Social Housing Regulation Bill

Posted on September 30th, 2022

The Social Housing Regulation Bill is currently being scrutinised in parliament. The Bill has the potential to make a big difference to the lives of social housing tenants, by improving the standards that social landlords (housing associations and councils) provide and ensure they are regulated. 

There are some good elements to the bill, in particular, we welcome:

  1. The removal of the ‘serious detriment test’. This will remove the bar for the Regulator to proactively enforce consumer standards. This change will enable both proactive inspections of landlords, as well as those in response to complaints, monitoring and external reports. 

  2. Stronger enforcement powers for the Regulator to tackle poor performance, including: removing the cap on fines for non-compliance; a power to de-register registered providers for non-compliance. Used in conjunction with a tough, proactive system of inspection, these changes can drive meaningful improvements for social tenants and deter bad landlord performance.

  3. Power for the Regulator to arrange/carry out emergency repairs with short notice where tenants face imminent risk to safety and/or wellbeing. This is a positive addition and will ensure the Regulator can take more urgent action where needed.

However, we feel the Bill is missing three key elements. Grenfell United is campaigning for the bill to be amended as it goes through parliament to: 

  1. Ensure that the Regulator conducts routine, Ofsted style inspections of social housing landlords as promised in the government’s social housing white paper

  2. Ensure that senior managers who work for social landlords are properly trained and qualified to manage social housing

  3. Ensure that the consumer standards that the Regulator enforces are robust and deal with issues that matter most to tenants – such as standards in homelessness prevention or for tenants facing domestic abuse. 

The Bill is currently in its second reading in the Lords, we are working with Shelter to encourage those living in social housing to write to a member of the House of Lords, urging them to vote for these amendments. 

On 13 September in partnership with Shelter, we will be setting up outside the House of Lords, asking those passing by what they think social housing should look like and what needs to be improved. We will send leaflets to local social housing estates around Westminster with the aim of encouraging social housing residents to come down and take part. The aim is to generate some content for social media, to engage the public and to increase people writing to members of the Lords to vote for the amendments.

Lobby a Lord: make social housing safer

Lobby the House of Lords so that the Social Housing Regulation Bill gives people living in social housing homes they deserve.

Would you feel safe going to a hospital that is poorly managed and maintained? Probably not. Then why does this happen in housing?

For the most part social housing is much more secure and higher quality than private renting. But the fact remains that too many social housing tenants are being forced to live in unsuitable homes with damp and mould – which will only be made worse as heat and energy bills soar.

Everyone deserves to live in a safe home. The Social Housing Regulation Bill is the government's big opportunity to make this happen for social renters, and it’s currently in the House of Lords.

We are backing two amendments that we're asking members of the House of Lords to vote for:

✅ Regular Ofsted-style inspections of social homes
✅ Professionalisation of housing management staff (like relevant qualifications)

You can help by lobbying the Lords.

Fill out the form then use the button to generate a random Lord or Baroness. Send them an email urging them to vote for these crucial changes - it only takes a few minutes.

Social housing is the answer to the housing emergency. But it must be well regulated and good quality. Help make sure this happens.

Find a Lord or Baroness!
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