Following the launch of the Government’s Social Housing Green Paper, The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) has welcomed the focus on rebalancing the relationship between tenants and landlords, but called for detail and concrete proposals.
Announced by the Housing Secretary, James Brokenshire MP, the Government has promised a “new deal” for social housing residents, as part of their stated commitment to building a housing market “fit for the future”.
The government says that the Green Paper will empower residents to hold their landlords to account and give them the support they need to seek redress when things go wrong, with the introduction of a league table of landlords being considered.
The tone of the Green Paper seems to mark a change of direction from previous government policy, with an acceptance of the merit of social housing as a safety net.
Tamara Sandoul, Policy Manager at CIEH, said:
“The Green paper’s focus is certainly to be welcomed, and the warm words hint that the Government is moving in the right direction.
Although Environmental Health Professionals, who are charged with assessing the safety of privately rented housing, cannot enforce social housing, in the aftermath of Grenfell it is vital that the safety of social housing is revisited along with the provision of clear routes for redress.
We also strongly support the proposed review of the decent homes standard. This standard needs to align with standards for other tenures, so that all housing is made safer and healthier, and is simple for landlords to understand.
However, there really are very few tangible proposals in this announcement. What we need to see are some concrete proposals from the Government on how they are going to ensure safe and high-quality housing across the board, and what resources are going to be committed to it.”
Notes to Editors
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About the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH):
CIEH is the professional voice for environmental health representing more than 8,000 members working in the public, private and non-profit sectors. It ensures the highest standards of professional competence in its members, in the belief that through environmental health action people's health can be improved.
Environmental health has an important and unique contribution to make to improving public health and reducing health inequalities. CIEH campaigns to ensure that government policy addresses the needs of communities and business in achieving and maintaining improvements to health and health protection.