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Housing Green Paper: opening the debate 21/06/2018 Labelled as Legislation

Ahead of the publication of the Government's Social Housing Green Paper, ARCH has submitted its views to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government in a paper entitled Social Housing We Can All Be Proud of - ARCH's views on the future of social housing.


In announcing the Social Housing Green Paper in his speech on 19 September 2017 the then Secretary of State, Sajid Javid, referred to a time when:


"Living in social housing carried no stigma, no shame, quite the opposite, in fact. For many, it was seen the gold standard for accommodation, not a final safety net for the desperate and destitute but something you could genuinely aspire to, housing you would actively choose to live in; and as a country we were all rightly proud of it"and he went on to say:


"We need to return to the time, not so very long ago, when social housing was valued. It was treasured. Something we could all be proud of whether we lived in it or not. I know that's exactly what many of you in the sector have been trying to achieve for many, many years. Well, I'm proud to stand here today and say that you have a Secretary of State who's totally committed to the cause."


Social housing we can all be proud of is an ambition ARCH is proud to share and the achievement of this ambition would be a fitting legacy to those who lost their lives in the Grenfell tragedy and we want to continue to work with the Government and Ministry officials to make it a reality. 


Officers and elected members on the ARCH Board have sought the views of ARCH members and with the ARCH Tenant Group and we have put together some initial thoughts and suggestions to contribute to the debate in advance of the publication of the Green Paper.


The ARCH paper "Social Housing We Can All Be Proud Of - ARCH's views on the future of social housing" sets out a number of key points that we anticipate the Social Housing Green Paper will need to address if we are to achieve that ambition:


  • Identifying the need for social housing,
  • Setting out what we would expect the government to do inbacking councils to build
  • Investing in council housing,
  • Ensuring that tenants have a stronger voice; and 
  • Seeking a commitment to review the Right to Buy so that, as an absolute minimum, we have workable arrangements to ensure one for one replacement of homes sold.


The Housing Minister Dominic Raab has announced that the Social Housing Green Paper will be published before 24 July 2018 when Parliament rises for its summer recess and the Secretary of State, Sajid Javid in announcing the Green Paper said he expected the Green Paper"will kick off a nationwide conversation on social housing". 


The ARCH Tenant Group, comprising tenant representatives from a cross-section of ARCH member councils, have discussed and contributed significantly to the paper which we hope in turn will contribute to and influence the shape and direction of social housing policy and feed into the debate and discussion on the Government's Social Housing Green Paper when published and the wide ranging debate we expect will follow.


We have also invited Ministry officials to address the ARCH Tenant Conference to be held on 18 September 2018 at Kettering Conference Centre where the agenda will be focus on the Government's Social Housing Green Paper and the future of council housing.


Read the ARCH paper "Social Housing We Can All Be Proud Of: ARCH's views on the future of social housing" and let us know your views and comments. Have we got it right? Have we missed something? What else should we be highlighting to make the case for council housing? 


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