Social Housing Act receives Royal Assent

21 July 2023

The Social Housing Regulation Act has received Royal Assent officially becoming law. The Act forms a new era of regulation for the social housing sector.

At the NHF, we believe that every person in this country has the right to a warm, dry, safe, secure, and affordable home. That’s why we’re welcoming the Social Housing Regulation Act in its aims to give tenants greater powers and improve access to swift and fair redress. The Act offers greater protection to social housing tenants against serious hazards in their homes, ensuring a better service and quality of life.

This significant milestone follows months of debates and discussions. We’d like to thank our members for your valuable engagement throughout the passage of the Social Regulation Bill. Your input has been instrumental in shaping the outcomes of our discussions with the government.

The Social Housing Regulation Act will enact the reforms outlined in the Social Housing White Paper, which are aimed at improving the regulation of social housing, strengthening tenants’ rights, and ensuring better quality and safer homes for residents.

How will the Social Housing Act impact our sector?

The passage of this legislation will have a direct impact on our sector. Here are a few crucial aspects of the Act, including:

  • Enhanced powers for the Regulator of Social Housing - The Act will facilitate the introduction of proactive consumer regulation by strengthening the Regulator of Social Housing, allowing intervention in cases where landlords are performing poorly on consumer issues. This will enable the Regulator to take action to address any shortcomings and protect tenants.
  • Stronger enforcement powers - The Act establishes stronger enforcement powers for the Regulator to take action including provisions for regular inspections of social housing properties to ensure landlords are providing high-quality services and accommodation. These inspections will help maintain and improve the standard of housing for tenants across the country.
  • Tenant empowerment - The Act will establish strict time limits for social landlords to address hazards and empowers social housing tenants to request information from their landlords, promoting transparency and accountability. This will ensure tenants have the right to access crucial information about their homes and can access swift redress where things go wrong.
  • Standards for Registered Providers - The Act introduces a set of standards for registered housing providers, requiring social housing managers to possess specific qualifications or be actively working towards gaining them. These standards will help ensure residents receive the best possible service from their housing associations.

What happens next?

Now that the Act has received Royal Assent, the Regulator of Social Housing will consult on revisions to the consumer standards, and the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) will consult on the measures to take forward the government's social housing reform programme such as Awaab’s Law, changes to the Decent Homes Standards and professionalisation of the sector. 

These consultations will play a crucial role in shaping the implementation of the Act, and we encourage our members to actively participate and provide valuable feedback.

Moving forward, we are committed to keeping you informed about the upcoming consultations. We will be providing opportunities for you to engage with and share your views on the new procedures. Our aim is to ensure that the new regulatory regime brings about meaningful change for residents that is both practical and achievable for housing associations.

If you have any questions or feedback please contact us.