Why is this important?

Every day, housing professionals create opportunities for people to find a home from which they can build the rest of their lives. The work we do is so important, which is why we want you to have the ability to demonstrate your professionalism and dedication to the sector using the professional standards.

Not only that, professionalism is embedded throughout the Social Housing White Paper in England. Your commitment to this will soon become the expected norm, and something residents will anticipate. It also underpins the spirit of the housing regulation regimes in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

In the Social Housing White Paper in England, Government makes specific reference to the behaviours and attitudes of people who work in our sector:

  • “We have heard positive experiences of landlord staff who treated residents with care and respect. But we also heard that this is not always the case, and there were incidences where people felt talked down to or ignored by staff and contractors. We want all landlord staff to act professionally, listen to their residents and, at all times, treat them with courtesy and respect.”  
  • “When residents interact with landlords they should expect and receive a professional service from competent and empathetic staff.” 
  • “We want all landlord staff to act professionally, listen to their residents and, at all times, treat them with courtesy and respect.” 
  • The idea that social tenants are less worthy of respect or can be ignored when their views are inconvenient – remains all too prevalent today. 

In addition:

  • The majority of complaints received by the Housing Ombudsman relate to behaviours and attitudes of staff 
  • The cause of most systemic service failures is due to lack of knowledge and inability to challenge poor decisions  
  • The Westminster/UK government acknowledged it in its green paper of 2018 that stereotypes shaped by the negative language used by politicians and the media can be reinforced by the way social housing is managed and run
  • Conversations with tenants following the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017 emphasised the sense of ‘institutional indifference’ they can experience from staff working in housing organisations
  • The Grenfell Tower Inquiry contains numerous references to tenants being treating in a disrespectful way, not being listened to, being subject to negative and false assumptions – both before and after the fire 
  • Our research with See the Person(cited in the Social Housing White Paper) found that negative assumptions made about tenants are reflected in and shape the way that tenants are treated and spoken to; at worst, that conveys contempt, an ‘us and them’ attitude, with tenants being seen as second class, both by staff at all levels and contractors. Negative treatment also reflects a failure to understand and appreciate diversity amongst tenants and respect for different cultural expectations. 
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Abri case study
Why and how we are using the CIH professional standards at Abri. Find out how Abri applied the standards and how it benefitted their staff and organisation.
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