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The ARCH annual report for 2015-16 is now available to view.

 

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Housing Green Paper expected “shortly” 02/08/2018 Labelled as Regulation, Tenants

Following a series of resident engagement meetings, attended by Ministers at the turn of the year, the government at first indicated that the Social Housing Green Paper, first announced in September 2017, would be published in the Spring of 2018 but then promised the Green Paper would be published before the Parliamentary Recess on 24 July.

 

However, as we now know, the government has failed to keep its pledge to publish the Housing Green Paper before the Parliamentary Recess and no explanation was given for this further delay.

 

ARCH Chief Executive, John Bibby, contacted senior officials at the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government to express dismay at the failure to publish the Housing Green Paper.

 

We pointed out that following the Grenfell fire, Ministers arranged a series of resident engagement meetings, in which tenants raised concerns about the stigma attached by some to social housing and concerns that they felt tenant voices often went unheard at both national and local levels.

 

It is now several months since those meetings were held and we raised concerns that the failure to honour the promises made to publish the Green Paper before the Parliamentary Recess, coupled with the numerous changes in Ministers in the 10 months or so since the previous Secretary of State, Sajid Javid, first announced the government's intention to bring forward a Green Paper, is doing little to convince social housing tenants that this government is listening to tenants and treating the concerns raised by them in those resident engagement meetings with any great priority.

 

In order to maintain the confidence of tenants across the sector, we urged officials to impress on Ministers the importance of publishing the Green Paper as soon as possible, or at the very least giving a firm date by which tenants can expect to see the Social Housing Green Paper.

 

In response MHCLG officials said on 25 July:

 

"As you know we have been working hard to develop the Green Paper and since the Grenfell Tower tragedy we have been listening to residents and those across the social housing sector. Providing high quality and well managed social housing is a top priority for this government. The social housing Green Paper will be published shortly though it will not be before the summer recess as was originally thought. We will of course keep you updated with any developments and will pass on your concerns to our Ministers."

 

It is over a week since we received that response and to date the government have neither published the Green Paper, nor given any further indication of when it will be published. The only conclusion we can draw from that is that the government's definition of "shortly" would appear to be a matter of weeks rather than days!!!

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