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All social housing in England should be audited, say NHF and CIH | News

Following the joint recommendation of the National Housing Federation (NHF) and the Chartered Housing Institute (CIH), an audit of all social housing in the UK should be conducted to promote improvements in the condition of the system.

The two agencies have announced a action plan to tackle the problem of shoddy social housing, based on seven recommendations published in Better Social Housing Rating (BSHR .)) in December 2022.

The NHF and CIH have devised a plan to thoroughly audit all social housing and define new standards for maintenance.

“[Our action plan] commits housing professionals to a series of important steps that will solve the problem [BSHR’s] Gavin Smart, chief executive officer of CIH, said in a statement.

In their report, the NHF and CIH offer “a common, consistent approach to home assessment” that all social landlords can adopt.

Kate Henderson, chief executive officer of the NHF, said in a statement: “This powerful and ambitious plan demonstrates the industry’s commitment to making improvements where needed.

“England has some of the oldest and poorest homes in Europe and these problems cannot be permanently fixed without renewable funding.”

The action plan recommends raising qualifications, training and professional standards for housing officials, and outlines ways to assist housing associations in measuring progress.

It also emphasizes the importance of interacting with and listening to both ethnically diverse residents and staff, pointing out that black and Asian households are more likely to live in homes that are less inclusive. Wet houses are three times higher than white British households.

The action plan intends to work with housing associations to develop a new set of core indicators of the state of our homes and the people who live in them.

They will work closely with these agencies, government and industry to ensure the revised Decent House Standard, which is expected to be consulted in 2023, and regulatory standards. new on consumers, is met.

Proposals will be consulted to ensure they are workable for different types of organizations, including smaller and assisted housing providers. They also plan to share examples of good practice from ongoing work to improve the quality of housing association homes.

Several housing associations have endorsed the action plan, including members of the G15 and Homes for the North and BME National groups.

The Local Government Association, the Retained Council Housing Association and the National Federation of ALMO have also agreed to adopt an action plan where possible.

In the UK, 4.2 million people are waiting for social housing and 310,000 children are forced to share beds with other family members because of overcrowding.

>>See more: Can housing associations continue to grow as the rest of the market slows down?

>>See more: RSH warns housing association’s finances are getting worse

This week’s action plan comes after growing concern about financial pressures on housing associations facing rampant inflation, capped rents by 7% in 2022/23 and competitive pressure to build new homes, decarbonize and improve building safety.

Over the past five years, housing associations have spent nearly £88 billion repairing and maintaining existing homes and building new ones, according to a report by the NHF and CIH.

“The BSHR board itself has found that housing associations are under tremendous pressure, which has seen funding for new affordable housing cut by 63 per cent in 2010, during Over that time they have invested more in new building safety and decarbonization requirements,” said Henderson.

“We need the government to invest in a long-term strategy for social housing, including the regeneration of existing homes and communities, as well as the construction of new social homes that are urgently needed.”

In March, the government announced it would launch an inquiry into the finance and sustainability of the social housing sector in the UK. The Promotion, Housing and Communities Committee (LUHC) will review the financial pressures social landlords face and the resources needed to meet the many challenges, including improving supply. social housing.


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