The apex body, which represents 180 co-operative and community led housing organisations in the UK, examined the recent green paper on social housing regulation, and the government consultation on rents in the social housing sector.
CCH says it agrees with the green paper’s objective to rebalance the relationship between tenants and landlords in the social housing sector, which, it argues, “is needed”.
The CCH was involved in producing the response of A Voice for Tenants Steering Group, which calls for establishment of a national body for tenants. The group received input from 832 social housing tenants, of whom 93% said there was a need for such a body.
The CCH also supports the suggestion that all registered provider landlords should have their implementation of the Involvement and Empowerment Standard assessed and that this should impact on their governance rating. However, it adds that that all social housing tenants should have effective regulatory protection, regardless of the size and type of landlord.
The apex body would also like to see a community-led housing regulator set up to help support the sector to cover co-ops, tenant management organisations and other community-led housing organisations. The CCH is proposing that consideration of community-led housing options be included in the Involvement and Empowerment Standard. It supports the idea of developing a new form of tenant management, which would place fewer burdens on tenants and volunteers whilst delivering similar outcomes.
To tackle the stigma issue around social housing, the CCH is suggesting organising a sector wide debate on the future of allocations in social housing. Furthermore, the body proposes the development of a Co-operative Foundation – based on the Community Land Trust BC in Canada – where a large-scale co-operative organisation is established to develop new co-operative mixed income housing co-operatives.
The CCH recommends developing mutual housing associations. It also argues that registered provider landlords should be required to consult their tenants regarding rent increases. This would imply that rents can be raised to Consumer Price Index plus 1% is a ceiling and not a requirement and that registered provider landlords should be required to consult their tenants regarding rent increases.