In mid-August we launched the Social Housing Green Paper to kick start a better national conversation about the place of social housing in our society. Its origins lie in the terrible Grenfell Tower fire, when it became clear that the status and future of those living in social housing was very far from what we would wish it to be. Tenants told us they felt stigmatised and ignored, offered a second class service by their landlords and that they lacked the power to do anything effective about their problems or make themselves heard. We want to offer them a bold, new deal.
We want to tackle any stigma attached to these tenancies and celebrate thriving communities. This means ending the sense of separateness that has pervaded design of social housing and often its location. We want to expand supply and supports home ownership too, while resolving complaints effectively and making sure we have powerful tenants.
To do this we’ve allocated £9 billion to the affordable homes programme and we’ve increased council’s borrowing capacity by £1bn so they can build more social housing. We want to make sure homes are safe and decent because we understand the damage poor quality housing does to a family’s morale.
The UK has one of the largest social housing stocks in the world with around 4 million people living in the sector, so this is a very important challenge for our country. The consultation on the paper is open until 8th November and you can find a link to it on my website, www.kitmalthouse.com. We want to hear your views on this vital issue.