9:49 AM, 19th April 2023, About 11 months ago 3
Every social housing tenant is to receive ‘Watchdog’ style training on how to hold their landlords to account as part of a new scheme.
From free advice on addressing damp and mould to webinars on how to complain about anti-social behaviour, the government-funded training programme will share information like that handed out by TV shows such as ‘Watchdog’ and ‘Rip Off Britain’.
This will see tips and advice being offered so tenants know their rights and how to access the Housing Ombudsman service.
The Minister for Social Housing, Baroness Scott, said: “Tenants deserve better and this training programme will help people up and down the country demands a high-quality service from their landlord.
“We are driving up standards in social housing through landmark legislation and making sure residents’ voices are heard with digital advertisement campaigns.”
She added: “The Four Million Homes programme is the latest part of our plan to drive a culture change right at the very heart of the social housing sector.”
The Four Million Homes programme is backed by £500,000 government funding and will also encourage tenants to take an active role in how their homes are managed.
There will be advice on how to set up a residents’ panel, so tenants are treated with respect.
This is the latest government move to help rebalance the power between residents and landlords, following the Make Things Right campaign and the Social Housing Regulation Bill currently making its way through Parliament.
That bill now includes ‘Awaab’s Law’ which will see social landlords having to fix hazards like damp and mould within set time frames.
There’s also a measure that will require social housing managers to gain a professional qualification, so residents receive a better service.
Blase Lambert, the chief executive of the Confederation of Co-operative Housing, said: “This programme is a catalyst for change in the social housing sector.
“It complements other government actions outlined in the Social Housing Regulation Bill and the Make Things Right campaign, leading to a better balance of power between landlords and residents.
“All social housing residents need to understand their rights, know how to raise issues with their landlords and hold them to account, and be able to shape and improve the services they receive and the homes they live in
“This training programme will do that.”
The training events will begin in May and will run over 24 months starting with ‘Exploring your right to engage and be heard’, advising residents of their rights and how to make complaints.
Sessions will include face-to-face accredited training around the country including in Newcastle, Liverpool, Birmingham and London.
There will also be monthly webinars on topics such as addressing damp and mould and anti-social behaviour.
Online training videos will be live from September to ensure that these opportunities are available to all via the Four Million Homes website.
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