Until recently, social housing has not been high up the political agenda and the dramatic decline in the social housing stock received scarce political attention. Since the tragic events at Grenfell Tower last year, however, there has emerged a growing consensus across the political spectrum of the need to build more genuinely affordable social housing, challenge the stigma associated with the tenure, and ensure that tenants’ voices are represented and acted upon. The Social Housing Green Paper, due to be published later this year, is expected to address some of these issues.
Partly in response to this renewed political attention, a number of major consultations have been initiated to inform the future shape of the social housing sector. Amongst these, there is the Rethinking Social Housing project led by the Chartered Institute of Housing (a CaCHE consortium member); Shelter’s social housing commission; and the Future Shape of the Sector led by Network Homes, Clarion Housing Group and L&Q. At CaCHE we are seeking to complement these existing consultations, by exploring what the evidence has to say about the future role(s) that social housing can play. To this end, we have set up this Social Housing Policy Working Group
The focal point of the group is a series of briefing papers produced by CaCHE Co-investigators, each of which reviews the evidence on different aspects of social housing. The purpose of the group is to critique these briefing papers and discuss the implications for social housing policy and practice. After acting on the feedback of the group, CaCHE will then publish the final briefing papers online, where anyone can provide feedback on them.
Who is involved
Given the wide range of topics covered by the briefing papers, the composition of the group changes from meeting-to-meeting. So far the group has met on two occasions. The first meeting was in January 2018 at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), where the briefing papers on Governance, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales were discussed. The second meeting took place in May 2018 at London Councils and focussed on Land and Planning, and Design
The following organisations have been in attendance at the meetings; Chartered Institute of Housing, National Housing Federation, London Councils, Crisis, Shelter, National Federation of ALMOs, Local Government Association, UK Cohousing Network, Homeless Link, Royal Town and Planning Institute, a number of different housing associations (such as Peabody, Radian, Network Housing, Clarion), and a number of different architects. Tenant representative organisations were also invited to both meetings.
CaCHE intends to publish at least nine different briefing papers, covering:
> Governance and Accountability
> Land and Planning issues
> Design of Public Housing
> Welfare Reform
> Social Housing in Scotland
> Social Housing in Northern Ireland
> Social Housing in Wales
> Affordability and Subsidies