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Social Housing Speed Read: Mandatory qualifications to be introduced for social housing managers

As per the latest government action to drive up standards and improve the lives of social housing residents, Housing Secretary Michael Gove, announced on 26 February 2023 that mandatory qualifications are to be introduced for social housing managers across the English social housing sector.

The proposed rules will require managers to gain professional qualifications of an appropriate level, with these being the equivalent to a Level 4 or 5 Certificate or Diploma in Housing.

Following the tragic death of two-year-old Awaab Ishak, ‘Awaab’s Law’ was passed to ensure that social landlords fix damp and mould within strict time limits. The changes will be made through amendments to the Social Housing (Regulation) Bill which aims to not only to hold landlords to account, but also increase the standards of the social housing sector. The Bill will also give the Regulator increased powers allowing them to enter properties with only 48 hours’ notice and make emergency repairs, with landlords footing the bill. More information can be found here regarding the Coroner’s Findings and Conclusion which were published on 15 November 2022, alongside the Regulation 28 report.

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The proposed legislation could even result in managers within social housing being debarred from their positions unless they have specific professional qualifications. The Bill is still subject to consultation and it is likely that further changes and detail will follow.

The changes being delivered aim to ensure that social housing managers across the country have skills and experience to deliver an excellent service and drive up standards across the sector. Housing professionals are expected to do all they can to ensure that their tenants have access to good quality, affordable homes, whilst being treated with dignity and respect. Landlords will be held to account and tenants will be given the freedom to raise their views and concerns regarding decisions that affect them, their homes and the communities they live in.

Here at Ward Hadaway LLP, we do all we can to support and empower our clients and we are therefore reviewing the requirements of the legislation with an intention to roll out a training programme to support. We will publish details when we can but in the meantime, please feel free to contact Amy Stirton, or another of our expert Social Housing Lawyers.

Please note that this briefing is designed to be informative, not advisory and represents our understanding of English law and practice as at the date indicated. We would always recommend that you should seek specific guidance on any particular legal issue.

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