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Social Housing Reform: Consultation time again!

Posted on 08th February 2024 in Affordable Housing

Posted by

Michael Taylor

Partner & Solicitor
Social Housing Reform: Consultation time again!

Following the recent discussion on new social housing reforms, which was published on 30 January 2024, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities has declared an eight-week consultation period on a proposed standard for competence and conduct in social housing.

The consultation, originating from the authority given to the Regulator under Section 21 of the Social Housing (Regulation) Act 2023, includes a draft direction to the Regulator and a draft policy statement setting out the detail of the proposed qualification requirements for senior managers and senior executives.

The overriding aim of the standard, as stated in the accompanying press release, is to ensure “social housing tenants receive a fairer and better service from their housing provider”. This will be achieved in part, by requiring Registered Providers (“RPs)”to “arm their staff with the skills, experience and knowledge to deliver the excellent service that tenants want and deserve”.

The draft direction specifies that the Standard must require Registered Providers of social housing to ensure that all of their staff involved in the provision of services in connection with the management of social housing have the skills, knowledge, and experience and exhibit the behaviours needed to deliver a good quality service.

The Standard will only apply directly to Registered Providers, but they will also be required to take steps to secure that relevant staff of those organisations providing housing management services on their behalf also have the necessary skills, knowledge and experience, and exhibit the right behaviours.

What will this mean for Registered Providers?

Registered Providers will be required to:

  • have an up-to-date written policy setting out their approach to managing and developing the skills, knowledge, experience and conduct of those of their staff who are relevant individuals (see glossary of terms within the policy statement for definitions); and
  • adopt or develop an appropriate code of conduct for those of their staff who are relevant individuals and to ensure this is embedded within their organisation. 

The Standard proposes a two-year deadline in respect of the qualification criteria, which will be a testing timeframe for Registered Providers, particularly given the challenges already facing the sector.

The consultation closes on 2 April 2024, you can respond online by clicking the link below:

Respond to the consultation here

How can Tozers help?

Tozers remain committed to supporting Registered Providers and Local Authorities and with over 35 years’ experience our Affordable Housing team are well equipped to assist and advise you. 

Contact us on the button below to speak with one of our experienced affordable housing solicitors.

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