The Better Social Housing Review

13 December 2022

The Better Social Housing Review report has been published making recommendations to housing associations to drive improvements in the quality of social housing.

The National Housing Federation (NHF) and Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) welcome the recommendations in full and will now design an action plan to implement these changes. You can read our press response.


Housing associations exist to provide good quality, affordable social homes for people who need them and offer vital services to support their communities.

While most housing association homes are of high quality, we know that some of our homes and services are falling short of the high standards that we expect and that our residents deserve.

You told us that you want to take action to address these urgent issues of quality, learn where things may be going wrong, and begin to tackle the root causes of the problem.

The NHF and CIH jointly commissioned and independent panel to make recommendations to guide us on this journey.

The Better Social Housing Review panel, chaired by Helen Baker, met with residents, customer-facing staff, community partners and housing leaders from across the country over the summer.

They heard about and saw inspiring work across the sector, but also cases of “shockingly poor quality homes”. They also saw how inequalities and particularly racial discrimination can influence the experience tenants are having when they raise issues with repairs and maintenance.

From this review they were able to arrive at seven recommendations for the sector to deliver:

  • Every housing association should refocus on its core purpose and deliver against it.
  • The sector should work together to conduct and publish a thorough audit of our stock.
  • Housing associations should partner with tenants, contractors and frontline staff to develop and apply new standards defining what an excellent maintenance and repairs process looks like.
  • The Chartered Institute of Housing should promote the traditional housing officer role as a supported and valued employment opportunity with a Chartered Institute of Housing recognised programme of training and continuing development.
  • Housing associations should work with all tenants to ensure that they have a voice and influence at every level of decision making across the organisation, through both voluntary and paid roles.
  • Housing associations should develop a proactive local community presence through community hubs which foster greater multi-agency working.
  • Housing associations should support tenants and frontline staff to undertake an annual review of the progress each organisation is making in implementing this review’s recommendations.

What happens next?

The NHF and CIH welcome the recommendations in full. We are encouraging our members to do the same over social media and in conversations with stakeholders.

Will now develop an action plan to help the sector implement the recommendations from the review. Our first priority will be understanding what is needed to deliver the audit of all social homes.

Our work will be guided by the quality and trust steering group and we will be in touch with a number of opportunities for all our members to get involved.

If you have any questions, please get in touch below.

Who to speak to

Contact the team