Leading housing association Midland Heart brought together residents and MPs at an event in Parliament to discuss the future of social housing in the Midlands.
The reception at Portcullis House on 15 May is the first time a Midlands housing provider has brought customers to the capital to address politicians directly about life as a social housing tenant.
Customers John Lewis, Camella Norford and Ahmad Yuhanna all enjoyed meeting the MPs and seeing inside Parliament for the first time.
Camella said: “It was great to have an opportunity to talk to MPs face to face about what it is like to be a social housing tenant and how we can all work together to make things better in the future.”
More than 20 MPs with an interest in housing attended, including Shadow Housing Minister Sarah Jones and West Midlands mayoral hopeful Liam Byrne, who discussed how to make affordable housing more aspirational.
Ms Jones was pleased to meet with residents and emphasised that housing associations need to play a key role in forming strategic partnerships to step up housebuilding.
Mr Byrne echoed this, setting out the importance of organisations working together to ensure more affordable homes are built, as well as making sure existing social housing stock offers homes and communities people want to live in.
Eddie Hughes, MP for Walsall North, who was chair of a housing association before becoming an MP, said: “I’m certainly an advocate for social and affordable housing. Housing providers like Midland Heart have an important role to play in building the homes the country and the Midlands so desperately need.”
Glenn Harris, Chief Executive of Midland Heart, said: “We had a very informative day in Parliament meeting with our region’s MPs and hearing from residents about what they want from their homes.
“Our customers tell us that they want to live in balanced and sustainable communities that people want to call home. So we’ve responded, announcing a new £100m stock investment programme to make our existing properties more desirable to live in.
“We have also committed to build 3,000 new homes across our region by 2024. We retain clear sight of our social purpose and will continue to support a broad mix of people from different backgrounds who need rehousing, while meeting the needs of the most vulnerable.”