October 2, 2018
How Could The New Social Housing Greenpaper Improve The Lives Of Residents?
Social housing is back on the agenda, thanks to the Government’s Social Housing Green Paper, released in August 2018. The nation’s housing crisis is widely recognised, and there are currently 1.2 million people on local authority housing waiting lists across the UK.
The Social Housing Green Paper aims to redress the balance between tenants and landlords and give local authority residents more autonomy over their living situations.
What does the Social Housing Green Paper cover
1. Tackling stigma and celebrating thriving communities
The social housing green paper reports that tenants feel like they are treated as “second-class citizens” because people assume they live off benefits and are unemployed. Conversely, survey data shows only 7% of those in social housing are unemployed, compared to 4% in the private rented sector. People’s perceptions of social housing result in damaging stereotypes that the Government is keen to address.
2. Expanding supply and supporting homeownership
In the Green Paper, the government signals that Right to Buy restrictions should be relaxed. This move will help councils build more homes and ideally make home ownership more affordable for those in social housing.
3. Effective resolution of complaints
The government insists that social housing tenants must have a voice. This had led to proposed reforms of social housing that aims to “re-balance” tenant-landlord relationships and pave the way for stronger communities. The feedback received by ministers showed that tenants found complaints procedures confusing and overly bureaucratic. The new plans being considered would aim to speed up the process of complaints, especially for matters of health and safety.
4. Empowering residents & strengthening the regulator
Giving all tenants a voice is vital to ensure homes are safe and liveable. The Green Paper proposes new “Landlord League Tables” to highlight bad practice.
5. Ensuring homes are safe and decent
It has been recognised that there need to be higher standards for existing homes and those that are to be built. As a result, the green paper sets out plans for an increased focus on design to make social dwellings nicer places to live. Contractors need to make effective use of the space provided while reducing fire risk. This will involve innovative storage solutions for bins, bikes and scooters.
How metroSTOR can help
Here at metroSTOR, we are dedicated to making the lives of those who live in social housing safer and more enjoyable. After years of focus on home ownership and the neglect of those who live in social housing, we welcome the government’s green paper, knowing that the only real solution is a dramatic increase in genuinely affordable homes across the UK. The Social Housing Green Paper is certainly a step in the right direction.
metroSTOR outdoor storage products can improve the appearance and perception of social housing and give residents more pride over their homes and neighbourhoods. For more information, view our products or contact us on 08450 750760.