Sharma: We will listen to social housing tenants

Housing minister says the government will use the social housing Green Paper to listen to a ‘cross section’ of social tenants.

Alok_Sharma

Government will listen to social housing tenants, says housing minister Alok Sharma.

The housing minister was speaking to the Communities and Local Government Select Committee on the social housing Green Paper.

He was asked what lessons have so far been learned from the conversations he has had with tenants in the aftermath of Grenfell.

Sharma said: “We have spoken to the tenant management organisations and we have designed a programme, where I will be going around the country.

“We will be bringing together social housing tenants and hearing about safety, their rights, whether they are listened to.

“What I have been very keen to do is to be engaged right from the start with organisations such as Tpas.

“So when we do that engagement, people have confidence.

The housing minister told the committee he wanted to bring a “cross section of tenants together” and that is what they will be working toward.

He added: “I hope the conversations will inform where we go with the Green Paper. We are committed to doing it as soon as possible and we need to hear from those who are living in social housing right now.”

Javid told the committee the Green Paper will be “early next year” – when pushed on if that meant January, he said it “might be a bit later” but that he didn’t want to be held to a date.

He added the remit could be as wide as it needs to be, including a look at TMO organisations and their work: “Anything to do with social housing is in the remit of the Green Paper.

“How tenants are treated, whether they are listened to, fire safety issues. Things such as drills and where they take place will be looked at as part of the independent review talked about earlier.

“Green Paper may have resource implications and we will consider that.”

When quizzed on what would happen in the aftermath of reviews and inquires, Javid said: “Whatever output we get from a review or inquiry, we must act on it as quickly as possible.

“We may have to use legislation, primary or secondary, but we will act on it as soon as possible.”

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