What is the ‘social housing white paper’ and how does it affect customers?

News – 5 May 2021

In November last year, the Government published the ‘charter for social housing residents: social housing white paper’. This sets out the actions the Government will take to ensure that social housing customers are safe, are listened to, live in good quality homes, and put things right when things go wrong.

Things like this don’t happen often, so this is a very significant and important change within the housing sector and Grand Union is responding proactively to it.

Because of this, we wanted to let you know more about it and its significance to you, our customers.

What is a ‘white paper’?

White papers are policy documents produced by the Government that set out their proposals for future legislation.

Because of their complexity it can take a number of years before the proposals in it officially become laws.

Who does it affect?

The white paper is a charter for everyone living social housing, so it impacts you in a really positive way. The overarching themes including building and customer safety, and customer voice.

It will also affect Grand Union as a business. We will have new regulations to follow and a lot of work will need to take place to implement the requirements (more on that later).

Why has the white paper been written?

The tragedy at Grenfell Tower in June 2017 raised critical questions for everyone involved in social housing, including customers, landlords, developers, and local and national government.

The Government is committed to learning from the lessons of the Grenfell tragedy and have already taken signifcant action. They have established an independent public inquiry and started implementing the recommendations of its phase one findings. And through the Building Safety Bill they are undertaking the biggest change in building safety for a generation.

They have also been listening intensely to customers living in social housing across the country about the change that they want to see. The social housing green paper in 2018 sought views on a wide range of potential changes, and they received over 1,000 responses. Many customers reported positive experiences, but others did not. They heard concerns about safety and quality; of complaints being handled slowly or poorly; and about residents feeling they were not listened to, or not treated with respect.

What does the future hold?

Overall, Grand Union is very well placed to manage the changes being brought in from the social housing white paper, with many of the themes already covered in our corporate strategy ‘Further together’.

We’re already working hard to prepare for when the changes are brought in, and as our work progresses over the coming months, we’ll post updates on what we’re doing around building safety, customer influence and how we are keeping you informed.

Want to know more?

If you’d like to read the white paper, simply click here.

Alternatively, you can also email us at pr@guhg.co.uk