Magazine article Public Finance

Social Housing Providers 'Must Improve'

Magazine article Public Finance

Social Housing Providers 'Must Improve'

Article excerpt

The chair of the nascent social housing regulator has issued a stark warning to providers that they must improve their performance.

Anthony Mayer, chair of the Tenant Services Authority, told housing association leaders that too many landlords were ignoring the wishes of their tenants and other customers. Social landlords do not pay as much attention to customers as private sector bodies do, he added.

Speaking on the same day as the National Housing Federation boasted that associations are spending almost £435m on wider neighbourhood services, Mayer warned landlords they must acknowledge the different priorities of tenants.

'There is far too big a gap between the best and worst performing associations in terms of the deal they give to their tenants' he told the NHFs annual conference in Birmingham on September 17. 'Compared with private sector service providers, the sector as a whole has fallen off the pace in terms of consumer focus.'

The TSA is set to launch at the end of December and will take on the regulatory work of the Housing Corporation when the latter becomes part of the new Homes and Communities Agency. The HCA was due to come into being on April 1 2009, but chief executive designate Sir Bob Kerslake brought the date forward to December.

Mayer, a former chief executive of both the Housing Corporation and the Greater London Authority, said it would not be the TSAs role to tell registered social landlords how to do their job.

'In practice, you will need to use a variety of approaches to improve the engagement of your tenants, including groups whose main wish is just to get on with their own lives. …

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