The Housing Quality Network Residents conference is an annual event, highly regarded by Housing Associations as it’s a forum where experts share their knowledge, insights and passion in the changing and highly demanding housing sector. This year the conference particularly focused on the feedback following the Government’s social housing green paper consultation. Our Customer Involvement Officer, Lyndsey Storey along with two members of the Service Improvements Team, Aamer Habib and Shirley Brewer attended to hear how the input had been received and also review some of the research from various sector experts.
The first speaker, Jane Everton who is the Deputy Director of Social Housing (MHCLG) reviewed some of the findings following feedback from 7000 residents who submitted their opinions online to the Government's Green Paper. These covered;
How to achieve a greater supply of social housing along with where and how to make the most of existing stock
How to balance regulation and enforcement with space for landlords to innovate
How to ensure engagement between landlords and residents is meaningful so residents have a “genuine say”
How to maintain engagement between government, social housing residents including whether national representation is the right approach
Balance between choice in services and expertise needed
The pros and cons of KPIS and league tables
Suitability of the decent homes standard
How to tackle stigma – is it more effective to take action at a local or national level?
Off the back of this research the Government are keen to review social housing regulation as the last review was carried out some 8 years ago. There will be a response in Spring 2019.
Shelter were also present and reported on their national consultation about social and council housing in England. Their research was led by a panel of 16 Commissioners and chaired by Grenfell Community leader, Reverend Mike Long. Shelter examined what social Housing looks like in modern Britain and its role in ending the housing crisis. Their findings will be taken to political leaders in January 2019. The National tenants.org also shared existing and emerging developments in social housing . This organisation is a dedicated online hub for England’s four National Tenant Organisations providing a unified voice for tenant representatives to influence both government and housing providers. This event clearly highlighted that housing is a key part of the political agenda and there will likely be big shifts and changes in 2019. We will keep you updated with any changes as they happen.