The long awaited social housing white paper—The Charter for Social Housing Residents—(“the Charter”) was published yesterday (17 November 2020). This white paper sets out reforms under seven key chapters which all aim to improve services to tenants and give them a stronger voice. We summarise the fifth chapter, and what this means for landlords below.

Chapter 5: To have your voice heard

  • Expect the Regulator of Social Housing to require landlords to seek out best practice and consider how they can continually improve the way they engage with social housing tenants.
  • Deliver a new opportunities and empowerment programme for social housing residents, to support more effective engagement between landlords and residents, and to give residents tools to influence their landlords and hold them to account.
  • Review professional training and development to ensure residents receive a high standard of customer service.

This chapter praises landlords’ for their efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic in how they have tackled issues such as loneliness and seeking to provide support to vulnerable residents. It makes reference to the NHF’s Together with Tenants’ Charter and wants to build on these initiatives to ensure that tenants’ voices are heard.

A key focus will be to ensure that professionals working in the housing sector have access to effective training and development which in turn will enable tenants to receive a high standard of customer service. Landlords may want to reflect on their current training programmes to ascertain which courses should be ‘mandatory’ such as customer service training and safeguarding

Other highlights from the white paper

We’ve taken a look at the various proposals under the seven chapters, and have highlighted some particular areas of interest for landlords, which are available below:

Register for our upcoming webinar

We wait with interest for the new consumer standards, but in the meantime we will be holding a webinar to discuss the white paper and what it means for registered providers on 1 December 2020Learn more and register here.