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  • Jorden Guest

New Rules to Protect Residents and Raise Standards in Social Housing

Social housing managers must qualify professionally under new regulations to shield inhabitants and enhance the norms in the segment, Housing Secretary Michael Gove reported yesterday (26 February 2023).

Around 25,000 managers across the sector will now be required to have an appropriate level housing management qualification regulated by Ofqual equivalent to a Level 4 or 5 Certificate or Diploma in Housing, or a foundation degree from the Chartered Institute of Housing.

The changes will be made through amendments to the Social Housing (Regulation) Bill which will drive up norms in the sector and hold landlords to account over the service they render to their tenants. The Bill will also give the Regulator exacting fresh powers – permitting them to enter properties with only 48 hours’ notice and make emergency repairs with landlords footing the bill.

It follows Awaab’s Law, introduced earlier this year in the wake of the tragic death of two-year-old Awaab Ishak, which will compel social landlords to fix damp and mould within rigid time limits.

Yesterday's fresh demands will professionalise and drive the culture shift needed in the sector, guaranteeing occupants get a high level of service and are treated with respect at all times. While many Managers already give a high quality professional service, not all do.

This will make public housing more consistent with other sectors providing front line services, including social work, instruction, and health and care services. Any landlord that does not comply with the new standards could be fined without limit by the regulator.

Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove said:

The Grenfell Tower tragedy and, more recently, the death of Awaab Ishak showed the devastating consequences of residents inexcusably being let down by poor performing landlords who consistently failed to listen to them.
We know that many social housing residents are not receiving the service or respect they deserve.
The changes we are delivering today will make sure social housing managers across the country have the right skills and experience to deliver an excellent service and drive up standards across the board.

Gavin Smart, CEO Chartered Institute of Housing, said:

We welcome the government’s focus on and support for professionalism in housing. We believe housing professionals should do all they can to ensure that tenants and residents have access to good quality, affordable homes; that they are treated with dignity and respect; and that their voices and views are heard and taken account of in decisions that affect them, their homes and the communities they live in and that the vast majority of housing professionals and organisations share this belief.
We look forward to working with government to support organisations and individuals in achieving the qualifications needed under these new requirements.

Damp and mould in homes can have a serious and worrying health impact, especially for those with pre-existing conditions. That's why tackling this issue is becoming an increasingly urgent priority for housing associations, local authorities, and the government.

And that's where we come in. At Vericon Systems, we are committed to creating solutions for damp and mould that are safe, efficient, and cost-effective.

We know that this is an important challenge that needs partnership and collaboration from all stakeholders. That's why we want to get the conversation started and join forces with those dedicated to finding real solutions.

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