Better Social Housing Review

In June 2022 the National Housing Federation (NHF) and Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) commissioned an independent panel called the Better Social Housing Review to look into issues of poor quality in social housing.

The panel made seven recommendations for social housing landlords, published in December 2022. These recommendations aim to address urgent issues of quality, learn where things are going wrong, and begin to tackle the root causes of the problem.

In response to the BSHR recommendations, we developed an action plan with CIH, published in May 2023, outlining what we’ll do alongside housing associations to respond to the BSHR. Since then, the sector has made progress across the recommendations, and shown commitment to positive change. But the journey is not over, and we’ll be continuing to help our members share best practice, adapt to regulatory changes and tackle systemic inequality.

We know we cannot fix the problem of quality in social housing alone. To solve systemic issues, we are looking to our partners in government to commit to sustainable funding for the regeneration of homes.

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A timeline of work so far:

December 2022: The Better Social Housing Review 

The panel published their findings in December 2022, including seven recommendations for how social housing providers could improve the quality of their homes and customer service. Our members are now implementing these recommendations.    

Read the review. 

May 2023: The Better Social Housing Review action plan 

At the NHF and CIH we published a joint action plan in May 2023, outlining what we’ll do to support housing associations to deliver the recommendations. Structural inequalities, and in particular race, were a core theme throughout the Better Social Housing Review’s report and addressing these is an integral part of our action plan.   

Read the action plan. 

December 2023 - now: reflecting on our progress and next steps

In December 2023, we published a progress report with CIH looking at where we are one year on from the BSHR and six months on from the BSHR action plan. The report includes best practice case studies from housing associations implementing the BSHR recommendations. 

Read the report. 

In May 2024, NHF and CIH sent members an update, one year on from our action plan. We wanted to reflect on progress so far, through best practice case studies and blogs. 

Read our latest case studies.  
Read our latest blogs.  
Read more about CIH’s BSHR work.  

What are the BSHR recommendations? 

The Better Social Housing Review independent panel made seven recommendations for the social housing sector. As part of our BSHR action plan work, the NHF is leading on four of these and the CIH on the other three. 

The BSHR recommendations aim to help housing associations achieve their core purpose to provide good quality, decent homes for the people who need them the most. Our work on the BSHR action plan aims to support housing associations to actively listen to residents, and make sure they have a voice at the table.   

Read more about how we are responding through our action plan and read more about the recommendations here.                

Knowing our Homes  

One of the key BSHR recommendations is to improve how social housing providers collect and use data – both about the condition of the homes they manage and about the people who live in them. 

The Knowing our Homes programme of work has been developed to address this recommendation, in partnership with our members. Getting data collection right can help social housing providers address structural and racial inqualities, and is crucial to improving quality of homes for all residents. Find out about our latest work on the programme here.  

What progress is being made on the BSHR recommendations? 

Across the sector, housing associations have made some good progress implementing the BSHR recommendations. To share this work, we’re collecting best practice case studies to showcase what positive change looks like across the sector.   

If your organisation has been working to implement the BSHR recommendations, please let us know using the contact details below and we can help you tell your story and share across the sector.   

Case studies 

Best practice case studies from across the sector on how housing associations are responding to the BSHR recommendations. 

Read our case studies

How are we working with the government on the BSHR recommendations?

The Social Housing Regulation Act

The government has been working to strengthen regulation for the social housing sector through the Social Housing Regulation Act. Through this process, we have been working closely with the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities and the Regulator of Social Housing to make sure our actions align with new regulations.  

Through the BSHR action plan we are taking action on the quality of homes, and we will continue to share best practice on adapting to the new regulations as they come into effect. 

A long-term plan for housing 

We cannot fix the problem of quality in social housing alone. To solve systemic issues, we need the government to commit to sustainably funding the regeneration of homes.   

We’re calling on the next government to commit to a long-term plan for housing that addresses issues of quality in social housing, including calls for:  

  • A strategic approach to funding the regeneration of existing homes that is long-term and sustainable. 
  • Provide a long-term funding commitment to deliver large-scale home decarbonisation projects building on the success of funding programmes like the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund. 

Who are we working with? 

We cannot create positive change alone. That’s why we’re working with partners to support the sector to respond to the recommendations of the BSHR through our action plan. Our partners include: 

Who to speak to

Kevin Garvey, Head of Member Relations