10 May 2022
Yesterday’s Queen’s Speech outlined government proposals for housing and planning reform. Responding to it, James Prestwich, director of policy and external affairs at the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH), said:
“CIH fully supports the government’s aim to strengthen tenants’ rights through a social housing reform bill and is pleased to see a commitment to it in this Parliament. This is an important legislative step to ensure residents are empowered to have increased influence over decisions about their homes, underpinned by stronger powers for the regulator on consumer standards. As the professional body, we will continue to work with our members and residents to deliver on this important agenda.
We also welcome the news that a renters’ reform bill will put legal duties on landlords to meet the Decent Homes Standard and introduce the promised abolition of section 21 no fault evictions, bringing increased security for private renters. When the nation faces a worsening affordable housing and cost-of-living crisis, this change is long overdue. However, we’re disappointed that the government is not taking more concerted action to provide direct support to people struggling with day-to-day costs.
We support the government's strategy to address inequalities across the country with a levelling up and regeneration bill. We welcome elements of the proposed planning reforms - increasing people’s involvement in the planning process and measures to provide local communities more powers over regeneration. However, at a time of chronic housing shortages, the government must ensure that the planning system supports the continuous delivery of new housing, including much needed social rented homes.
We look forward to working with the government to ensure any changes to the planning system deliver the number and types of affordable homes the country desperately needs.
We also support the government's ambitions to transition to cheaper, cleaner, and more secure energy, aided by an Energy Security Bill. However, we’re disappointed not to see a focus on insulation. As people struggle with the rising energy cost, we cannot afford to lose heat through energy inefficient homes.
Many of the measures in this Queen’s speech reflect changes which CIH has been calling for, but we’re disappointed not to see the government taking meaningful action to address the rising cost of living crisis. We will continue to press the case for this ahead of the autumn budget.”
Further information on the Queen's Speech 2022 can be found in the CIH what you need to know about the Queen's Speech 2022 guide for members.