Westminster Social Policy Forum

The future for social housing in England: responding to the Green Paper, empowering residents and increasing supply

Morning, Tuesday, 16th July 2019

Central London


This seminar will assess the future for social housing in England, bringing together key policymakers and key stakeholders.

It will focus on priorities for policy in light of the Green Paper, with discussion expected on the challenges for supply and construction, the future regulatory landscape, improving community and tenant engagement and the quality of homes.

Following the release of the Social Housing Green Paper delegates will assess the impact of the potential introduction of ‘league tables’ for social landlords - including how landlord performance can be defined, what indicators can be used, and what more is needed to improve transparency and the complaints process.

The seminar also takes place in the context of new measures in the Spring Statement, including the announcement of a £3bn borrowing guarantee for housing associations aimed at delivering 30,00 affordable homes, and support for 37,000 new homes in the Oxford-Cambridge Arc, Cheshire and Old Oak Common in London funded by £717m from the Housing Infrastructure Fund.

With the announcement of £250m of housing deals as part of the Government’s drive to accelerate housing delivery - and the announcement of the first wave of new homes to be built using Modern Methods of Construction as part of the Accelerated Construction Programme - delegates will examine the effectiveness of such measures to support the building of more social and affordable housing.

They will also discuss what affordability looks like and how to make more effective use of land.

The discussion also takes place in the context of the removal of the Housing Revenue Account borrowing cap, £1bn of extra borrowing for councils to build new homes, and the Government’s consultation on reforming rules on using receipts from Right to Buy homes to build more housing.

We expect discussion on whether government proposals go far enough or whether more is needed to support housing associations, local authorities and developers to build more homes, as the first housing delivery test results show that many councils have under-delivered with 22 being required to develop Housing Delivery Action Plans to increase numbers.

With the review of social housing regulation call for evidence launched alongside the green paper and in light of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, attendees will also consider options for the future regulatory framework for the sector - looking at the scope, role and enforcement powers of regulators, how best to ensure ‘safe and decent’ homes going forward, and what more needs to be done to support and empower communities.

Keynote Speakers

Helen Kelly

Lead, Social Housing Green Paper, Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government

Jim Bennett

Assistant Director, Regulatory Strategy, Regulator of Social Housing

Chris Wood

Head of Policy, Shelter


Siobhain McDonagh MP

Member, House of Commons


Louise Robinson

Partner, Social Infrastructure, Arcadis

Councillor Leo Pollak

Cabinet Member for Social Regeneration, Great Estates and New Council Homes, Southwark Council

Nick Reynolds

Chair, National Federation of Tenant Management Organisations

Simon Gordon

Policy Adviser, Residential Landlords Association

Lord Best

Vice-President, The Local Government Association and Vice-President, Town and Country Planning Association