24 November, 2020
On the 17th of November 2020 the government released its long-awaited Social Housing White Paper - The Charter for Social Housing Residents - that looks to reset the relationship between Registered Providers, residents and the Regulator for Social Housing (RSH).
The paper focuses on health & safety and tenant empowerment. The government will be working with the RSH to create a consumer regulatory regime which bolsters the formal standards against which Registered Providers are regulated. In case you have not has time to review the full paper, this article is intended as an overview of its key points.
Following the Grenfell tragedy and the Bolton student flats which lit ablaze in November 2019, it is no wonder health & safety is at the core of the white paper. The paper introduces the following measures:
This can be split into two parts - accountability of Registered Providers and the treatment of tenants.
Accountability - Part of tenant empowerment is the ability for tenants to hold their landlords to account. Following our review of the paper we expect:
Treatment of Tenants - The white paper seeks to move away for the alleged paternalistic approach to residents and towards more meaningful engagement. The paper seeks to do this by:
We recommend all Registered Providers review the Ombudsman compliant code and ensure their internally processes are updated accordingly.
Alongside the topics of health & safety and tenant empowerment, the paper updates us on the necessary regulation to ensure Registered Providers adapt accordingly. Proposals include:
We recommend Registered Providers review their policies and systems for ensuring compliance with the customer standard and ensure that these are monitored.
Although the paper introduces a significant change to social housing, many Registered Providers are already compliance with changes. Also, many of the proposals rely upon further legislation and consultation, so implementation will not be immediate. Open engagement between Registered Providers, tenants and the RSH will be vital in creating a sustainable system which is fit for purpose and in which all stakeholders have faith.
For more information contact Aisha Bhailok in our Housing & Regeneration department via email or phone on 01772 220240. Alternatively send any question through to Forbes Solicitors via our online Contact Form.