Customer joins national housing panel

A new national customer panel has been set up by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, called the Social Housing Quality Resident Panel.

The Social Housing Quality Resident Panel brings together 250 social housing tenants from across the country. The panel forms part of the government’s commitment in the Social Housing White Paper and works to rebalance the relationship between tenants and landlords.

Karen is an Aster customer and has been selected to sit as a member of the panel. Karen, who also works for Aster as a training officer, has answered some questions about her experience so far as a member:

What is the role of the panel?

As a group we will advise on the development of measures in upcoming legislation to improve social housing quality. As a member of the panel, I’ll get to share my experiences with ministers, inform on policy change and ensure resident voices shape the government’s plans to reform social housing.

Over the course of the year, we’ll discuss several topics including the review of the Decent Homes Standard, the effectiveness of the complaints system and improving tenants' access to information about their landlords.

Why did you join the panel?

As a resident of social housing myself, I’m passionate about helping to improve the condition of social housing and also help remove the stigma that sometimes comes with it. 

Have you had the first meeting, what was it like?

The first meeting was brilliant and there were a lot of members on the call. We met Baroness Scott Minister for Social Housing, Michael Gove Secretary of State and the Team behind the Department for Levelling up. The group was formed to ensure residents are safe, listened to, live in good quality homes and have access to solutions when things go wrong. Our views will help shape new policies going to be voted on in parliament.

What are your hopes for the panel and what’s next in terms of the rest of the year?

I hope the panel will make people feel safe in their homes, that they are listened to when there is an issue and repairs are carried out to make the homes comfortable and safe. The panel is going to be focussed on driving up the quality of social housing and making sure all residents receive the same services and standards.

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