housing & housing services
2

The Future of the Social Housing Sector

housing & housing services

08:45 - 16:10

Thursday 14 November 2019

Central London

This forum provides participants with the opportunity to analyse the future of social housing and consider how the proposals outlined by the Social Housing Green Paper will change the landscape of the social housing sector. Participants will discuss the reforms with leading policy figures and hear from best practice case studies on ensuring high quality social housing through innovative design, effective tenant empowerment, efficient resolution of complaints and providing safe and decent homes.

Audience

This forum is specifically designed for the Housing Sector. Typical job titles will include:

  • Heads of Customer Services
  • Customer Service Managers
  • Housing Operations Managers
  • Quality Assurance Officers
  • Directors and Heads of Housing
  • Housing Managers
  • Chief Executives
  • Tenant Engagement Officers
  • Directors of Neighbourhoods
  • Head of Health and Housings
  • Supported Housing Managers
  • Heads of Design Coordination
  • Housing Strategy and Growth Managers
  • Heads of Planning
  • Heads of Service Development
  • Business Development Managers
  • Heads of Neighbourhoods

This forum is also open to the Local Government sector to encourage debate and networking.

Key Speakers Confirmed:
  • Lizzie Clifford, Deputy Director, Social Housing Policy, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
  • Fiona MacGregor, Chief Executive, Regulator of Social Housing
  • Jackie Jacobs, Housing Manager, Homes England
  • Reverend Mike Long, Notting Hill Methodist Church and Chair, Shelter Social Housing Commission
  • Maureen Adams, Director of Customer Service and Operations, Soha Housing
View the agenda and additional speakers

08:45

Registration, Refreshments and Networking


09:30

Chair's Welcome Address

Professor Anne Power, Emeritus Professor of Social Policy, London School of Economics (LSE) (invited)


09:40

Hot Seat: Examining the Social Housing Green Paper and the Next Steps for Implementation

This session will provide an opportunity for delegates to ask Lizzie Clifford, Deputy Director, Social Housing Policy, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government direct questions regarding the Social Housing Green Paper and how this will impact them.

Lizzie Clifford, Deputy Director, Social Housing Policy, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (CONFIRMED)


10:10

Special Keynote: Regulating the Quality of Social Housing -The Future Shape of Regulation

  • Considering the proposals in the Green Paper to reform the regulatory framework in order to make it more robust and efficient
  • Highlighting the key considerations outlined by the consultation on the Review of Social Housing Regulation, 2018, on how the role of the Regulator could be reformed, such as having power over ALMOs and TNOs
  • Reviewing the Regulator’s ability to intervene over consumer standards, such as repairs, and discussing proposals to remove the limit for this only to be exercised in cases of ‘serious detriment’
  • Improving the design and quality of housing and surrounding areas to enhance living standards for residents
  • Considering what a league table of housing associations would look like and the key criteria it would measure
  • Discussing the implications of a league table, including the possibility of housing grants being tied to performance

Fiona MacGregor, Chief Executive, Regulator of Social Housing (CONFIRMED)


10:30

Questions and Answers Session


10:40

Refreshments and Networking


11:00

Case Study: Developing an Effective Improvement Programme to Increase Tenant Satisfaction

  • Outlining how Tower Hamlets Homes provides services for some of the most disadvantaged communities in the country, with 2/3 of its residents from a BAME community and more than a fifth recorded as being vulnerable
  • Examining how the housing association initiated an effective improvement programme in partnership with residents, which resulted in an increase in resident satisfaction in all categories, including the highest ever overall satisfaction of 83%
  • Gaining an insight into the new initiatives to boost tenant satisfaction, including a holistic anti-social behaviour service in partnership with local police, which resulted in a halving of reported anti-social behaviour
  • Opening a new financial health centre for tenants, resulting in £155,00 of debt being consolidated, more than £360,000 benefits applied for and 24 people supported into work
  • Sharing guidance on how housing associations can develop a community-led approach that meets tenants’ needs and improves tenant satisfaction

Ann Otesanya, Director of Neighbourhoods, Tower Hamlets Homes (invited)


11:20

Case Study: Empowering Residents to Improve the Quality of Social Housing

  • Outlining how Soha Housing delivers a high-quality housing experience, ensuring that 90% of residents are satisfied with their service
  • Considering the benefits of effective resident engagement, such as delivering value for money and driving service improvements
  • Discussing the challenges of engaging residents, such as reaching vulnerable or isolated residents, and how best to overcome these
  • Involving residents in significant decisions, including Board membership and complaint reviews and examining the role of Tenants’ Groups which hold the board to account and advise on policy decisions
  • Considering how establishing a Tenant Auditors group to carry out robust assessments on service standards can ensure that residents needs are met

Maureen Adams, Director of Customer Service and Operations, Soha Housing (CONFIRMED)


