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A new deal for social housing

Presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government by Command of Her Majesty

This Green Paper, ‘A new deal for social housing’, proposes a rebalancing of the relationship between residents and landlords. We will ensure our social homes are safe and decent, that issues are resolved and residents’ voices are heard. We will begin to tackle the stigma which for too long has been associated with social housing. And we will ensure we build the good quality social homes that we need.

This Green Paper sets out a new vision for social housing. A vision which values and respects the voices of residents, with landlords treating them with decency and respect, backed up by clear consequences when they do not. A vision centred on how social housing can support people to get on in life, making it more likely, not less, they will go on to buy their own home, as well as providing an essential, good quality and well run safety net for those who need it most.

The tragedy at Grenfell Tower on 14 June 2017 brought the significance of social housing to the attention of the nation. It should never have happened and must mark a turning point in how the country thinks and talks about social housing.

Successive governments, of all political colours, have failed to consider sufficiently the role social housing plays in a modern mixed tenure housing market. We are determined to renew our commitment to social housing and this Green Paper will kick-start a national conversation about its future.

To shape this Green Paper, Ministers from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government met and talked with almost 1,000 residents of social housing at events across England. Over 7,000 people also contributed their views online, sharing their thoughts and ideas about social housing. These views and suggestions have informed and shaped this Green Paper from the beginning.

We heard from people about the stigma they experienced as social housing residents, they want more accountability from their landlords, and want to see government tackle the sense of ‘institutional indifference’ which they experienced all too often.

This Green Paper represents a fundamental shift in the state’s approach to social housing and the people who call it home.

Residents spoke of the need for important changes in how social housing is run, managed and viewed in this country. They wanted a renewed pride in social housing and quite simply to be treated with respect. Whether you rent or own your home, the housing market should offer you dignity and security.

A new deal for social housing

Five principles will underpin a new, fairer deal for social housing residents:

  • a safe and decent home which is fundamental to a sense of security and our ability to get on in life;
  • improving and speeding up how complaints are resolved;
  • empowering residents and ensuring their voices are heard so that landlords are held to account;
  • tackling stigma and celebrating thriving communities, challenging the stereotypes that exist about residents and their communities; and,
  • building the social homes that we need and ensuring that those homes can act as a springboard to home ownership.

Delivering good quality and safe social homes with the right services from landlords relies on a robust regulatory framework. It is nearly eight years since the last review of social housing regulation, and the proposals in this Green Paper present the opportunity to look afresh at the regulatory framework.