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Government review to drive up standards in social housing

Social housing residents will be better protected as part of a review to ensure they are listened to, the Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing, Eddie Hughes confirmed today.

The review on qualifications and professional training will drive up standards by making sure social housing staff are better equipped to support tenants, deal effectively with complaints and make sure homes are good quality.

The Social Housing White Paper Professionalisation Review will explore the qualifications currently available for staff, which will see landlords, residents and trade bodies putting forward recommendations to the government.

It will also consider if additional training is required to improve the service to residents.

The government is now urging social housing residents to come forward and have their say in the review and talk about their experience dealing with social housing staff.

As well as this, they can also suggest what changes they would like to see.

The Social Housing White Paper set out how the government will ensure residents in social housing are safe, listened to, live in good quality homes and have access to redress when things go wrong.

The government said the review is a crucial step in ensuring staff are trained to support residents and listen to their concerns.

It comes after thousands of social housing residents told the government, following the Grenfell Tower fire, that they felt their landlords were failing to treat them with courtesy and respect.

It also follows the latest English Housing Survey report, which showed that more than 59% of social housing residents who complained were not happy with the response to their complaint.

At the same time, the Housing Ombudsman has seen a 139% increase in complaints in the past year.

Commenting, Minister for Rough Sleeping and Housing, Eddie Hughes said:

“Too many social housing residents have told me they feel like they are not listened to or treated with respect, raising complaints time and time again only for the problems not to be fixed.

“This needs to stop. This review announced today will drive up the standard of services received by residents, making sure their concerns are taken seriously and they have somewhere safe to live.

“The review is a key element of our Social Housing White Paper, which is bringing forward wide-ranging improvements for tenants.”

The government used feedback from residents to inform the Social Housing White Paper: Charter for Social Housing Residents.

As part of its work to implement the charter, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities is reviewing the Decent Homes Standard, which sets out what makes a good and decent home, and is considering whether this needs to be updated.

The charter will make sure tenants know how to raise concerns when things go wrong and can be confident that their landlord will make things right.

As well as this, the government will also be bringing forward legislation as soon as practicable to strengthen consumer regulation of the sector.

PSE will be hosting a Learning & Development virtual event on 3 February 2022. Join us for the full day event by registering here.

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