Words by Simon Wilson, Chief Executive Officer – The Pioneer Group
The past few years have seen some of the most significant events in social housing, with the Grenfell fire tragedy in 2017 and more recent issues such as Awaab Ishak’s death bringing conversations around the adequacy of social housing and especially the lack of tenant involvement and empowerment with some landlords, to the fore.
It’s quite right that landlords are held to account by both the regulator and housing ombudsman but, most importantly, by their tenants for how they behave.
All of this sets the context for The Social Housing (Regulation) Act 2023, which became law in July. It is intended to drive a new proactive approach to regulating social housing, ensuring standards are met and action is taken against failing landlords. The Act itself describes its purpose as being to “reform the regulatory regime to drive significant change in landlord behaviour.”
As a community focussed landlord Castle Vale Community Housing has always remained focussed on who we are here to serve, so we welcome this update and the new powers of the regulator. This is evidenced by our success in retaining the highest possible ratings from our Regulator last year. Our current plans already focus on great safe homes and creating strong vibrant communities.
Like all landlords, we cannot be complacent in any way We will use this new legislation to double down on our tenant priorities and get even better at engaging with tenants and residents ensuring the voice of our tenants continues to be at the heart of everything we do.
The Pioneer Group and Compass Support are key partners in the Erdington Local COMMUNITY ANCHORS programme, supporting independent local and community journalism.
(Ed’s note: This column was first submitted to the Erdington Local newspaper on 4 September, before the announcement of a Section 114 notice issued by Birmingham City Council.)