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.
For delegates already booked on, we will send you the online joining instructions (including links, event numbers and passwords) five working days before your conference. If you cannot find these in your inbox please email delegate.relations@forumsupport.co.uk

The future for social housing in England: expanding access, improving consumer experience and priorities for regulation

Morning, Tuesday, 19th January 2021

***Full conference taking place online***

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

The discussion at a glance:

  • the forthcoming government white paper on social housing - priorities for empowering tenants, providing better redress and regulation, and improving the quality of social housing
    • following last year’s Social housing green paper: a ‘new deal’ for social housing
  • sector recovery - the support that is needed for social housing providers and the tenants they serve, and for the construction industry, to get back on track in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic
  • planning - the impact of recently-announced reform to streamline the system on building more social homes in the areas where they are needed most
  • safety and quality of social homes - with plans for a new Building Safety Regulator following the Building a safer future: proposals for reform of the building safety regulatory system consultation
  • investment -  further steps for attracting finance for new projects and learning from what works well in other sectors
  • innovation and collaboration
    • new approaches - in design and other areas for delivering new homes which enhance the community, support healthy lives, protect biodiversity and meeting changes in demand
    • 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

A scan of relevant background and policy development:

  • the Planning For the Future White Paper - proposing an increased affordable housing threshold on smaller sites, zonal planning, new local design codes, and government requirements on local authorities for housing delivery
  • the Draft Building Safety Bill - with wide-ranging changes designed to improve building and fire safety, including the creation of a new Building Safety Regulator
  • the National Design Guide and planned National Model Design Code - aimed at producing homes that can enhance the community, promote healthy lives and support local biodiversity
  • 90,000 new social homes a year achievable with Government support - findings from the Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee as part of their Long-term delivery of social and affordable rented housing inquiry
  • launch of prospectus inviting bids for the Affordable Housing Programme - being extended to safeguard affordable homes whose construction was stalled due to the pandemic, as well as a new £12bn settlement to start next year targeting the creation of approximately 180,000 new affordable homes
  • Government consultation on accessibility standards for new homes, looking at how current standards are used and whether to mandate a higher standard or change the way standards are used

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 stakeholders. Places have been reserved by officials from the MHCLG and HM Revenue & Customs.

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)


Liz Twist MP

Co-Chair, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Housing and Social Mobility

Ben Everitt MP

Officer, All-Party Parliamentary Group for Council Housing


Senior speaker confirmed from Shelter

Joe Anderson

Mayor, Liverpool 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