Written evidence submitted by Mr John George [RSH 005]
I think that the serious concerns about the quality of social housing is widespread.
I do not think there is an impact on social housing providers resources to improve their housing stock especially the providers that have been in business for many years and made huge profits from the properties that were built previously.
The current regime is not fit for purpose for regulating social housing.
The RSH only deals with governance and viability and the Ombudsman are very selective with their casework and are far too slow to respond. My case started in September 2020 and is still not resolved to date.
The current regime does not allow tenants to effectively resolve issues due to the very slow process starting with the provider. Tenants should have the same rights as leaseholders which would improve the system.
The RSH does not have powers for individual complaints against providers or chooses not to use them.
The reforms in the white paper do not go nearly far enough to provide protection for tenants. It is the Housing Associations that have far too much power.
Changes should be made to the Decent Homes Standard. Why should there have to be three issues before action is taken. If a kitchen is beyond its economical life and in disrepair, why should two other issues have to come into play before an upgrade is provided.
Replacing very old electric storage heaters that are very expensive to operate would be an advantage towards the climate issue.
All providers should be registered with the regulator, but the regulator needs more teeth and to use them to help tenants.
Social housing providers need to get their fingers on the pulse to improve their tenant’s accommodation before diversification is ever considered.