We were disappointed the Social Housing Green Paper wasn’t published before Parliament’s summer recess as expected, but we believe it will raise some important questions about stigma and whether social housing is meeting the expectations of tenants.
31 July 2018
It is possible that the Green Paper will not come out until the autumn, although we remain poised in case it is published over recess.
While we can’t anticipate exactly what it will contain, we know that it will address the the experience of people living in social housing. We are confident that there will be a strong focus on landlords’ relationship with their tenants, and a spotlight on how accountable we are as landlords and how we listen to and engage with our tenants.
One of the key issues that came out of Housing Minister Alok Sharma’s consultation meetings with tenants was the issue of stigma around social housing, which raised questions about whether the Government and we as a society are doing enough to address this. We are clear that as a sector we want to play our role in tackling stigma, including through our support of the Benefit to Society campaign.
We’re also keen to see a strong focus on the supply of new affordable homes, particularly in light of renewed public investment in social housing. This will ensure that we can continue to deliver good quality affordable homes for the people that need them most.
Our commitment to transparency
While there is excellent work going on across the sector to improve tenants’ experiences of social housing, we know there is more we could do to address transparency consistently across the sector and ensure we are as accountable as possible to the people who live in our homes. Last year we launched our Offer for Tenants work to explore this further, with the ambition for housing associations to be among the most trusted and accountable organisations in the country.
Following extensive discussions with members and tenant representatives, we believe the best way to address this is through a sector-wide charter, with some specific commitments for tenants on what they expect from their landlord. Over the coming months we’ll be consulting with members to see how this could be delivered and overseen, and carrying out a comprehensive tenant engagement exercise in the autumn to ensure this reflects tenants’ needs.
Tell us what you think
We have published a discussion paper to explore with members some key questions around improving transparency and accountability in our sector. The discussion paper, published in partnership with the Centre for Public Scrunity, sets out 10 questions we would like to explore with housing associations. We would welcome your feedback on these questions by 5 September. You can respond either via our online survey or by emailing us your feedback.