17 Nov 2020

CIH responds to social housing white paper

We are pleased that the long-promised white paper has been published. We welcome the commitment to raise standards, the focus on increased transparency and the desire to give tenants a real opportunity to shape and influence the decisions that impact on their lives. We look forward to working with the government and the social housing regulator to shape a proactive approach to consumer regulation which focuses on the importance of the professionalism of our sector. We want to ensure that the changes needed apply across the whole sector and benefit all tenants.

We hope that the white paper sets a new vision for the sector which reflects the positive contribution that our profession has made to build trust and engagement with residents during the COVID-19 pandemic. The white paper’s emphasis on tenants’ safety is vitally important. As well as the measures proposed, we are looking to government to continue to work with the sector so there is a full understanding of what is required to ensure building safety, and that government recognises landlords’ need for resources to ensure that all homes are safe.

CIH is also pleased that the government has responded to calls to review the Decent Homes Standard, which is due a fundamental refresh. In addition to enhanced building safety requirements, CIH urges the government to set energy efficiency standards consistent with its ‘net zero carbon’ goals and to work with the sector to develop a plan to meet them.

Gavin Smart, the Chartered Institute of Housing’s chief executive, said:

“We welcome the intention of the white paper, which puts tenants front and centre and aims to address the stigmatisation of social housing and people who live in social housing. Our work to recognise and enhance the professionalism of the housing sector very much complements the themes set out in the paper and we look forward to working with government and the Regulator of Social Housing to embed these across the sector.”

We will examine the proposals in the white paper in more detail to provide a fuller response, which will be informed by the views of our members.