On Sunday 26 February 2023, Housing Secretary Michael Gove announced an amendment to the Social Housing (Regulation) Bill mandating that social housing managers must gain professional qualifications under new rules to protect residents and raise standards in the sector.
This will bring social housing more closely into line with other sectors providing front line services, including social work, teaching, and health and care services. Any landlord who fails to meet the requirements of the new standards could be fined by the regulator.
Gavin Smart, chief executive of the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) said:
“As the professional body for housing, CIH is committed to supporting professionalism across the housing sector - it is at the heart of all we do. We welcome the government’s focus on and support for professionalism in housing.
“We believe housing professionals should do all they can to ensure that tenants and residents have access to good quality, affordable homes; that they are treated with dignity and respect; and that their voices and views are heard and taken account of in decisions that affect them, their homes and the communities they live in and that the vast majority of housing professionals and organisations share this belief. Today’s announcement complements work already underway following recommendations set out by the Better Social Housing Review in late 2022, highlighting the need for skilled and experienced staff members in key roles.
“We look forward to working with government, the regulator and with the sector to support organisations and individuals in achieving the qualifications needed under these new requirements.”
If this amendment is created into a law, it is estimated around 25,000 managers across the housing sector will be required to have an appropriate housing management qualification at Level 4 or 5 regulated by Ofqual, or have completed a foundation degree.
At the moment, this is all we know on the announcement.
The government have promised further information will be coming soon, dependent on progression of the Social Housing (Regulation) Bill as it makes its way through Parliament. We do not know when it’ll come into effect or the definitive guidance as to what the amendment will mean but we will keep you updated as we learn more.