William Eichler 18 January 2022

Social housing staff training review confirmed

Social housing staff training review confirmed image
Image: G-Stock Studio/Shutterstock.com.

The Government today confirmed a review of the qualifications and professional training of social housing staff after receiving thousands of complaints in the wake of the Grenfell tragedy.

The Social Housing White Paper Professionalisation Review will explore the qualifications currently available for staff, with landlords, residents and trade bodies putting forward recommendations to the Government.

Minister for rough sleeping and housing Eddie Hughes confirmed the review and said it was in response to the thousands of complaints the Government received from social housing residents after the Grenfell tragedy that they felt their landlords were failing to treat them with respect.

It also follows the latest English Housing Survey report, which shows that more than 59% of social housing residents who complained were not happy with the response to their complaint.

The Housing Ombudsman has also seen a 139% increase in complaints in the past year.

‘Too many social housing residents have told me they feel like they are not listened to or treated with respect – raising complaints time and time again only for the problems not to be fixed,’ Mr Hughes said.

‘This needs to stop. This review announced today will drive up the standard of services received by residents, making sure their concerns are taken seriously and they have somewhere safe to live.

‘The review is a key element of our Social Housing White Paper, which is bringing forward wide-ranging improvements for tenants.’

Chartered Institute for Housing CEO Gavin Smart commented: ‘As the professional body for housing, CIH is delighted to be involved with DLUHC’s Professionalisation Review. Home is the foundation on which we all build our lives, our experience during the Covid-19 pandemic has reinforced just how important home is.

‘We are pleased to have the opportunity to take part in the review to help make sure that housing professionals have the right tools to deliver good quality homes and services with people at the heart.’

Responding to the Government’s announcement of the review, Cllr David Renard, Local Government Association (LGA) housing spokesperson, said: 'Councils support measures that help social housing staff to better support residents and ensure any issues are dealt with quickly and satisfactorily.

'Tenants of all housing tenures should expect that their landlords will consistently work towards improving living conditions.

'What we now need to see are ambitious long-term plans to reverse the chronic shortage of social housing, including giving councils powers to build 100,000 high-quality, climate-friendly social homes a year.'

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