Landlords are to be ‘named and shamed’ under new government plans aimed towards giving residents a stronger voice against low housing standards.
The new scheme will see social housing providers who fail to live up to basic standards revealed on social media as well as on the government’s website publicly.
The new measures will also see the creation of a Resident Panel that will offer a voice to tenants within social housing to speak to government directly.
That panel will consist of about 250 tenants from across England who will be consulted on matters pertaining to their experience.
The government claims that their new Social Housing White Paper, which will pass through Parliament, will transform the lives of residents by delivering major reform to the way social housing is regulated and seeing landlords held to account for the quality and standard of homes and services delivered.
The Minister for Social Housing Eddie Hughes said: “Everyone in this country deserves to live in a safe and decent home.
“It is unacceptable that anyone should have mould covering their walls, risk slipping on a wet floor or have water dripping from the ceiling.
“We have published draft legislation today to toughen up regulation of social housing landlords.
“This includes naming and shaming those landlords who fail to meet acceptable living standards and giving tenants a direct channel to raise their concerns with government.
“This package will help to deliver on our commitment in the Levelling Up White Paper to halve the number of non-decent rented homes by 2030.”
The Department for Levelling Up added: “Around 250 social tenants from across England will be invited to share their experiences and help us ensure our reforms work to drive up standards.
“As set out in the Social Housing White Paper, our reforms… will transform the experiences of residents, with a major reform of the way in which social landlords are regulated and held to account for the homes and services they deliver.”
However, whilst some community housing groups have welcomed the new measures on landlords, others have described it as ‘pointless’.
A spokesperson for community union Acorn said that it was ‘right’ that unscrupulous landlords will be shamed, but added: “As social housing is scarce, this will do little to enhance the consumer choices of tenants who are on the housing waiting list who have little choice but to accept what is offered to them if they want a secure roof over their heads.
“If we are to truly ramp up standards, then enforcement must be increased and offenders must be made an example of.
“We also need more decent-quality social homes to be built to create a race to the top on standards.”
Suzanne Muna from the Social Housing Action Campaign said it was ‘pointless’ to shame landlords, claiming there is no evidence that it achieves anything.
She said: “We have one example after another of situations where landlords are shamed over a particular case, may or may not address that case, but do nothing to tackle the serious, underlying failings giving rise to appalling disrepairs and rocketing service charges without basis in the services being provided.
“The government needs to recognise that the housing model in the UK is broken and that we need a fundamental change which genuinely puts the needs of tenants and residents, rather than construction companies and City financiers, at the heart of the equation.”
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Topics: UK News