Tenant Boards in Denmark: Best Practices in Supporting Tenant’s Diverse Needs

One of the key themes of this housing festival is diversity in tenant needs.  It is hard to imagine a better example of responsiveness to tenant needs than what is taking place in Copenhagen. Ulia Gregor works for DABan organization that houses many citizens across Copenhagen.  In fact, her organization has over 50,000 units.  The speaker let us know that their organization is a housing non-profit that organizes housing with 50,000 units.

The amazing thing that the audience learned is the strength of the tenant boards that are in place within this organization.  Each housing estate elects its own tenant boar at a yearly meeting.  The boards of the individual estates assemble a larger assembly on top of that.  There is one annual meeting each year.  They elect a board, approve budget and rent, decide on maintenance and renovating and local rules.  This is quite a powerful right that the tenants have.  The administrator of the housing does give suggestions but the board have the final ruling.  The tenants can decide on major renovations. If there are disagreements there are regulations in place to have municipal assistance in deciding.

The DAB believe that a board is key to a well-functioning housing association.  The cooperation with the board members is characterized by due diligence, initiative and loyalty.

Tools for Tenant Boards;

Tools include:

  • They use as tools a dedicated web portal for the tenant board members.
  • They also have a variety of courses for board members
  • Yearly meetings
  • A free weekend seminar each year for chairmen and chairwomen of the local housing companies
  • A tour by DAB high-level executives to hold meetings with tenant democrats in local settings.

For the future, the speaker said we should have a strong tenant democracy.  We need special rights for elderly migrants, young people and families.

This model being used in Denmark serves as a great example in listening to our tenants when thinking about meeting tenant diversity.

featured image: Vera van Duivenvoorden

 

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