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Housing

Volume 461: debated on Tuesday 19 June 2007

I am today publishing two consultation documents.

The document “Delivering Housing and Regeneration: Communities England and the Future of Social Housing Regulation” outlines proposals to create a new housing and regeneration agency, Communities England, and also responds to Professor Cave’s review of social housing regulation.

At the end of last year I asked Professor Martin Cave, Director of the Centre for Management under Regulation at Warwick Business School to carry out a review of social housing regulation, the first for 30 years. Professor Cave’s report, “Every Tenant Matters”, is published today. The Government’s initial response to Professor Cave’s report is also published today, and forms part of “Delivering Housing and Regeneration: Communities England and the Future of Social Housing”.

The consultation document outlines:

the delivery functions that are proposed to transfer to Communities England from central Government, and also the proposed roles that central Government will retain.

the portfolio of investment tools that are proposed for Communities England;

the new agency’s place making role; explaining how Communities England will tailor its interventions to the needs of communities and seeking views on how it should work with local partners, including the private sector, to create vibrant and economically sustainable places;

proposals for the future regulation of social housing in response to Professor Cave; ensuring that the system better protects and empowers tenants, works better with central and local government and reduces unnecessary burdens.

the proposed accountability of the new organisation to Ministers and local communities, and how it will report its outcomes;

work that is already being undertaken to prepare the way for the establishment of Communities England; and

next steps required to make Communities England a reality.

I am also today publishing a consultation paper, “Tenant Empowerment”, outlining proposals to increase empowerment of social housing tenants.

It includes the following for delivering a strengthened role for tenant voice:

A draft Statutory Instrument to simplify the Housing (Right to Manage) Regulations 1994 for local authority tenants to make it easier for those who wish to trigger the process of developing tenant management with their local authority. This follows a commitment in the local government White Paper: “Strong and Prosperous Communities” to review these regulations.

a proposal to promote a voluntary tenant management process for all social housing tenants and landlords.

opportunity to comment on how tenant management organisations may extend their role to wider neighbourhood services.

a proposal to form a national tenant organisation.

Consultation on options for tenant led/tenant owned ALMOs.

Both documents are available in the Libraries of both Houses can be accessed via the Communities and Local Government website:

“Delivering Housing and Regeneration: Communities England and the Future of Social Housing Regeneration” (consultation paper) at:

http://www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1511392

“Tenant Empowerment”—A consultation paper at: http://www.communities.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1511393