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Social housing green paper: a ‘new deal’ for social housing

The government published its social housing green paper today to rebalance the relationship between residents and landlords, tackle stigma and ensure that social housing can support people when they need it.

With 4 million households living in social housing and this projected to rise annually, the government hopes to tackle the issues facing both residents and landlords in social housing.

The green paper aims to break down inequalities in social housing through the design and quality of homes and their surrounding area with the best neighbourhoods rewarded, for example, by funding events like street parties.

The government seeks to build more social housing by increasing the borrowing capacity granted to local authorities and giving them more freedom to choose how they spend the money from homes sold under the Right to Buy scheme.

They are also considering the benefits of providing funding certainty to some housing associations over a longer period and reforms to help people using affordable home ownership schemes like shared ownership. Tenants will be given the opportunity to purchase as little as 1% of their home each year.
The paper calls for residents to have more power to challenge their landlord and make complaints, whilst the Decent Homes Standard will be reviewed to ensure it delivers the right standards for residents.

The consultation on the green paper will run until 6 November and you can respond online.

Secretary of State for Communities, Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP, said: “Providing quality and fair social housing is a priority for this government. Our green paper offers a landmark opportunity for major reform to improve fairness, quality and safety to residents living in social housing across the country. Regardless of whether you own your home or rent in the social sector, residents deserve security, dignity and the opportunities to build a better life.”

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