The Better Social Housing Review report has been published making recommendations to housing associations to drive improvements in the quality of social housing.
The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and the National Housing Federation (NHF) welcomed the Review's recommendations in full and have designed an action plan to hep the sector implement the recommendations.
It is an evolving document, which will develop and grow as the NHF, CIH and our members implement, learn and build on the actions.
We believe the action plan has the potential to support real change within the sector. By working together, sharing best practice and collaborating we will demonstrate two things. First, the sector’s commitment to good quality homes and services. Second, the active steps social housing providers are taking to overcome the structural inequalities in our society that mean people of all backgrounds may not currently get equal access to these good homes and services.
We hope it will complement all the work housing associations are already doing to improve their existing homes and customer service.
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Social housing is a sector driven by a social purpose to provide good quality, affordable homes. This has not been the experience of every resident, as demonstrated by media and social media scrutiny. Early in 2022 the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) and National Housing Federation (NHF) talked to members from all areas of the social housing spectrum about these issues and how we can respond. There was an acknowledgement that we want to and must do better as a sector.
The Better Social Housing Review was set up in June 2022 by CIH and NHF to tackle these social housing issues in England. The independent panel leading the review were a diverse group of experts with direct experience of social housing and a passion for improving its quality. Their aim was to make practical recommendations to housing associations, the government, and everyone responsible for social housing to help achieve that.
The Better Social Housing Review panel chaired by Helen Baker included Jennifer Brathwaite, Sumita Singha, Neal Wylde and Tom Markham.
The panel met with residents, customer-facing staff, community partners and housing leaders from across the country over the summer of 2022. They heard about and saw inspiring work across the sector, but also cases of “shockingly poor quality homes”. They also saw how inequalities and particularly racial discrimination can influence the experience tenants are having when they raise issues with repairs and maintenance.
The panels findings were published in a report in December 2022 and summarised in two further documents - an executive summary and key recommendations.
You can also read our response to the report.
Gavin Smart | Chief executive of CIH
All tenants of social housing should be able to live in good quality, well-managed homes and be treated with dignity and respect. Where this is not the case, we must put that right. I welcome the insight an independent panel will bring, taking time to engage with residents, communities, partners, and staff to understand where improvements are needed and to make recommendations to the sector that will fix what is wrong and develop greater trust between landlords and tenants. As the professional body for housing, we look forward to supporting the sector to progress the recommendations provided to deliver the right mix of knowledge, skills, behaviours, and values to ensure a quality home and service for all.