The aim of this paper is to present the concept, classification and significance of the involvement of tenants in the processes of managing council flats. Tenant participation is becoming an increasingly popular subject of research owing to numerous benefits in the field of social housing stock management, such as better adjustment of property managers’ services to tenants’ needs and preferences, or an increase in the efficiency and economics of management. However, the mobilization of tenants will be successful only if they can participate in the decision-making process in a relatively high degree. Our discussion focuses on social housing stock in Poland.
In recent years, the allocation of social housing has undergone a radical change. Local governments as well as housing organisations providing social housing are revising the procedures applied in the field by modifying methods for ranking applications. European experience shows that the general tendency is to replace the traditional allocation mechanism based solely on the criteria of income and needs with the one incorporating (though to a limited extent) the preferences of potential tenants. An example of innovative practice is announcing unoccupied social flats in the press and on the Internet which gives prospective tenants the opportunity to rethink the match between the housing conditions offered and the household’s needs. The aim of the paper is to explore various models of housing allocation used by local governments in EU countries and identify new trends within the field. A special focus is on the local regulations applied in the City of Poznań. Some information applied in the process of preparation of the paper has been obtained while conducting the research project “Social housing and its role in satisfying the housing needs of indigent households in Poland” financed by the National Science Centre (2014/13/N/HS4/02100).