On 14 November 2020, the Government published the Social Housing White Paper "A Charter for Social
A key element of the seven-point Charter set out in the White
Paper is the promise to social housing residents that they should
be able to expect to be safe in their home and to have a good
quality home and neighbourhood to live in.
As part of the package of measures set out in the White Paper to
ensure residents have good quality, decent homes and
neighbourhoods, the Government announced a review of the Decent Homes Standard. The review promises to
consider if the Standard should be updated, including how it might
better support the Government's decarbonisation and energy
efficiency agenda and improve communal and green spaces.
The aim of the first stage of the Decent Homes Review (as set out in paragraph 103 of the White
Paper) is to understand whether the current Decent Homes
Standard is the right "ask" of the social housing sector today and
a promise that the review will:
- Consider the fit with wider Government objectives such as
ensuring buildings and neighbourhoods are safe; and responding and
being resilient to climate change.
- Consider whether the Standard reflects present- day
expectations and concerns.
- Assess how aspects of the Standard have overall had a positive
- Identify any unintended and undesirable consequences
precipitated by the Standard.
- Consider whether the Standard is practical for the sector to
The Social Housing White Paper included a proposal to convene a
Decent Homes Review Sounding Board to review the evidence and
support the work of the review. The Sounding Board is to be led by
the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG)
and will consist of social sector landlord representative
organisations and trade bodies. Organisations that are well placed
to offer perspectives from tenants and leaseholders will also be
ARCH Chief Executive, John Bibby has been invited to attend as a
core participant on the Decent Homes Review Sounding Board. To
ensure that the ARCH input to the work of the Sounding Board is
both evidence based and reflects the views and perspectives of our
ARCH member councils, both urban and rural, small and large from
across England, we are looking to establish an ARCH Technical
Support Group comprising relevant senior officers from a number of
ARCH member councils.
If your council is interested in contributing to and supporting
the ARCH input to the review of the Decent Homes Standard, we would
like to hear from you. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for
We will also be consulting the ARCH Tenant Group to ensure that
the ARCH input to the MHCLG Sounding Board reflects the views of
tenants and residents.