Sample draft clauses and explanatory notes of the long-awaited Social Housing (Regulation) Bill were published at the end of March. Whilst the draft legislation is not the full Social Housing (Regulation) Bill, its publication provides the sector with an insight into the legislative changes proposed, including:
- how a ‘proactive’ consumer regulation regime will be implemented;
- details of a new Social Housing Quality Resident Panel;
- proposals for Government powers to ‘name and shame’ failing landlords; and
- a factsheet about the Housing Ombudsman and how it will work alongside the Regulator of Social Housing (the RSH).
The RSH has subsequently written to all RPs reiterating that, where change is needed, that providers should act now and not wait for the proactive consumer regulation regime to be implemented. The letter calls on the sector to embrace “culture change” as a way of meeting some of the new demands.
The Queen’s Speech earlier this month also confirmed the inclusion of the Social Housing Regulation Bill within this year’s parliamentary timetable.
It should be noted that the Housing Select Committee’s inquiry into the quality and regulation of social housing continues, with formal meetings held in April and May to gather evidence in relation to the inquiry’s focus on the ability of the RSH and the Housing Ombudsman to identify and address problems. The inquiry is also focussing on the proposals in the Government’s social housing White Paper aimed at improving the regulatory regime. We await the outcome of the Committee inquiry and how it may further shape regulation in the sector.
For more information, please contact Rose Klemperer.