Steven Black, from Peterhead, has been appointed as Scotland’s youngest tenant assessor.
Steven who has just turned 24 joins a team of volunteer assessors who will work with the Scottish Housing Regulator
on its inspections of more than 200 social landlords, including housing authorities, associations and co-operatives.
Steven becomes part of a panel of 25 assessors who provide a users’ perspective for the regulator’s inspection process. His first inspection will be in September. Steven with Martin van der Lee, Vice Chair of Tenants First, who will be his mentor
For the past four years, Steven has been a been a member of Tenants First Housing Co-operative’s
Tenant Management Board and the Committee of Management.
Steven explains that he sees this new role as a natural extension of his work with Tenants First:
“I have an interest in proving that you don’t have to be of a certain age, or have experience to make a difference. I want to bring a young person’s perspective to the provision of affordable housing.
“In my work as a tenant assessor, I will be looking for communication with the tenants that is simple and easily understood by people who are new to housing associations and council housing departments. I also have a particular interest in seeing that social landlords engage with young people.”
Michael Cameron, head of inspection with the Scottish Housing Regulator, said:
“It’s great to welcome Steven to our team and to recognise this as a real achievement on his part as our youngest ever tenant assessor. Tenant assessors are unpaid volunteers from all over Scotland who are trained to take part in inspections. They bring a range of skills and experience and, most importantly, a tenant’s perspective to the inspection of a landlord’s service.”
Steven, who is a social care officer at a children’s home in Fraserburgh and also a youth worker in Peterhead, has a particular interest in the potential for technology to improve the quality and environmental performance of housing.
As such he has been enthused by the innovative approach of Tenants First. The co-operative recently embarked on a three-year programme, in partnership with the Mackintosh School of Architecture in Glasgow, to develop high-quality, carbon-neutral housing.
Proving his enthusiasm for community work, Steven has recently supplemented his existing roles by helping to run a youth club in Cruden Bay and on the committee and teaching with an archery club for juniors.
Tenants First Housing Co-operative is Britain’s largest housing co-operative with more than 1,300 properties in Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Angus and Glasgow. It also provides management services for Kincardine Housing Co-operative.
Tenants First is a non-profit making organisation owned and run by its members for the benefit of members.