such as the committee roles, or block representatives.
Each TRA can also have two elected members sit on the Resident Engagement Panel (REP) in their area. REPs provide a forum for residents to work with Lewisham Homes in shaping the services provided to their area and across the wider borough. TRA members who attend the REP meetings will feedback information to the TRA.
Specialist training and opportunities
Through Lewisham Tenants Fund, there are a number of bespoke training courses to develop specific committee skills, such as Chairing, Secretary, and Treasurer skills.
Discover more training and development opportunities with Lewisham Homes here.
Lewisham Tenants Fund provides grant funding for TRAs to put towards equipment, admin tools, events, activities and making improvements to the neighbourhood. There are also a number of other ways TRAs can access funding, including Local Assemblies funding, Big Lottery funding, and other local and national funding opportunities.
Joining or starting a TRA
You can find the full list of current TRAs in Lewisham here.
For a new TRA to be given the go ahead, residents will need to show support from the local community through an informal survey on the estate. If there is enough appetite, we will help to elect the members of the committee at an inaugural meeting and agree the TRA constitution with you.
If you’re interested in joining or setting up a TRA, please give us a call on 0800 028 2 028 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.