CWAG News Update July 2019

CWAG News Update July 2019

This update includes the following: 

 ·         CWAG/ Tpas - Tenant Engagement Good Practice Toolkit

·         Building a Safer Future consultation
·         Addison Act Celebrations update
·         Response to the Social Housing Green Paper likely to be September
·         Recent Publications /New in the Library
·         Save the Date

 CWAG Project with Tpas - Tenant Engagement Good Practice Toolkit 

 CWAG has commissioned Tpas to undertake a piece of work looking specifically at the way tenant engagement is delivered where this function has been delegated to an ALMO.

The Social Housing Green Paper has highlighted the importance of meaningful engagement between tenant and landlord and this project will address the particular issues and challenges for councils with ALMOs in ensuring the arrangements are working effectively and are appropriately focused and meaningful.
In the past many councils may have delegated tenant engagement activities to the ALMO with little direct involvement. This project aims to encourage dialogue between councils and ALMOs about the wider strategic context of engagement and how this translates to the engagement arrangements in place within local areas. It is also an opportunity to set out key roles and responsibilities around the delivery of engagement as part of a wider approach to improving performance.
The project will inform a good practice toolkit. The primary audience is council officers responsible for setting the strategic direction on engagement and those involved in managing the ALMO. The project will also be of interest to ALMOs and tenants.
In the first phase of the project,
Tpas will be gathering information through a short survey of CWAG members and ALMOs. This will then be followed by two roundtable discussion sessions to explore issues in more depth.

Building a Safer Future – Consultation 

Last month the Government published Building a Safer Future a consultation document that sets out its detailed response to the findings of the Hackitt Review and includes extensive proposals for improving fire safety in high rise buildings.

The measures proposed aim to deliver a new regulatory system for high rise buildings, improve fire and structural safety as well as providing clear mechanisms for residents to raise and escalate safety concerns. These proposals have significant implications for councils and ALMOs as owners and managers of high rise buildings.
The consultation includes detailed proposals that aim to deliver the following:
·         Clearer lines of responsibility and accountability for those building or managing high rise buildings.
·         Better information and a stronger voice for residents
·         Oversight by a new regulator
·         Tougher enforcement when things go wrong

Addison Act Celebrations Update 

As we approach the actual anniversary date of the passing into law of the Addison Act on 31st July, the number and range of commemorative events and activities is continuing to increase.
Recent examples include:
·         ARCH and the NFA hosted a Parliamentary Tea Reception at the House of Commons on 2nd July to mark 100 years of council housing. CWAG was represented at the event by the Chair, Rob Main.
·         In Nottingham, the ALMO has published a centenary edition of the history of council housing.
·         In Derby the Princess Royal will join in the celebrations, including the presentation of a specially commissioned Royal Crown Derby piece (commemorating the village anniversary and 100 Years of Council Housing) will unveil a plaque for the nine, new “Centenary” bungalows being built by Derby Homes (ALMO chosen as prime contractor by the charity’s trustees).
MHCLG has also created a social media toolkit including background information and suggested tweets to encourage as many people as possible to engage with the campaign to showcase and celebrate social housing as part of the Addison Act commemorations. 

Response to the Social Housing Green Paper likely to be September 

The housing sector has been awaiting the publication of the Government’s response to the Social Housing Green Paper “A new deal for social housing”. The consultation was published in August last year and responses closed in November. In her speech to the Institute of Housing Conference, Theresa May took the opportunity to indicate that the Government’s response would not be published until September.

Recently Published Reports 

This LGA report provides advice and guidance to local authorities on how to understand the various complexities within local housing markets to better inform decision making around new supply in different localities. There are links to detailed bespoke reports on every local authority in England covering a wealth of detail under the broad categories of affordability, availability and suitability as well as maps showing house prices by area and type in 2018.
This history of council housing in Nottingham has been updated and published by the ALMO as part of the Addison Act Celebrations in the City. The book provides a comprehensive history of council housing in Nottingham, setting out the positive role of council housing in improving lives. This is a well written and presented publication with plenty of interesting photographs along the way. You can download or purchase a copy here
This is a useful document containing key facts and figures about the ALMO sector as well as highlighting current trends on issues such as new build and development, composition of ALMO Boards and diversification activities. A shorter summary document is also available here.


New in the Library 

The following documents with standard ALMO information have also been updated: 

Save the Date 

The CWAG Annual General Meeting is being held on Friday 27th September 2019 at the Laycock Centre in Islington.

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