CWAG News Update July 2020

CWAG News Update July 2020

This update includes the following: 

·         Chancellor’s Summer Economic Statement
·         TPAS Tenant Engagement Report
·         CWAG Alternative General Meeting Feedback
·         Executive Vacancy
·         Latest information on Covid19 / New in the Library / Recent Publications

Chancellor’s Summer Economic Statement


This included the following measures:
·         £2 billion ‘Green Homes Grant’ – Homeowners and landlords in England will be able to apply for a voucher to fund at least two thirds of the cost of hiring tradespeople to upgrade the energy performance of their homes (up to a maximum contribution of £5,000). Low income households will be eligible for up to 100% government funding, up to £10,000.
·         £50m Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund – This aims to promote innovative approaches to retrofitting social housing at scale by promoting retrofit ‘demonstrators’ to showcase innovative approaches, cost reduction and ability to scale up. The funding Prospectus will be launched in the Autumn for spend in this financial year and all social housing providers will be eligible to apply. Findings will help inform the design of the future Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund included in the manifesto document. 
·         Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme - Government will invest £1 billion over the next year to upgrade public sector buildings, including schools and hospitals, to help meet net zero commitments through energy efficiency and low carbon heat measures.  This will accelerate delivery against the manifesto commitment to invest £2.9 billion in decarbonising the public sector. 
Note: The Chancellor also announced a Stamp Duty Land Tax holiday, the Job Retention Bonus, the Kickstart Scheme and Construction Talent Retention Scheme.

TPAS Tenant Engagement Report


Last year CWAG commissioned Tpas was 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 TPAS Report ‘The role of councils in ensuring quality and effective tenant engagement by their ALMOs’ and the associated ‘Toolkit’ are now available to download from the CWAG website.
The report and toolkit are an important new resource for councils seeking to improve performance in relation to tenant engagement as well as ensuring effective oversight and monitoring arrangements are in place. This is particularly important going forward as the sector seeks to engage residents in the face of tough financial decisions and the wider consequences of the pandemic.
We plan to invite Tpas to a discuss the issues raised and implications of the report with CWAG members at a future General Meeting.

CWAG Alternative General Meeting - Feedback


One consequence Covid19 has been the cancellation of the regular programme of CWAG General Meetings. This has provided an opportunity to explore alternative on-line meeting options and over the past three Fridays CWAG has hosted a series of shorter virtual meetings via Teams on the theme of Recovering from the Covid19 shutdown. More

CWAG Executive Vacancy


A vacancy has arisen on the CWAG Executive Group which undertakes the management and direction of the group. Being a member of the Executive Group is not onerous and offers the opportunity to gain access to a range of policy meetings and debates.
What’s Involved?
·         Attendance at Executive Meetings – there are usually 4 meetings per year.
·         Oversight of a topic specialism or area of work. This would typically involve acting as the point of contact for the Policy Officer on an element of the work-programme. See list of current specialisms.
·         Opportunities to represent CWAG at various meetings with other stakeholders.
·         Travel costs associated with carrying out the CWAG Executive role will be re-funded.
We are particularly keen to encourage a representative from a London or South East council as this geographical area is currently under-represented on the Group.
For more information please contact either
Ceri Davies CWAG Chair or
Alison Freeman, CWAG Policy Officer

Latest Information on Covid19


Information on the latest MHCLG guidance notifications is regularly updated on the CWAG website and can be accessed under ‘news’ from the home page.
Another useful resource is the Covid19 FAQ section on the LGA website

Recent Publications / New in the Library


This new code sets out a framework for effective complaints resolution by landlords and aims to speed up redress and promote greater consistency in the handling of complaints. The code will be backed up by new Complaint Failure Orders that will be issues against non-compliant landlords.
This report highlights good practice and lessons learned from recent complaints dealt with by the Ombudsman. It covers the period immediately before Covid19 and features 5 case studies, including cases involving ASB and the needs of vulnerable residents. The cases highlight where things have gone wrong as well as highlighting good practice and what is involved in setting proportionate levels of compensation.  
This report provides an update on the headline data covering staffing, arrears, lettings, ASB, repairs and gas safety for the month of May.
The Regulator of Social Housing has published information covering the third monthly survey of registered social landlords relating to the month of June.
This Local Partnerships briefing brings together the latest ideas and best practice to assist councils sourcing longer term accommodation and support for homeless people and rough sleepers. The intention is to provide regular updates as policy options develop.  
This LGA report argues for a range of policy and fiscal interventions to promote council house building as part of a wider stimulus package.