RSH chief executive reflects on Social Housing Green Paper

The paper is “welcome”, though league tables are “blunt instruments” that could lead to “perverse practices”.

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Three months after its release, Regulator of Social Housing chief executive Fiona MacGregor has given an update on the organisation’s stance on the Social Housing Green Paper.

Speaking at Homes 2018, MacGregor said that the RSH “really welcomes” the Green Paper, saying: “It’s given us a real opportunity to put tenants at the centre of discussions.”

She added: “It picks up on some really important issues that need improving, but most importantly it sets a different tone about social housing.”

However, MacGregor also said that housing associations need to be financially viable and well-managed if they are to properly look after tenants.

MacGregor also shared her thoughts on the viability of league tables proposed in the Green Paper, calling them “blunt instruments” that can lead to some “very perverse” practices around getting to the top of the table.

She added: “But I don’t think you should completely throw out some of the benefits that come with key indicators like league tables.”

The MHCLG published the Social Housing Green Paper, A new deal for social housing, in August this year, with James Brokenshire saying it “offers a landmark opportunity for major reform to improve fairness, quality and safety to residents living in social housing across the county”.

The Green Paper has been mostly welcomed by those in the sector, with many praising the government’s recognition of social housing stigma and willingness to directly address social housing issues.

However, critics say that the Paper is all talk and no action, doubting the government’s ability to build the social homes the country needs and improve the lives of social housing tenants.

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