Hastoe Chief Executive comments on Social Housing Green Paper

Andrew Potter comments on the Government's new policy paper on social housing - 'A new deal for social housing tenants'.

Andrew Potter, Chief Executive of Hastoe, England’s largest rural housing association, has commented on the publication of the new Social Housing Green Paper.

The paper promises a ‘new deal’ for social housing. It outlines new policies, such as a new Decent Homes Standard, higher energy efficiency requirements for social homes and reforming shared ownership rules to make it easier for tenants to build up equity in their properties.

Andrew said:

“It’s positive to see a real focus on design quality in the new green paper. When Hastoe develops in rural areas, we find quality design, in the local vernacular, is our best weapon to increase support for new social homes.”

“We are also very pleased by proposals to update the Decent Homes Standard. New social homes should be safe, warm and built to the highest possible energy efficiency standards. The Government should also be bold and provide proper funding to hit the target of all social homes meeting an EPC Band C by 2030.”

“Now that the Green Paper has scrapped the policy of forcing councils selling off their high value properties, it is not clear how the voluntary Right to Buy policy will be funded. RTB takes away a social rented property that often isn't replaced. In rural villages, this could reduce social housing stock closer to none. Aspiring homes owners have other routes into ownership that don't reduce social housing for others in need. This policy needs a complete re-think.”

“We cautiously welcome new flexibility to allow shared ownership tenants to increase equity in their new home. The devil is in the detail but we hope this policy can provide greater support for shared ownership residents to make the most of their tenure.”

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