Our commitment: all homes must be safe, warm, and dry
As social housing providers, our first priority is the people we provide homes to.
The shocking images and accounts of some residents living in unacceptable conditions show 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 working with residents and the Regulator of Social Housing to support the introduction of the new consumer rights and Tenant Satisfaction Measures. We have also welcomed the recommendations of the Better Social Housing Review.
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 per year in existing homes
- Proactively working to find, fix, and prevent damp and mould
- Listening to residents better, and taking responsibility
- Carrying out over 1.3 million repairs each year
- Building new more energy efficient homes
We also conduct over 440,000 critical safety compliance checks each year, and were there for residents where emergency repairs were needed on more than 100,000 occasions last year.
But to move faster and do more to improve the conditions of the homes we provide, we have to recognise the challenges we and other social housing providers face. By doing so, we can then think about what can be done to address this, including how the government can play its role too.
The combination of the cost of dealing with the building safety crisis, the rising costs of repairs materials, the generational challenge of meeting net zero, and the squeeze on our ability to build new homes, means that our capacity is under pressure like never before. Some of the homes we provide are no longer fit for purpose, and don’t meet the needs of residents today. Action, and honesty, is needed if we are to move forward in a sustainable way that delivers the positive impact we all want to achieve for the people and communities we work with.
We are calling for the government to work with us to support not-for-profit social housing providers in meeting our commitment by announcing:
- 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
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.