29 Mar 2022

CIH responds to social housing regulation reforms

On 29 March, the government set out how it intends to deliver the policies outlined in the Social Housing White Paper.

The package of measures includes:

  • Publicising on social media where landlords have breached the Regulator’s consumer standards or where the Housing Ombudsman has made its most serious finding - severe maladministration - against them.
  • The launch of a Resident Panel, inviting residents to have their say on how to improve the quality of social housing. The Panel will allow residents to scrutinise and influence measures to strengthen the Decent Homes Standard, training and qualification for staff, a new Access to Information Scheme and other planned reforms.
  • Publishing draft clauses to legislation that will reform the regulation of social housing through tougher consumer powers, greater enforcement tools to tackle failing landlords and new responsibilities on social landlords.
  • A new factsheet explaining the role of the Regulator of Social Housing and Housing Ombudsman Service.
  • A single gov.uk page, setting out our progress on implementing the measures in the Social Housing White Paper and further measures being introduced to improve quality of social housing.

In response to the announcement, James Prestwich, director of policy and external affairs for the Chartered Institute of Housing said: 

“Everyone should expect to have a decent, safe and affordable place to call home so, although we believe these measures should have been introduced earlier, we welcome the recent announcement from the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.

“We have been clear that the ambition to do the right thing must shape how we respond to the Social Housing White Paper and be at the core of the relationship between landlord and tenant. The recent cases we have seen where the quality of some of the homes provided has fallen below expectations is unacceptable, so these new measures, especially the introduction of the residents panel, will help ensure positive and meaningful changes are made.

“Across the industry, we must accept that where poor quality or poor customer service exists, it should be highlighted and put right. We must embrace transparency and accountability.

“A safe, secure home is not a disposable commodity but the bedrock upon which a fulfilling life can be built. We're looking forward to working with the Government, the Housing Ombudsman and the new national resident panel as we move forward to ensure the safety and quality of homes is our top priority.”