TPAS Scotland held their annual conference in St. Andrews last month bringing together over 350 tenants and housing professionals to consider some of the biggest challenges facing communities, including welfare reform, digital inclusion and tackling fuel poverty. We were delighted to support the event by speaking in one of the plenary sessions on digital and financial inclusion. We discussed our experiences of digital and financial inclusion and the challenges faced by RSLs to not only get their tenants on-line but to get them to stay there and transact online. What was interesting was that the objections to not being able to get online are the exact same challenges as everyone else faces. A few tenants highlighted their frustrations at not being able to get physical access to the Internet and were worried about security.
A more worrying issue was the lack of awareness of the introduction of Universal Credits and potential impacts from welfare reform and the Government’s introduction of digital identities for citizens.
Lesley Baird, CE, highlighted that this year the focus would be on some of the key challenges faced by our local communities including the introduction of universal credit and how it might affect tenants, how to get more people in social housing neighbourhoods online and how residents, landlords and energy providers can work together to tackle fuel poverty.
This was a great event with great feedback from tenants and hearing directly from them their issues and concerns. Look forward to next years conference.