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

 

Download it here.

Social Housing Green Paper 01/02/2018 Labelled as Legislation

It is understood that the government's Social Housing Green Paper is expected to be published in the Spring of 2018.

 

The ARCH Executive Board met on 15 January to begin to prepare a response to the issues.

 

In announcing the Social Housing Green Paper in a speech on 19 September 2017 the Secretary of State referred back to a time when:

 

"Living in social housing carried no stigma, no shame, quite the opposite, in fact. For many, it was seen the gold standard for accommodation, not a final safety net for the desperate and destitute but something you could genuinely aspire to, housing you would actively choose to live in; and as a country we were all rightly proud of it" and he said:

 

"We need to return to the time, not so very long ago, when social housing was valued. It was treasured. Something we could all be proud of whether we lived in it or not. I know that's exactly what many of you in the sector have been trying to achieve for many, many years. Well, I'm proud to stand here today and say that you have a Secretary of State who's totally committed to the cause."

 

ARCH Chief Executive John Bibby comments:

 

The Secretary of State and any future government, together with local authorities and private registered providers, should demonstrate leadership in ensuring that all social housing reaches a "Gold Standard" and becomes a tenure that people can aspire to and be proud of.   

 

ARCH is committed to supporting the Secretary of State's aspiration which needs to be matched with the allocation of sufficient resources to achieve this and we will be seeking to influence the debate about the future of social housing in putting together a response to the Social Housing Green Paper."

 

Together with representatives from the LGA, (Local Government Association), NFA (National Federation of Almos) and CWAG (Councils with Almos Group), ARCH Chief Executive John Bibby and Policy Adviser Matthew Warburton met with officials leading on the Housing Green Paper at the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) on 24 January to discuss the likely contents of the Green Paper, what it may include and how we might influence the debate and make the case for council housing.

 

There are also a number of other reviews running in parallel with the planned publication of the government's Housing Green Paper.

 

Our Chief Executive John Bibby has been invited to participate in the CIH (Chartered Institute of Housing) review "Rethinking Social Housing" as a member of the Project Steering Group and following an initial meeting at the end of last year a further meeting of the Steering Group will take place shortly.

 

The Labour Party have also announced their own Social Housing Review and have issued a "call for evidence" to help inform their review. Earlier this week ARCH participated in a roundtable meeting with John Healey MP, Shadow Minister of State for Housing, who is leading the Labour Party review.

 

Shelter has also established a cross-party commission on the future of social housing and have said they are keen for ARCH to be involved along the way.

 

Its task will be, partly in the wake of Grenfell, to establish a vision of what the public sector in housing should look like in England in the 21st century, and lead a bit of a national conversation about how we get there.  Shelter say they want to see a bigger and better social housing sector -one that meets need but also where tenants feel empowered and listened to, and one which enjoys widespread public support and the idea is for the commission to point the way to that.

 

It is understood that series of public events will be held and research undertaken between March to October 2018 involving tenants, social housing providers, those who need social housing, academics and experts, the wider housing sector, and the public at large.

 

The ARCH Board is keen to engage with tenants, elected members & officers of ARCH member councils in preparing our response to the Social Housing Green Paper and the other various reviews ongoing. 

 

We will be looking to arrange a series of consultations and member events for ARCH members later in the year. In the meantime, if you have any views or comments on the Housing Green Paper and the future of social housing that you feel would help begin frame an ARCH response please forward these to ARCH Chief Executive John Bibby (john.bibby@arch-housing.org.uk

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