How the housing sector has risen to new challenges
Recent changes to regulation and inspection have provided us all with new challenges around how we share good practice, identify what good outcomes look like and learn from each other. Debbie Larner, head of practice at CIH, explores how the housing sector has risen to the challenge.With the demise of the Audit Commission and a new and somewhat diluted approach to “consumer standards”, there was much talk about how the sector would react – would we aspire to continued excellence without the stick of regulation or the carrots of stars and funding? Would housing providers coast along fearing only the threat of “serious detriment”? Or would they grasp the mantle and see this as an opportunity to set our own standards, adopt our own definitions of excellence and come up with our own sector-led solutions?
The Community Harm Statement (CHS) is a great case in point. Launched earlier this year, the CHS is a sector-led solution to a sector-defined issue. It’s a simple but effective tool which helps present evidence of anti-social behaviour (ASB) in a clear, concise and, fundamentally, a consistent way. Importantly, it sets the scene for the court and is the first thing a judge sees. One of the key benefits for housing providers and judges is that it highlights the impact that ASB has had neighbourhoods and on community resources. After a successful pilot, it has now been widely rolled out and is proving extremely useful. It’s also been welcomed by our very own Housing Minister, DCLG, the Home Office and the Ministry of Justice.
Find out more about the CHS and how it can be used
As the professional body for housing, we see a clear role for CIH to support the sector to develop its own professional standards, and create a range of tools and resources to help organisations share and learn from each other.
Our CIH charters are just one of the ways that we are doing this. As with the CHS, our charters have been driven and developed by the sector, for the sector. We have launched three charters to date – Respect: ASB charter for housing, Repairs: CIH charter for housing; and Equality and Diversity: CIH charter for housing. All three charters provide an outcome framework and a learning network for professionals to share expertise, ideas and good practice.
We are now developing the fourth charter in the series focusing on complaints – please do get in touch if you want to get involved – email me at firstname.lastname@example.org