Social Housing Charter Implentation Update

 

We've outlined the Government’s plans for social housing residents, including shared owners and leaseholders, shared in the Social Housing White Paper. 


The white paper is split over seven core 'chapters' set out with the Government’s expectations, and the detailed provisions that they expect to implement.

This analysis looks at the preliminary requirements that must be tackled before each of the provisions can be implemented, and sets out the progress that’s been made so far.

 

 

EXPECTATION

PROVISION

PRELIMINARY REQUIREMENT

PROGRESS ON 1ST JUNE 2021

To be safe in your home.

We will work with industry and landlords to ensure every home is safe and secure.

Regulator of Social Housing’s consumer regulation objectives to explicitly include safety

Primary legislation required

Queen’s Speech referred to legislation ‘as soon as practicable, but no definite timetable

Social landlords to identify a nominated person responsible for complying with their health and safety requirements

Primary legislation required

No timetable for legislation

Formal channels for information sharing between the Regulator of Social Housing and the new Building Safety Regulator

BSR doesn’t exist yet. Once they’re in place, this can be delivered quickly via memorandum of understanding

‘Shadow’ team is being established. No clear timetable for legislation, but revised Bill is due early summer

Consultation on mandating smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in social housing

Consultation closed 11/1/21 Implementation via secondary legislation (Amending The Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015)

The consultation page says that the Government is analysing feedback. There’s no timetable for secondary legislation yet

Consult on electrical safety in social housing

Route is unclear. Likely to require primary legislation, but some progress could be made via regulation. MHCLG to consult on Decent Homes Standard

(see below)

A working group is being set up, to work from ‘spring to autumn’ 2021. The working group’s role is to help shape proposals, which will then be consulted on more widely. You can register to be a non-core participant, which means you get updates on the working group

Support the development of statutory and good practice guidance on engaging residents in all tenures on safety issues

Likely to be via regulation, but subject to Building Safety Bill’s passage as implementation will be via BSR

No action from BSR on this as yet. But Tpas’s best practice framework is nearing completion, so keep an eye out for that

 

EXPECTATION

PROVISION

PRELIMINARY REQUIREMENT

PROGRESS ON 1ST JUNE 2021

To know how your landlord is performing.

Including on repairs, complaints and safety, and how it spends its money, so you can hold it to account.

Regulator of Social Housing to bring in a set of tenant satisfaction measures for all landlords on ‘things that matter to tenants’

Via regulation (consumer standards)

Consultation in 2021

Preliminary work on Tenant Satisfaction Measures has started, with Tpas involvement

New access to information scheme for social housing tenants of housing associations

Primary legislation likely to be required, then regulation.

Not aware of any progress on this (although many HAs reflect Freedom of Information requirements in practice)

Landlords to provide a clear breakdown of spending, including levels of executive pay, alongside their tenant satisfaction measures

This will be an ‘expectation’, so likely to be referenced in regulation, but not specifically required.

Not aware of any progress, but likely to follow legislation to permit revised consumer regulation

Landlords to identify a senior person in their organisation who is responsible for ensuring they comply with the consumer standards

Via regulation (consumer standards)

Not aware of any progress, but likely to follow legislation to permit revised consumer regulation

Landlords to report to every tenant on ‘such matters’ at least once a year, if not continuously, using technology

Via regulation (consumer standards)

Not aware of any progress, but likely to follow legislation to permit revised consumer regulation (see below)

 

 

 

 

EXPECTATION

PROVISION

PRELIMINARY REQUIREMENT

PROGRESS ON 1ST JUNE 2021

To have your complaints dealt with promptly and fairly.

With access to a strong Ombudsman who will give you swift and fair redress when needed.

Removing the ‘democratic filter’

– no more 8-week wait

Primary legislation required

– included in Building Safety Bill

Government response to MHCLG Committee report on draft bill (possibly including revised bill) is expected in early summer.

Housing Ombudsman to take stronger action

In hand – New Housing Ombudsman Scheme is in place

Done

Keep the Housing Ombudsman’s powers under review and consider ways to strengthen them, including possibly making the Complaint Handling Code a legal requirement – or at least a regulatory one

No preliminary requirements, but likely to include consultation.

For future action

Run an awareness campaign for social housing residents about their rights, how to make a complaint, and how to escalate a complaint.

No preliminary requirements

Complete

Maintain residents’ confidence in the Housing Ombudsman Service through the appointment by the Ombudsman of an independent reviewer by March 2021

In hand

Done. Adam Sampson is first in the role

CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

 

EXPECTATION

PROVISION

PRELIMINARY REQUIREMENT

PROGRESS ON 1ST JUNE 2021

 

Formalise and strengthen the relationship between the Regulator of Social Housing and the Housing Ombudsman

This can be delivered quickly via the memorandum of

understanding, but is likely to be reinforced by primary legislation

Likely to follow legislation to permit revised consumer regulation

From March 2021, publish reports on the complaints the Housing Ombudsman has handled for individual landlords, as well as the determinations on individual cases

In hand – New Housing Ombudsman Scheme is in place

Done

 

 

 

 

EXPECTATION

PROVISION

PRELIMINARY REQUIREMENT

PROGRESS ON 1ST JUNE 2021

To be treated with respect.

Backed by a strong consumer regulator and improved consumer standards for tenants.

Proactive consumer regulation by the Regulator of Social Housing, including

  • Annual desktop review plus inspections at least every four years (1000+ homes)

  • ‘Short notice’ property condition surveys

  • Inspection published. Performance Improvement Plan may follow

Primary legislation required, to broaden Regulator of Social Housing remit and remove the ‘serious detriment test’. There’s

also a need to extend and clarify the role in relation to stock- retaining LAs, ALMOs and TMOs, including a review of existing contracts. This is likely to require separate primary legislation

Queen’s Speech referred to legislation ‘as soon as practicable’, but no definite timetable.

