A report on the Regulation of Social Housing has said that social housing providers’ poor management of their housing stock is contributing to the housing disrepair crisis. The report, by the Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee, said that many social housing providers are guilty of:
- Being slow to respond to requests for repairs
- Not investigating structural disrepair properly
- Opting for quick fixes instead of real remediation
- Ignoring sites earmarked for regeneration
- Not proactively monitoring the condition of their stock
However, the condition of the housing stock was not the only serious failing by social housing providers with many tenants citing how they were treated or spoken to as being of equal concern. The report also discovered that some housing providers are also guilty of:
- Showing a lack of respect for tenants
- Stigmatising social housing tenants
- Subjecting tenants to other forms of discrimination
- Putting commercialisation above their original social mission
John Lowry, a director and head of housing disrepair at CEL Solicitors, said: “The power imbalance between social housing providers and their tenants is stark and must be addressed urgently. We’ve settled thousands of housing disrepair claims for tenants who all have the same thing in common; they’ve all been repeatedly fobbed off and felt dehumanised by the process.
“Addressing the serious failings that are contributing to the housing disrepair crisis is an important step forward. We can’t expect to deliver real change for tenants until housing providers acknowledge the part that they’re playing in exasperating this issue and put plans in place to improve the service they provide to tenants.”
As a result of the findings, the MP’s inquiry said social housing providers must ‘up their game’. It also called for tougher measures to tackle social housing failures and inequalities.