DGHP Tenants Being Urged to Use Their Vote

Dumfries and Galloway Housing Partnership (DGHP) tenants are being urged to use their vote from this Friday (October 18) in a ballot to decide on partnership plans with Wheatley Group. The independent ballot will see tenants decide if DGHP will form a partnership with Wheatley Group and DGHP’s Chairman, Bill Robertson, has urged tenants to vote in favour of it. He said the partnership would bring millions of pounds worth of additional investment with a host of benefits to our tenants, the local economy and the local construction industry.

Bill, who is also a tenant of DGHP, said: “I firmly believe this is a fantastic opportunity for our tenants. It is hugely important to us that this proposed partnership offers something for every tenant – in all of our towns and villages across Dumfries and Galloway.

“The benefits of the partnership speak for themselves, for example – keeping rents affordable through smaller annual increases, more investment and a new approach to delivering repairs.”

However, Bill highlighted that the partnership will only go ahead if tenants vote in the ballot – which is open from October 18 and closes on November 18.

Mary Muir, Chair of the independent Dumfries and Galloway Federation of Tenants and Residents, said: “We would really encourage tenants to use their vote from Friday – as a tenant you have a voice, so please have your say.

“From the discussions DGHP have had with tenants, we know that replacement doors and windows is a priority. These, along with other improvements to their homes, will happen sooner if the partnership goes ahead. We are particularly excited about the introduction of a free handyman service for older tenants and those with disabilities.”

There are several ways tenants can vote, making it quick and easy to make sure they have their say. Tenants will receive their independent ballot paper and letter in the post and there are details on how they can vote either by post, online or via telephone or text.

DGHP staff will also be happy to speak to tenants to explain the methods of voting. In addition, there will be videos on our website and social media clearly showing the different ways to vote.

Bill added: “I would encourage everyone to exercise their right to vote – it’s very important. The ballot is completely confidential and we won’t know how you have voted – but please make sure you use your vote. And if anyone has any concerns or questions they can contact DGHP on freephone 0800 011 3447, email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or contact us through social media.”

 Lesley Baird, Chief Executive of Tenant Participation Advisory Service (Scotland) said: “Part of our role as tenant advisor is to independently assess the partnership proposals. We have examined the proposals from Wheatley and in our view they are robust and achievable and, from our analysis, they are financially robust. It is our view that the proposals offer a good deal for DGHP tenants.”

TPAS is available to offer free independent and impartial advice for tenants by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  or Freephone 0800 049 5761.

In summary, some of the benefits of the proposal include –

  • Lower rents than planned with increases capped at 2% a year for the next three years – creating significant savings for our tenants
  • Creating an in-house repairs workforce where local operatives will be employed directly by DGHP (rather than contractors)
  • Creation of 500 new jobs and apprenticeships
  • Enable DGHP to accelerate investment plans for things like e.g. windows, kitchens and external rendering and also provide additional investment to address issues with e.g. fencing, kerb appeal and improve communal areas
  • 1000 new homes for older people and families across the region over five years
  • Handyman service free for older and disabled tenants
  • comprehensively upgrade DGHP’s technology systems, enabling staff to provide even better, more efficient services;
  • providing a 24/7 customer contact telephone service.

Bill added: “We’ve spoken to the majority of our tenants and they’ve been very positive about this – however, now is the time to make a difference and place your vote. This is the approval stage that is required for DGHP to become part of Wheatley Group.”

 

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