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Home > Involving you > Soha Membership
Soha Membership

Soha Membership

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. 


Apply to become a member.

“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 is 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 will 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
 

Yes, it’s quite common for a housing association to have some tenant members. A few housing associations have worked extremely hard on making tenant membership meaningful. They have developed a structure that means tenant involvement and influence is built into the way the organisation works.

We have learned from the experience of these housing associations to inform Soha’s membership scheme.

Some examples are:


We have worked hard with residents to develop a good model and culture of involvement and are known across the country for how we do this. More than 8/10 tenants are happy with how we listen to their views and act on them. 

So a membership offer might not make a big difference to this.

However, we think it gives the right structure to support how we work. It means that tenants will be involved in having the final say in major decisions over the charitable purpose of the association and who the Board members are. 

We think this also sends the right message to tenants and to the outside world about the importance of tenants’ views at Soha.

This is a really important question, as members are responsible for some crucial decisions. In brief, a member must sign up to the values and purpose of Soha. They must make decisions in the best interest of the organisation. 

We ask all members to keep in touch in some way – whether that’s coming to the AGM, or using a digital vote. 

We’d like all members to come to an introductory event to find out more about what membership can offer – we’ll keep members updated with when and where these are around Soha’s area.

Legally, a member’s liability is limited to £1 (maximum).

Contact Us

Pen

Soha Housing
Royal Scot House
99 Station Road
Didcot
Oxfordshire
OX11 7NN

Phone

01235 515 900
0800 014 15 45

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