Membership of Soha is now open to our tenants, leaseholders and shared owners. This means the biggest decisions about the company’s future could be made by you.
Register your interest in becoming a member here!
“Soha came about through a tenants’ vote. Now, tenants should have a bigger say in their housing association.”
Vic Breach, Chair of the Board and Soha tenant
Take a look at what Richard Peacock, Soha's Chief Executive, has to say about tenant membership.
“Tenants have good ways of being involved at Soha. But by becoming shareholding members, tenants can have even more influence for years ahead.”
Val Kir, Chair of Soha Tenants’
What does membership mean?
Soha is constituted as a Community Benefit Society. This legal structure means that we are formally ‘owned’ by members. We are non-profit making, so there is no financial return to them. However, they get the final say in major decisions.
- Soha's members make the biggest decisions about the company's future.
- The Board will continue to be responsible for Soha and will make decisions about finances, services and the development of new homes. The Chief Executive and team of staff will continue to deliver services on a day to day basis.
- Soha will continue to involve residents in decision making and keep track of services. We believe this would become stronger by the new membership structure.
What are the benefits of membership?
Members of Soha can:
Belong to something: Being a member makes you a part of Soha and gives you a legal role in the company.
Get involved: Members will be invited to take part in events, consultations and discussions throughout the year
Determine your future: Members get to vote on the most important decisions about Soha, like who is on the Board and over the charitable purpose of the association.
Shape your community: Members have the right to vote on Soha’s Community Empowerment strategy – that means how we invest in communities. The first version of this new strategy will be presented at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) in September 2018 – and there will be plenty chances to have your say on what should be in there over the coming months.
Vote on big decisions: Members have the right to vote on the biggest decisions at Soha through the AGM. If you can’t make it in person, you’ll be able to vote by proxy or online.
Grow your future: Soha’s vision is to be a leading community housing association where residents and staff shape a sustainable future. Tenant membership of Soha gives the right structure to underpin this vision.
Improve your neighbourhoods: The Community Empowerment Strategy will include details of how Soha invests in neighbourhoods and communities. We want to encourage tenants, leaseholders and shared owners from across Soha’s area to join as a Member and to be involved in their local neighbourhood – whether applying for a grant to improve something, volunteering in the local community or helping with regular feedback.
Have a say: There are many ways for Soha tenants to get involved and Membership provides another route for those who are interested. We’ll want your views on your home and the services you receive – from ease of contact to getting repairs done right first time.
Members will also receive exclusive updates and newsletters, as well as the chance to enter regular prize draws and attend members’ event.
“As a tenant, I think we sometimes feel things are done to us and we just have to let it happen. I hope that being a member will give all tenants real influence in something which is a big part of our lives.”
Carole Burchett, Chair of Soha Tenant Scrutiny Group
Who's it for?
All tenancy holders would have the right to apply for membership. This includes tenants, shared owners and leaseholders – you must be named on the agreement with Soha to be eligible.
There are some restrictions, for example people who are disqualified from being a company director and people in court action with Soha.
Our proposal would ensure that Soha remains focused on providing great services to tenants.
This has been done by a few other Housing Associations and we have learnt from them the advantages and disadvantages of widening membership to tenants.
Soha has a great record of involving tenants. We believe that extending membership will strengthen how we continue to involve tenants.