Tougher housing regulator will ‘empower’ social housing residents under Government’s post-Grenfell reforms
Major reforms include a new charter that aims to “give social housing residents a greater voice”, a beefed-up regulator, and a strengthened ombudsman to deal with complaints.
Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said the measures would bring “transformational change” for those living in England’s four million social homes.
“We are delivering on the commitment we made to the Grenfell community that, never again, would the voices of residents go unheard,” he said.
“I want to see social housing tenants empowered by a regulatory regime and a culture of transparency, accountability, decency and public service befitting of the best intentions and deep roots of social housing in this country.”
Former residents of Grenfell Tower have previously expressed their anger over the slow progress of social housing reform.
The new Charter for Social Housing Residents, which will be set out in today’s White Paper, states that all residents’ complaints should be dealt with “promptly and fairly”.
It will aim to make landlords “more accountable” with a new information scheme for tenants, as well as satisfaction measures they will have to report against.
The Government says it will reform the Regulator of Social Housing and Housing Ombudsman to “drive the culture change required”, adding that it will be backed by legislation “where needed.”
Ministers will create a new arm of the regulator to proactively act on standards such as the quality of homes, repairs, engagement with tenants and complaints.
Alongside the White Paper, the Housing Secretary also announced a consultation on mandating smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in all rental homes.
The reforms have been shaped by the views of almost 7,000 tenants across the country, including the survivors and bereaved family members of the Grenfell Tower fire.
The full document is set to be published today.