Review of the consumer standards and potentially a code of practice

Via regulation (consumer standards). Consultation will follow legislation. Primary legislation will be required to allow the code of practice

Queen’s Speech referred to legislation ‘as soon as practicable’, but no definite timetable.

A review of the Right to Manage guidance

Secondary legislation/regulation required to update statutory guidance

This will be linked to Leasehold Reform (see below)

Stronger economic regulation of housing associations

Primary legislation required, to increase some of Regulators powers

Queen’s Speech referred to legislation ‘as soon as practicable’, but no definite timetable.

A specific role for the Regulator on both safety and transparency

Primary legislation required, to broaden Regulator of Social Housing remit

Queen’s Speech referred to legislation ‘as soon as practicable’, but no definite timetable.

All backed by extra resources and changes to the governance of the regulator to make sure there are the right skills and capabilities at all levels

Primary legislation required in order to put this on a statutory footing, but work is in hand on new roles at RSH

Director of Consumer Regulation has been appointed and starts in July and other preliminary work is underway.

An independent advisory committee to support the regulator in discharging its functions.

Primary legislation required in order to put this on a statutory footing, but work is in hand on an advisory committee

Work is underway

An independent advisory committee to support the regulator in discharging its functions.

Primary legislation required to strengthen and broaden the Regulator’s powers, building on their recent increased emphasis in this area

Queen’s Speech referred to legislation ‘as soon as practicable’, but no definite timetable.

 

EXPECTATION

PROVISION

PRELIMINARY REQUIREMENT

PROGRESS ON 1ST JUNE 2021

To have your voice heard by your landlord.

For example through regular meetings, scrutiny panels or being on its Board. The Government will provide help, if you want it, to give you the tools to ensure your landlord listens.

Landlords required to seek out best practice and consider how they can continually improve the way they engage with social housing tenants.

Via regulation (consumer standards)

Consultation will follow legislative change

Regulation will follow legislation, but there’s no need to wait!

Ongoing ministerial engagement to continue to listen to residents and enable them to have their voices heard.

No preliminary requirements

We’ve not really seen this yet.

New opportunities and empowerment programme for social housing residents, to support more effective engagement between landlords and residents, and to give residents tools to influence their landlords and hold them to account

No preliminary requirements, but consultation within the sector is expected. Timescale unknown

We believe preliminary work is in hand

Review professional training and development - appropriate qualifications and standards for staff in different roles, including senior staff. To include best practice for delivering support on mental health. May include proposals for new qualifications

No preliminary requirements, but consultation within the sector is expected, and there may be a need for regulation. Timescale unknown

Chartered Institute of Housing’s (CIH’s) new  professional standards have been published, but nothing yet from Government, although we understand that preliminary work is underway

 

 

 

 

EXPECTATION

PROVISION

PRELIMINARY REQUIREMENT

PROGRESS ON 1ST JUNE 2021

To have a good quality home and neighbour- hood to

live in.

With your landlord keeping your home in good repair.

Review the Decent Homes Standard, including energy efficiency, and improving communal and green spaces

Via regulation (statutory guidance from MHCLG), but limited/focused consultation (led by MHCLG) within the sector is expected.

  • Stage 1 ‘case for change’ to be completed Autumn 2021

  • Stage 2 will involve ‘residents, experts, landlords and sector representatives’

Stage 1 consultation is underway, with Tpas involvement

Look at the impact of housing conditions on health… and actively consider options to mitigate these impacts

Linked to wider government agenda. Any change for social landlords likely to be via regulation (consumer)

We’ve not seen any action from Government on this

Consider how well housing staff are equipped to work with people with mental health needs and encourage best practice for landlords working with those with mental health needs

No preliminary requirements, but consultation within the sector is expected. Timescale unknown

No action from Government as yet

Clarify roles on anti-social behaviour between police, landlords and LA

This will be an ‘expectation’, so no preliminary requirements

We understand that material is being prepared

 

CONTINUED ON NEXT PAGE

 

EXPECTATION

PROVISION

PRELIMINARY REQUIREMENT

PROGRESS ON 1ST JUNE 2021

 

Review how housing is allocated as fairly as possible to achieve good outcomes for communities

In hand. The review is likely to result in new ‘expectations’, so likely to be referenced in regulation.

Revised guidance was published on 21 January 2021

Amend regulatory standards - landlords should have a policy on tackling issues around domestic abuse, working with other agencies as appropriate

Via regulation – likely to be consumer standards

Will follow legislation, so no timescales yet

 

 

 

 

EXPECTATION

PROVISION

PRELIMINARY REQUIREMENT

PROGRESS ON 1ST JUNE 2021

To be supported to take your first step to ownership.

So it is a ladder to other opportunities, should your circumstances allow.

A new shared ownership model

Via regulation/funding requirements. In hand

New model is now a requirement

The ‘Help to Buy’ programme and reduced stamp duty for first time buyers

In hand

Done

Supporting the Right to Buy

In hand

Done

Introducing the new Right to Shared Ownership, and

Via regulation/funding requirements. In hand

This is now a requirement

The fact that leasehold reform will also affect Right to Buy Leaseholders and those living in social housing developments.

Primary legislation likely to be required

Leasehold reform will be a slow process, but it seems to be getting Government attention. There’s a House of Commons briefing here

 

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Investing in Tpas means benefitting frim the latest tenant involvement policies and practices but also securing and supporting the future of the tenant involvement agenda

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We offer the only independent evidence-based accreditation scheme that assesses resident involvement arrangements.

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Our shared knowledge, expertise and experience with staff, tenants, landlord and contractors are the building blocks of this organisation.