The government has unveiled its shakeup of housing policy, which is intended to ‘empower’ millions of social housing tenants and hold landlords to account.
More than three years after the Grenfell Tower disaster, the government has announced its long-awaited shake-up of housing policy.
Giving social housing residents a greater voice
As reported by The Evening Standard, major reforms include a new charter that aims to “give social housing residents a greater voice”, a beefed-up regulator, and a strengthened ombudsman to deal with complaints.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said the measures would bring “transformational change” for those living in England’s four million social homes.
“We are delivering on the commitment we made to the Grenfell community that, never again, would the voices of residents go unheard,” he said.
Jenrick concluded that:
“I want to see social housing tenants empowered by a regulatory regime and a culture of transparency, accountability, decency and public service befitting of the best intentions and deep roots of social housing in this country.”
According to the gov.uk website, the white paper also reaffirms the government’s ambition to provide social housing residents with more opportunities to own their home via Right to Buy and a new Right to Shared Ownership for housing association tenants in new grant funded homes.
A new information scheme for tenants of Housing Associations
PBC Today reported that the social housing white paper, ‘The Charter for Social Housing Residents’, sets out reforms that will speed up the complaints procedure for residents by improving access to the Housing Ombudsman, reducing decision times and ensuring effective resolution.
The Charter will also make landlords more accountable for the services they deliver, including access to a new information scheme for tenants of housing associations and introducing a set of tenant satisfaction measures that landlords will have to report against.
The government is also reforming the Regulator of Social Housing and Housing Ombudsman service to drive the culture change required, backed by legislation where needed.
The changes in brief:
- The new charter gives social housing residents a greater voice
- A tougher housing regulator to ensure high standards from landlords
- A strengthened Housing Ombudsman to speed up the handling of complaints
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