The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has announced that it has introduced new laws to ensure the protection of residents and housing standards.
The new rules will force around 25,000 social housing managers to gain professional qualifications of an appropriate level, with these being the equivalent to a Level 4 or 5 Certificate or Diploma in Housing. An alternative could also take the form of a foundation degree from the Chartered Institute of Housing.
Following the tragic death of two-year-old Awaab Ishak, Awaab’s Law was passed to ensure that social landlords fix damp and mould inside strict time limits. These developments also come through amendments to the Social Housing (Regulation) Bill that will not only hold landlords to account, but also drive up the standards of the social housing sector.
Michael Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, said:
“The Grenfell Tower tragedy and, more recently, the death of Awaab Ishak showed the devastating consequences of residents inexcusably being let down by poor performing landlords who consistently failed to listen to them.
“We know that many social housing residents are not receiving the service or respect they deserve. The changes we are delivering today will make sure social housing managers across the country have the right skills and experience to deliver an excellent service and drive up standards across the board.”
As part of the ambition to improve the quality of social housing in the UK, these new requirements will drive a change in culture that is much needed in the sector. Whilst many social housing managers already hold the required qualifications and are providing a high quality of service, many are not so there is a push to ensure that all managers are providing the level of service that is needed to support residents.
CEO of Chartered Institute of Housing, Gavin Smart, said:
“We welcome the government’s focus on and support for professionalism in housing. We believe housing professionals should do all they can to ensure that tenants and residents have access to good quality, affordable homes; that they are treated with dignity and respect; and that their voices and views are heard and taken account of in decisions that affect them, their homes and the communities they live in and that the vast majority of housing professionals and organisations share this belief.
“We look forward to working with government to support organisations and individuals in achieving the qualifications needed under these new requirements.”