Shelter launches social housing commission

24 Jan 18

Housing charity Shelter has launched a commission to lobby the government over the future of social housing, following concerns highlighted by the Grenfell Tower fire.

The commission will examine the “state of social housing” and make recommendations before the year in a report to be delivered to prime minister Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Shelter said that social housing tenants across the country would be given a greater voice, including from the Grenfell community.

A YouGov survey, published to support the launch of the commission, found that 48% of families in social housing are “ignored or refused help with unsafe or poor conditions”.

Commission chair Reverend Mike Long, of the Notting Hill Methodist Church, said there needed to be a “long, hard look” at why social housing tenants were often made to feel like second-class citizens.

Appointees to the commission include former Labour leader Ed Miliband, ex-communities minister Baroness Warsi and former Grenfell Tower resident Edward Daffarn.

Miliband said: "We have failed for too many years to deliver the social housing this country needs in the way people need it.

“This commission is a huge opportunity to build a great consensus for a transformation of housing provision and to respond to the rightful demand for change which followed the Grenfell Tower tragedy."

To support the commission, roadshows will be held across the country, along with a public consultation and research involving social housing tenants.

Shelter’s initiative follows on the heels of the Chartered Institute of Housing’s Rethinking Social Housing project, launched last year after Sir Martin Moore-Bick said his public inquiry into the Grenfell fire would not look at the wider role of social housing.

The CIH recently called on housing professionals, tenants and the general public to take part in a debate in order to “make a case” for social housing.

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