Social housing providers want improved policy

A new report has shown that 94 per cent of social housing providers believe that the government’s housing policy needs to be improved.

The Changing Landscape for Social Housing surveyed 100 senior decision makers in social housing providers and highlighted policies such as Right to Buy as leaving communities at risk.

Conducted by Civica, the Charted Institute of Housing (CIH) and Solace, the survey also found that 65 per cent want central housing policy to focus on a broader range of tenures beyond home ownership.

Meanwhile, 49 per cent want to see the annual one per cent rent cut reduced or scrapped. The Institute for Fiscal Studies estimates that the one per cent rent cut policy will reduce rental income by £2.5 billion by 2020.

On a different topic, technology is widely expected to play an increasingly vital role in achieving these objectives with 50 per cent of social housing providers planning to use digital technology and automation to transform and modernise services and to unlock significant savings.

Terrie Alafat, chief executive for the CIH, commented: “The current policy and political environment make this a pivotal time for social housing. The government has promised to build more homes of all tenures that everyone can afford and this research very clearly highlights there is a consensus that this is what we need.”

Paul Bradbury, executive director for Business Development, Civica, concludes: “The pace of change and expectation is increasing, including rapid advances in technology and the greater availability of data for a 24/7 on-demand public. The ability to confidently navigate this changing landscape and to harness innovation is what will set apart those who thrive. Navigation is made significantly easier with the right skills, strong leadership, supportive partnerships, detailed data and efficient processes.”

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