11:40

Case Study: Promoting Good Housing Design to Improve the Quality of Life

  • Considering the impact of housing design on wellbeing, integration and stigma and how future housing construction can look to improve this
  • Promoting equality and diversity in a mixed tenure community through integrating social and private rented housing
  • Developing a shared approach to sustainability through the provision of energy-efficient homes, incentives for a lifestyle change and promoting community participation
  • Collaborating with residents and community groups to ensure that houses are designed to enhance the quality of life and meet resident needs
  • Utilising innovative construction methods, such as structurally insulated panels and thin-joint blockwork, to achieve high quality, sustainability and value for money

Angela Dearing, Deputy Director, Housing, Rowntree Housing Trust (invited)

Winners of the RIBA Yorkshire Award 2017

RIBA Yorkshire Sustainability Award 2017

Housing Design Awards – Completed Winner 2013

Built For Life Commendation, 2014

The Sunday Times British Homes Awards – Best Affordable Housing Development – Winner 2012


12:00

Questions and Answers Session


12:30

Lunch and Networking


13:30

Afternoon Keynote: Tackling the Housing Crisis by Expanding the Delivery of Affordable Homes

This session will discuss how the housing sector can work towards achieving the aims of the Green Paper, such as improving tenant experience and reducing stigma. This session will demonstrate how housing design can have a significant impact on improving the quality of homes and share guidance on how the housing sector can look to utilise innovative design.

Jackie Jacobs, Housing Manager, Homes England (CONFIRMED)


13:50

Special Keynote: Outlining Recommendations to Improve Social Housing and Tackle the Housing Crisis

  • Outlining findings from the Shelter’s Social Housing Commission, which brought together housing experts and social tenants to examine the housing crisis in the UK and the steps to be taken to tackle it
  • Sharing recommendations from the commission, including introducing a new Ofsted-style regulator to protect residents, establishing a new national tenants’ voice organization and a new national standard to invest in maintaining social homes
  • Promoting the tenant voice: sharing insights into what social housing tenants identified as the main issues they face in social housing, including how a number of tenants reported poor and unsafe conditions and an increase in the levels of stigma they face
  • Highlighting how a lack of social housing is detrimental to solving the homelessness crisis, and how a lack of social housing results in rising private rental prices, contributing to increasing homelessness

Reverend Mike Long, Notting Hill Methodist Church and Chair, Shelter Social Housing Commission (CONFIRMED)


14:20

Questions and Answers Session


14:40

Refreshments and Networking


15:00

Case Study: Establishing an Outstanding Repairs Service Which Enhances Tenant Satisfaction

  • Outlining Riverside’s innovative approach to repairs and maintenance, which was awarded the ‘Outstanding approach to repairs and maintenance’ award at the 2017 Housing Awards
  • Creating ‘Property MOTs’, wherein properties are routinely checked for any areas that might require fixing or updating rather than waiting for tenants to make a claim for repairs
  • Examining the benefits of this approach, including enabling problems to be prevented before they happen and ensuring that homes are always safe and comfortable
  • Highlighting how this approach led to a 9% increase in customer satisfaction with their home and a reduction in costs by £10 million a year, which is reinvested back into improving housing services

Carol Matthews, Chief Executive, Riverside (invited)


15:20

Questions and Answers Session


15:30

Panel Session: The Future of Social Housing – Challenges and Next Steps

  • Discussing how Brexit will impact the social housing sector, including reliance on EU supply chains, and how the sector can best prepare for this
  • Examining how Universal Credit has affected the sector and how the sector must work together to support tenants and minimize disruption
  • Highlighting the importance of working collaboratively between local authorities and the social housing sector to improve the quality of social housing and tenants’ experience
  • Considering the current landscape for social housing, including fire safety concerns, and discussing the future for the sector following on from the Green Paper

Reverend Mike Long, Notting Hill Methodist Church and Chair, Shelter Social Housing Commission (invited)

Brendan Sarsfield, Chief Executive, Peabody Housing Association (invited)

Craig Moule, Chief Executive, Sanctuary Housing Group (invited)


16:10

Chair's Summary and Close

*programme subject to change


Regulator investigations into breaches of tenants’ rights have increased by 61% in the last year, according to the Consumer Regulation Review, 2019. There are four million households living in social housing with this figure projected to rise on an annual basis going forward. Despite the growing increase in social housing tenants, there is a growing concern among residents that they are often overlooked and ignored with 84% of tenants reporting that better quality buildings and well-designed communities would improve their wellbeing.

In July 2018, the government released the Social Housing Green Paper: A New Deal for Social Housing with a consultation on the proposals listed in the paper opened and concluded in November 2018. Among the proposals outlined for reform were the introduction of performance indicators and league tables for the sector, with housing associations expected to be ranked on key topics such as the time taken to complete repairs, customer satisfaction and response to complaints. There are also suggestions that access to housing grants could be tied to the new tables. Other proposals include steps to speed up the complaint process, more support for tenants to redress, tackling stigma and expanding home supply and ownership. The paper also proposes a review of the Decent Homes Standard for the first time since 2006. An action plan for implementation of the paper is expected to be set out by September 2019.

With the landscape of social housing set to change drastically, it is imperative that housing associations are making the changes necessary to achieve excellence within the proposed new league tables and improving the quality of their housing by promoting effective design, efficient resolution of complaints and ensuring that tenants’ needs are met.

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