Our tenant's view
Patricia was a Wycombe District Council (now Buckinghamshire Council) tenant for 40 years before the transfer. She wasn't in favour of the transfer from the council to Red Kite and voted against it. Patricia is now a volunteer tenant and sits on our Board. She explains why she's now glad that Red Kite won the vote.
When it was proposed by the council that they would sell all of their homes to Red Kite, I was really worried. I thought, "Who are Red Kite and where will they get the money to buy the homes?"
Red Kite was making lots of promises about new kitchens and bathrooms. It sounded too good to be true.
The council clearly didn’t have the money to maintain the houses and things were never done or fixed to a high standard. Some tenants were made to feel like second-class citizens who should feel grateful that they even had a house.
Despite all of this, I still voted against the transfer. It just seemed such a scary prospect and I was worried I'd lose my home.
When the transfer was agreed, I thought, "Oh my goodness, what’s going to happen now?"
Not long after the transfer, a letter arrived telling me that I was getting a new kitchen and I was invited to go and choose it. I was so excited. It was lovely to have a choice.
A couple of years later I was told that I was getting a new bathroom too. It looked fantastic when it was finished, but I had some issues with how it was installed and had a number of leaks. I wasn’t happy with the contractor who put it in.
Due to the problems I experienced, I was invited along to a feedback meeting. I felt really nervous. I stood up and told the manager of the company that had done the bathroom exactly what I thought of their workmanship. When I'd finished everyone cheered.
Volunteering for us
After the meeting I was asked if I wanted to become a volunteer, and I thought "why not?" I'd never done anything like it before.
I've been a volunteer since 2015. I've carried out surveys, participated in focus groups and now I'm also on The Board.
I can honestly say that Red Kite does care. It is tenant led, and people do genuinely care.
They don’t get it right every time, but from what I see, they strive to achieve the best. As a tenant, I'm treated with respect and my home is treated with respect. My house is my home and it's treated like that.