As every housing professional in the UK will now be aware, the Social Housing (Regulation) Act 2023 is a landmark legislation that aims to transform the social housing sector in England, ensuring that social housing providers deliver high-quality, safe and accountable services to their tenants and residents.
The act will be regulated by a robust and independent body, and will introduce a number of changes and challenges for housing professionals.
Under the new legislation, social housing managers will need to be qualified under a professional standards framework. The framework will give more powers to the Regulator of Social Housing to intervene in cases of poor performance or misconduct, including imposing fines or, in certain cases, appointing new managers, if standards are not sufficiently met.
Increased demand for professional skills
The framework will be developed by the Chartered Institute of Housing and the Regulator of Social Housing, and will set out the skills, knowledge and behaviours that social housing managers will need to demonstrate in order to successfully fulfil their roles.
But it won’t only be housing managers who will be affected by the changes. In light of the new statute, there will likely be an increase in demand for professional skills and talent in several areas:
Housing Services – Social housing professionals will need to have up to date skills, experience and knowledge to deliver the high-quality service expected for residents across a variety of areas, including dealing with complaints and providing advice and support to tenants and residents.
Compliance – working within the new regulatory framework and codes of practice for social housing providers will require key competences to ensure that tenants and residents have access to good quality, affordable homes and are treated with dignity and respect.
Executive and Board – Effective communication across the Housing Executive and with other partners will be vital to successfully address the priority needs of vulnerable and homeless people across our communities, as well as support teams to meet standards and targets.
Development and Delivery – In order to deliver a top-quality service, especially in areas with the greatest need, providers will need skilled leaders to develop and execute ambitious plans for new and existing homes.
Technical – Existing high-demand property maintenance skills around repairs, improvements and safety checks, and effective management of contractors and suppliers will be set to increase further in light of the new legislation.
Environmental – There will be an increase in demand for environmental and sustainability specialisms in housing, including energy efficiency, design and engineering and carbon capture, as well as green retrofitting, to ensure the new standards are adhered to.
Digital – Digital skills, such as data collection, analysis and interpreting data on housing performance, customer satisfaction, sustainability targets and market trends will all be high-demand skills as we head forward.
Communications – It will be vital to engage with policy makers, media and the public to shape the housing agenda and advocate for the sector. There will also be an increase in the use of software, applications and devices to communicate, collaborate and deliver more streamlined services online, as well as maintaining positive engagement across our organisations.
Housing providers across the UK will need to be prepared in order to address the upcoming challenges, and have a fit-for-purpose talent attraction, retainment and professional development strategy.
Utilising the guidance and support of an expert housing employment and people development consultancy will help you to successfully navigate through the next phase.
To make sure you are ahead of the game and well prepared for the upcoming challenges, talk to our team about how we can support your professional people strategy.