Housing sector

Inside Housing – News – Housing bodies to establish independent panel to tackle poor quality housing

Two leading industry bodies will assemble a panel of people with professional and lived expertise in social housing to tackle the ‘root causes’ of poor living conditions.

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The @natfednews and @CIHhousing will set up a panel of people with professional and lived social housing expertise to tackle the ‘root causes’ of poor #UKhousing living conditions

The National Housing Federation (NHF) and the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) said they were convening the independent panel, which will be led by Helen Baker, chair of housing charity Shelter, “to make recommendations to address poor quality housing in the area”.

The move follows revelations that have emerged over the past 18 months about the shocking conditions some social tenants have had to endure – largely thanks to an investigation by ITV News.

ITV’s reporting began with an investigation into the appalling conditions at the Regina Road estate in Croydon, south London. A review of Croydon Council later found that it had ‘failed to deliver basic housing services effectively’.

Another investigation into the Eastfields estate in Mitcham, south London, has prompted Clarion, the UK’s largest social landlord, to issue a public apology to residents over problems with dampness and vermin infestations in the development.

Other housing associations, including L&Q, Bromford and Guinness Housesalso featured in ITV clips showing tenants living in substandard conditions.

The NHF and CIH have acknowledged that the ITV investigation, along with the work of campaigners such as Eastfields Estate resident Kwajo Tweneboa, has shown examples of people living in “unacceptable conditions” in council housing.

Kate Henderson, chief executive of the NHF, said: ‘We know most people have a good experience in their housing association home, but we have clearly seen that this has not been the case for all residents, and that’s just not acceptable.

“The industry wants to know how these issues happened and what steps they can take to do better.”

A joint statement from the NHF and CIH said the new panel will guide the sector on a “vital journey”.

“Housing associations are committed to taking quick and decisive action to fix homes with major quality issues and to begin to address the root causes of these issues, he said.

The panel is due to meet with residents, community leaders, frontline workers and others over the summer to dig deeper into the issues and develop actions housing associations can take ‘so residents still receive the services high quality they deserve”.

The NHF and CIH said the panel would also look at related issues, such as overcrowding, which put further strain on the social housing system and could negatively impact people’s quality of life.

Gavin Smart, Chief Executive of CIH, said: “All social housing tenants should be able to live in good quality, well-managed housing and be treated with dignity and respect. Where this is not the case, we must remedy it.

“I look forward to the insight an independent panel will bring, taking the time to engage with residents, communities, partners and staff to understand where improvements are needed and to make recommendations to the sector that will correct what is wrong. will not and develop greater trust between landlords and tenants. .”

The independent panel is expected to make recommendations for change later this year, which Ms Henderson said she “looked forward to reading” and putting into practice with her colleagues.

The announcement from sector bodies came shortly after the government announced it would convene a panel of 250 social housing residents to ‘inform policy thinking and help drive change in the sector’.

The move is part of the Social Housing Regulation Bill which was published today, under which the government said poorly performing landlords could face Ofsted-style inspections in areas such as health and safety and repair performance.

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