20 Jul 2023

Better Social Housing Review

Last summer, CIH and NHF launched the ‘Better Social Housing Review’, led by an independent panel with extensive experience in the social housing sector. Its report, published in December, included a challenging set of findings and found that the social housing sector is under huge pressure. It saw examples of ‘inspiring practice’ as well as some areas of ‘shocking practice’ and discrimination. The panel’s report set out seven recommendations on how to improve issues with the quality of social homes, in which it made clear that action is required from both the sector and from government.

In summary:

Having considered the report, CIH and NHF have worked with members and partners to develop an action plan that sets out how we will work alongside housing associations to improve the quality of their homes and services across the country. We encourage members to take some time to read the detail.

Embedded at the heart of the action plan are proactive steps to help ensure equitable access to good quality housing association homes and services for all people. The actions seek to tackle the structural inequalities in society which are leaving Black and Asian households around three times more likely than their white British counterparts to live in damp homes of all tenures.

Whilst the Better Social Housing Review originally made recommendations to housing associations, local authority landlords are equally committed to delivering good quality homes and services so the LGA, ARCH and NFA are also participating in the action plan and wherever possible will ensure it is relevant to all social landlords.

Work on the action plan has now begun, supported by a number of working groups, and we’ll be updating members regularly. In the meantime, there are a number of webinars which people can sign up to or watch back (with more to be added):

As Angela Lockwood, CEO of North Star, wrote recently, “By engaging with this action plan and using it to complement work our organisations are already doing, we can create a defining moment for the … sector. It could provide us with an opportunity to publicly demonstrate that we are listening to the experiences of our residents when things go wrong and we do all we can to put things right.”