The council has just responded to the government’s ‘A new deal for social housing’ green paper to make sure that the voices of Sheffield’s tenants and residents are heard at Westminster.
Sheffield’s tenants and residents were encouraged by the council to respond directly to the government on its green paper consultation and the council also did its own response.
Nationally the government consulted with over 1,000 tenants and residents after Grenfell. These responses helped inform and shape the principles in the paper which proposes a rebalancing of the relationship between residents and landlords so that social housing residents see new and fairer arrangements for their housing in the future.
The paper’s principles are to make sure that:
- Homes are safe and decent
- Thriving communities are celebrated
- Council homes are increasingly seen as a home of choice rather than a necessity
- Complaints are resolved effectively
- There is more social housing and home ownership is supported
- Residents are empowered and listened to
Some of the earlier proposals put forward by Government have been amended which will now see the scrapping of the proposed forced sale of ‘high value’ council homes, no mandatory fixed-term tenancies, strengthening of the social housing regulator so that social housing is well-governed and the updating of the Decent Homes standard.
Councillor Jim Steinke, cabinet member for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety said:
We welcomed the opportunity to respond to this green paper and hope that our views are well received.
We do agree with the government’s proposal to make sure that all homes will need to meet the ‘decent homes’ standard. To us that means a good quality, safe and affordable home and we hope that’s what the government means by it too. We also agree with us now being given choice to not end lifetime tenancies unless we wish to.
However, the lifting of the cap on the amount that councils can borrow to build more housing isn’t enough to improve existing homes. We have over 40,000 tenants and residents in Sheffield and we know that we need to improve many of their homes and provide more choice. We can only do this if we are given additional government funding.
We expect a response from government in 2019 about what we will be able to put in place in Sheffield.
For more information on our response and our plans in relation to the green paper visit: www.sheffield.gov.uk/planningthefuture