The Commitments

2nd December 2020 | posted in News

Well, we waited a while for it (two years since the green paper was issued) but the Government has now finally published the Social Housing White Paper.

Whilst there were no big surprises (although it would have been nice to see something on future investment) it was generally positive.

At its heart is a new Charter for Social Housing Residents which sets out seven commitments that residents should expect from their landlord, everything from being safe in your home through to supporting people into their first home ownership.

Good organisations should be doing this anyway, and it echoes much of what is in the National Housing Federation’s Together with Tenants charter, but at least now we have something “in writing” which everyone can adhere and be accountable to.

Accountability is another big theme in the white paper. Accountability through more proactive consumer regulation, a strengthened Housing Ombudsman, and more reporting on key performance indicators such complaints, engagement, and neighbourhood management.

My only concern here is will this result in more bureaucracy and be a tick box exercise, rather than carrying any real weigh? Let’s hope not.

Housing associations have been working hard to support residents and communities through the pandemic, so the white paper will bring a lot of change to work through at already difficult and challenging times. But as we go into 2021 and Covid-19 hopefully comes under control, we will be able to work together as a sector to help shape the detail behind the plans.


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