WECH has evolved from a grass-roots community campaign into a professionally run resident led housing association.
WECH is membership-based organisation, with every tenant and leaseholder being entitled to join. WECH currently has 604 members (over 80 % of WECH households have at least one member). The Annual General Meetings attract twenty to thirty percent of residents, to elect the fourteen resident members for the Board. Elections are frequently contested, which helps to ensure that those elected are genuinely representative and accountable.
The board has up to six co-opted members in addition to resident directors. The co-optees are chosen for their expertise in particular specialist areas. WECH's rules prevent non-residents from becoming a majority on the board. The last residents survey showed that 45% of respondants personally knew a member of the board.
As well as voting for the board, ordinary resident members are able to influence the governance of WECH through consultation meetings. WECH's resident involvement programme is not an add on but is at the heart of the way it is governed.
Residents interested in getting involved have the opportunity to join one of WECH's sub committees, the Finance and Audit, Staff or Social Committee, which serves to induct residents into eventually standing for election as a Board member, as well as helping to build on their skills. All board members are supported with training sessions and an annual awayday.
The resident involvement of WECH is encouraged by the social and community activities taking place at WECH. Social events are organised by the Social Committee, which has a list of over 60 residents who have volunteered to help with the various events taking place throughout the year. All volunteers are invited to the planning meetings organised before ease event, encouraging residents to contribute their ideas to determine and shape the events taking place. The activities aim to involve residents of all ages and backgrounds. Resident control at WECH is boosted by this programme of social and community activities, helping to build a community in which residents, board members and staff work together.