In our series of ‘Understanding Your Industry’ blogs, we explore the global and national trends and events that have had an impact on the UK Social Housing sector, as well as the employers and employees who operate within it.
The upcoming general election, Universal Credit and the Grenfell Inquiry are some of the key focuses within Social Housing right now.
Read on to find out more…
Calls have been made for the government to take urgent action on improving fire safety in high-rise residential buildings In his report published on 30 October, Sir Martin Moore-Bick, head of the Grenfell Inquiry, outlined recommendations for improving fire safety in high-rise residential buildings. He has asked the government to take urgent action. His recommendations include requiring owners and managers of high-rise residential buildings to provide specific, up-to-date information about the buildings to local fire and rescue services, as well as holding some of this information onsite in a ‘premises information box’. The sector has agreed to implement the recommendations made but has issued warnings over practicality and costs.
The National Housing Federation (NHF) has launched its #FixTheHousingCrisis campaign As December’s general election approaches, the NHF has announced a new campaign that places social housing at the fore. Titled #FixTheHousingCrisis, the campaign calls for the social housing sector to engage with parliamentary candidates on building new, safe social housing, the delivery a deal that places residents at its heart and the development of an effective support and welfare system. A ‘week of action’ is also set to take place between 25-29 November, which involves a social media takeover that aims to create a ‘housing moment’ during the general election.
Housing associations leave the Social Housing Pension Scheme (SHPS) to gain greater control over pension arrangements Following in the footsteps of major landlords like Clarion and Sanctuary, housing associations Riverside, Sovereign and Orbit have announced that they will leave the SHPS multi-employer scheme in order to gain more control over pension provisions. Leeds-based pension provider TPT has faced an increasing shortfall in recent years, which has meant associations have had to increase their own contributions. Each organisation has now set up a separate defined benefit scheme that gives more control over strategy and offers members and employees a wider variety of investment options.
Community Housing Cymru (CHC) has warned Welsh families will be impacted by a Christmas Universal Credit (UC) crisis The CHC says the UK government must recognise the impact UC has by ending the five-week wait, warning that it takes no account of the upcoming festive season. The CHC’s member association has reported a rise in food-bank use among UC claimants, with the latest figures suggesting 84% of housing association tenants who claim UC owe an average of £556 on their rent. Staff working for Welsh Housing associations are reportedly spending between two and six hours a day supporting tenants with UC problems.
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