The Social Housing Regulations Bill and the ‘Renters Reform’ White Paper have been high on the agenda over the quarter, with organisations across the sector welcoming the changes, which give more power and better support to both social housing and private tenants.
As the reforms become cemented, a collective effort will be required to take the steps needed to ensure that every tenant has a safe, secure, sustainable and high-quality living space, which is both affordable and enjoyable to live in.
The aims of the SHR Bill are to give tenants greater powers and improve access to swift and fair redress. A large number of UK housing providers have already been working hard to strengthen relationships between residents and landlords, including signing up to Together with Tenants, a sector-led initiative set up by the National Housing Federation and the Chartered Institute of Housing. The project aims to set and maintain new standards for tenant and landlord relationships and the hope is that the entire housing industry will form an alliance and sign up to the charter to drive forward the changes together in a cohesive way.
Like the SHR Bill, the RR White Paper proposes to fundamentally overhaul the private rented sector and redress the balance between landlords and tenants. The White Paper aims to tackle the disparities between the quality and safety of different privately rented homes and states that nobody in privately rented accommodation should pay rent to live in a sub-standard, or even dangerous, property. To achieve this, the government plans to introduce a legally binding Decent Homes Standard (DHS) into the privately rented sector for the first time, creating a benchmark for setting the standards every landlord must adhere to.
With every new bill or reform, there also comes a need for the development of a diversity of new skill sets across the sector to not only implement these changes, but also to develop professional industry roles which are able to put these measures into effect and manage them efficiently. Often, as a short- and medium-term measure, contractors and out of sector skills are brough it to bridge the gap. How can we as a sector ensure we are not only developing the fresh talent to keep the sector moving forward, but also to retain our skilled professionals once trained?
There appears to be a collective need to build a sector-wide skills and role development base, and this will be something that we will be keen to discuss at our future Directors and HR Directors networking sessions. If you’d like to take part in any of our networking sessions or thought leadership projects, please contact Dan Short on 07730 126 444 or firstname.lastname@example.org.