RSH Chair highlights landlords’ role in achieving more and better social housing
Bernadette Conroy spoke at the Social Housing Annual Conference today
Bernadette Conroy, Chair of the Regulator of Social Housing, today (30 November 2023) used her keynote speech at the Social Housing Annual Conference to remind social landlords of their fundamental role: to provide safe and well-maintained homes for tenants and build new social homes for those who need them.
Bernadette highlighted the importance of landlords’ service to tenants: “Keeping tenants safe is a fundamental responsibility for all landlords… they must have an up-to-date understanding of tenants’ homes at an individual level and ensure they deal with issues promptly.”
Bernadette added: “The sector needs to make substantial investment in existing homes to deliver improvements to quality, building safety and meet energy efficiency commitments. It also needs to continue delivering new social homes to serve more than a million households on local authority waiting lists.”
Bernadette also spoke about the impact of economic challenges on the sector – including higher inflation and borrowing costs, skilled labour shortages and a weakening housing market – which “continue to weaken the sector’s financial capacity and put pressure on landlords’ business plans.” Against this backdrop, she said, Boards must: “ensure that they maintain strong and effective control over financial performance and fully understand their organisation’s assets, liabilities and operating environment.”
Bernadette concluded her speech by saying to landlords: “We all have a part to play in achieving more and better social housing. With the changes in the Social Housing (Regulation) Act we have the powers we need to regulate the sector effectively. Our new regulatory regime is approaching rapidly. We will be ready. We expect that you will be too.”