Westminster Social Policy Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7951044809 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7538736244.
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The future for social housing in England: expanding access, improving consumer experience and priorities for regulation

Morning, Tuesday, 19th January 2021

Online Conference

***Full conference taking place online***

This conference is examining the future for social housing in England.

Key areas for discussion include:

  • Priorities for the forthcoming Government White Paper on Social Housing - which follows the Green Paper released last year with aims to:
    • empower tenants
    • provide better redress and regulation
    • improve the quality of social housing
  • The recovery of the construction sector from the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Next steps for streamlining the planning process and building more social homes in the areas where they are needed most
  • Developing innovation and design to meet the challenges of delivering new homes which enhance the community, support healthy lives, protect biodiversity and meeting changes in demand, following recent announcements from the Housing Secretary aimed at encouraging innovative approaches to home building
  • Improving the safety and quality of social homes in light of plans to introduce a new Building Safety Regulator following the response to the Building a safer future consultation.

The discussion in detail:

Improving the provision and quality of homes

In the context of the Government’s forthcoming social housing White Paper which follows the Green Paper released last year delegates will discuss:

  • what more can be done to support social mobility, strengthen the regulator and tackle stigma as outlined in the Green Paper
  • next steps for improving the safety of social homes and priorities for the new building safety regulator, following the Government’s response to the building a safer future consultation
  • support that is needed for the sector and the tenants it serves as communities and businesses emerge from the COVID-19 crisis
  • latest thinking on best practice for local authorities in working with partners to innovate the way they provide social housing

Delivering new social homes which enhance the community

With a government White Paper due out later this year on streamlining the planning process, and with the construction sector coping with the impact of COVID-19 attendees will assess:

  • how best to improve the planning system to support the delivery of the right type of homes in the right location
  • what the National Design Guide and planned National Model Design Code mean for design of homes that can enhance the community, promote healthy lives and support local biodiversity
  • the support that the house building industry will need moving forward from COVID-19
  • further steps for attracting finance for new projects and learning from what works well in other sectors
  • best practice in design, delivery and working with partners from housing associations and local authorities - and the role of MMC and off-site or modular construction

Why this is relevant now - the context:

It takes place against the backdrop of a range of major policy developments affecting the planning regime, including:

  • The expected Planning White Paper - which sets out Government plans aimed at streamlining and speeding up the planning system
  • The Secretary of States update on building safety reform which covers the impact of Covid-19, plans for a new regulator as mentioned above and the parameters for the planned Building Safety Bill
  • Phase 2 of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry, with hearings having recently resumed
  • The Government outlining what measures are in place to support social housing residents as the lockdown eases
  • Government extending the suspension of evictions in private and social rented housing until August 23rd
  • The Regulator of Social Housing publishing the results of its new monthly survey of housing associations and local authorities about how they are coping with the coronavirus pandemic
  • Updated guidance for social landlords regarding house moves during the pandemic

The agenda:

  • Key and emerging issues for social housing in England
  • Priorities for the future regulation of social housing
  • Improving the provision and quality of social housing - regulation, financial sustainability, tenant engagement and support, and ensuring safety
  • Making best use of land in delivering social housing
  • Innovation in new social housing - design, delivery, funding and planning
  • Priorities for the White Paper on Social Housing and wider government policy

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stake holders.

Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government and regulatory officials involved in this area of policy, as well as from representatives from the construction industry and their partners and advisors, developers and landlords, tenant and citizen’s groups, charities and campaigning organisations, local authorities and planning specialists, buildings safety and legal specialists, investors, the wider business community, and social and academic commentators, together with reporters from the national and specialist media.

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speaker

Fiona MacGregor

Chief Executive, Regulator of Social Housing (RSH)

Keynote Speakers

Professor Christine Whitehead

Emeritus Professor, Housing Economics, London School of Economics

Fiona MacGregor

Chief Executive, Regulator of Social Housing (RSH)


Senior speaker confirmed from Shelter

Julie Griffin

Assistant Director, Housing, Birmingham City Council

Martin Taylor

Director, Regulatory Policy, Local Authority Building Control

Nick Reynolds

Chair, National Federation of Tenant Management Organisations

Senior speaker confirmed from Sovereign Housing Association

Clare Miller

Group Chief Executive, Clarion Housing Group

Hannah Quarterman

Head of Planning, Hogan Lovells

Kate Ryan

Corporate Director, Community and Environment, BCP Council

Sue Morgan

Director, Architecture and Built Environment, Design Council