Our commitment: all homes must be safe, warm, and dry
How the Spring Budget 2023 can support us to deliver this commitment.
Today, G15 Chair, Geeta Nanda, launches ‘Our commitment: that all homes must be safe, warm and dry’, setting out the group’s focus on existing homes and residents, and the policy support the Spring Budget can provide.
As social housing providers, our first priority is the people we provide homes to.
Whilst official figures show that social housing has better standards than other tenures, the shocking images and accounts of some residents living in unacceptable conditions make clear that there is more work and change for all social housing providers to deliver. The death of Awaab Ishak, due to the horrendous conditions he and his family endured, must never be repeated. Each of our members is committed to learning the lessons of this tragedy and making change happen.
The condition of the homes we provide is our responsibility. We must, and will, listen and act when residents raise concerns. We welcome the Social Housing Regulation Bill, and are eager to work with government on the proposals in ‘Awaab’s Law’ to achieve the outcomes we share with residents and officials. We are also working with residents and the Regulator of Social Housing to support the introduction of the new consumer rights and Tenant Satisfaction Measures.
Together, G15 members are clear that our commitment is that all the homes we provide must be safe, warm, and dry.
To help achieve this, G15 members are investing almost £1 billion each year in existing homes. This is helping us to proactively find, fix, and prevent damp and mould; alongside carrying out over 1.3 million repairs, 440,000 critical safety checks, and 100,000 emergency repairs each year.
But to move faster and do more to improve the conditions of the homes we provide, there must be recognition of the challenges we and other social housing providers face.
The combination of the £4 billion cost of dealing with the building safety crisis over the next decade, and the £11 billion estimated cost of meeting net zero, are putting huge pressure on budgets. The rising costs of repairs materials and contracts, the shortage of skilled labour, and the squeeze on our ability to build new homes, means that our capacity is under pressure like never before.
There is also the harsh reality that some of the homes we provide are no longer fit for purpose. Action, and honesty, is needed if we are to deliver the positive impact we all want to achieve for the people and communities we work with.
Today, we are calling for the government to work with us to support not-for-profit social housing providers in meeting our commitment by announcing in the Spring Budget:
- A new fit for purpose Decent Homes Standard with funding to deliver.
- Accelerating the awarding of the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.
- Cost of living support for residents to meet rising costs.
- Fairer rents with the reintroduction of rent convergence and long-term certainty.
- Building new homes for social rent and supporting regeneration
We have set out in more detail how these measures would support social housing providers to deliver on our commitment here.
Taken together, these measures would create a partnership to support work already being led and funded by G15 members and other social housing providers. These measures would improve conditions in existing homes, offer wider economic benefits, help level-up communities, and make progress towards achieving Net Zero.
All G15 members stand ready to work with the government, residents, local councils, and other partners to tackle the challenges we face. But at the heart of any action and progress must be our commitment – that all homes must be safe, warm, and dry.
Geeta Nanda OBE
G15 Chair and Chief Executive of MTVH
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