Regulator of Social Housing chief executive Fiona MacGregor has urged the sector to be more proactive and not wait for government to develop policy and regulation.
Speaking at the NHF’s annual Board Excellence in Housing conference, MacGregor began: “I was hoping we’d have an outcome of the [Social Housing] Green Paper by the time I’d got here.
“If you think there are things that you could be doing for your customers, for your tenants…just crack on and do it.”
She added that the sector should “be ready” for more consumer regulation.
Government published the Social Housing Green Paper in August 2018, the purported aims of which are to rebalance the relationships between landlords and residents, tackle, stigma, and ensure social housing supports social mobility.
The paper set out five core themes:
- Tackling stigma and celebrating thriving communities
- Expanding supply and supporting home ownership
- Effective resolution of complaints
- Empowering residents and strengthening the regulator
- Ensuring homes are safe and decent
Many in the sector had expected the outcomes of the paper to be realised by now.
MacGregor was also keen to stress the importance of tenant engagement – especially in regard to complaints.
“Treating tenants with respect when they make a complaint is absolutely vital,” she said.
“If you’re not already doing so, you as an organisation should be talking to your tenants about what outcomes they want from a complaints process.
“Complaints can be a really rich source of data if you capture them and analyse them.”
MacGregor concluded her address by highlighting the use of key performance indicators (KPIs).
“Look at the existing consumer standards…see if you are already meeting them.
“Are you engaging with your tenants? If you are not, you should be,” she said.