Tenants’ co-operation body as a strong voice of the tenants
What is the tenants’ co-operation body?
Each year, eight tenant members are elected to the tenants’ co-operation body, that aims to improve the daily life of student housing in cooperation with Hoas staff and student union representatives.
The co-operation body is chaired by a tenant of Hoas, who also serves as a tenant representative on the board of Hoas. The co-operative body usually has eight meetings a year, four in the spring and four in the fall.
The members of the co-operation body get to decided the issues that are discussed at the meetings. Last spring, several topics were discussed, but two themes were particularly focused on: safety in housing and at the properties, and the development of tenant activities.
Other topics discussed were e.g. improvement of shared apartment living, waste management and division of responsibility for maintenance activities. In the co-operation body, tenants can really impact on housing and raise any important issues that need to be improved.
In the spring meetings, the tenants’ co-operation body decided to focus on the safety of housing in particular. Among other things, rescue safety on properties, stairway signs, and current and future key systems were discussed.
After the political situation changed quickly in the spring, civil defence shelters became a topic of discussion in the society, as well as among the tenants of Hoas. Thus, the c-ooperation body discussed about the shelters with Hoas’ civil protection partner. In addition, in Otaniemi, a voluntary orientation was organized for tenants on how to use their own house’s civil shelter.
In relation to the theme, Hoas’ property director visited one of the meetings and answered also questions about the development of sustainable construction, maintenance and service responsibilities at properties, and the use of access keys.
Developing tenant activities
In the spring, the members of the cooperation body were involved in planning and organizing training intended for all tenant committee members. Many tenant committee members from different Hoas properties participated in the training, which, after a long remote period, was held as a traditional in-person meeting.
At the training, experiences about good practices in organizing activities were exchanged, and guidelines for tenant activities were checked over together. In addition, the members of the co-operation body were involved in editing a survey aimed at tenant committees about the condition of properties.
This year, an idea of a mentoring program will be advanced. In the program, former tenant committee members, even after moving out, could help new committees to get started with the common tenant activities.
How can I join?
Tenant members of the cooperative body are elected annually, and this year’s election meeting is held in November. A member of a tenant committee of any property can run for office, but only one member from each committee can be running. An invitation to the elections will be sent to all tenant committee members.
Did you become interested in tenant activities? At the beginning of each year, a tenant meeting is organized in each property. New committee is officially formed there. However, you can join in organizing activities in your own neighborhood at any time.
Often tenant committees have some information about them on the building’s notice boards. Many committees have also a Facebook group or an email address. If you are interested in tenant activities, check out contact details on our website.
The author of the article is Sanni Häkkinen, who is the current chairman of the tenats’ co-operation body and the tenant representative on the board of Hoas.