Podcast – What does the Social Housing White Paper mean for housing association tenants? – Robert Taylor, CFPT

Published on February 28, 2023

Published on February 28, 2023

In late January, LTF and CHARG (Camden Housing Association Residents Group; part of CFPT — Camden Federation of Private Tenants) held a conference for housing association tenants from across London.

In this recording, Robert Taylor (CFPT) shares why the Social Housing White Paper (SHWP) is relevant for housing association tenants. [DLUHC, referenced in the recording, stands for Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities.]

Robert’s presentation explains that the SHWP has not yet been passed into law; however, if it were to be, the law would:

    1. Strengthen the Housing Ombudsman – but this can’t just happen through legislation. The Ombudsman also has to be enlarged (e.g. more staff) and better resourced.
    2. Remove the ‘Serious Detriment Test’ which is where the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) will only intervene in the most extreme examples.
    3. Allow the Housing Ombudsman to issue ‘Complaint Handling Failure Orders’ to social housing landlords. The complaints procedure is currently a control mechanism, rather than a means of resolving people’s issues, so this could improve landlord handling of, and responsiveness, to complaints. 
    4. Development of a proactive inspection regime from RSH for registered landlords with more than 1,000 homes. RSH has issued an implementation plan that details what they intend to do regarding these proactive inspections, and they’re talking about recruiting more staff to do the work. Implementation of this inspection regime requires that SHWP becomes law. 
    5. Require social landlords to report against new resident satisfaction and income expenditure measures. There remains an inordinate focus on the financial aspects of HAs rather than their ability to provide satisfactory service to their residents. 
    6. Review the Decent Homes Standard. 
    7. Provide mechanisms and expectations for tackling anti-social behaviour, particularly by clarifying the roles of different agencies that might be involved in doing so.

See also:

  1. Agenda and resources for the conference
  2. Recording of Robert’s talk on borough-wide HA tenant organising with Camden Housing Association Residents Group (CHARG)
  3. Conference Report