Sadiq Khan demands Government creates first social housing tsar after Grenfell

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Theresa May should create the country’s first social housing tsar to strengthen residents voices following the Grenfell Tower fire, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan proposed today. 

In a letter to the Prime Minister he claimed an independent commissioner would put residents at the heart of decision making when new policies on social housing are developed.

The Labour politician said: “I welcomed the Government’s decision to establish the Grenfell public inquiry, but I have been clear that the terms of reference are not as broad as I and many residents would have liked. It is crucial that social housing residents are able to have confidence that all the factors which led to the fire and the lacklustre response will be identified and addressed quickly and independently.”

The role would be styled on the children’s commissioner – an independent figure with legal powers to act as a watchdog. 

It would sit separately to the Government’s social housing regulator and would be one way of addressing wider social housing policy that the Grenfell public inquiry will not touch on. 

John Giesen, Chair of tenant engagement experts Tpas, and Paul Hackett, chief executive of a housing  “Social housing is a vital, much-needed housing tenure and more must be done to ensure it is safely managed and resourced. The residents’ voice is a critical part of that.”

Paul Hackett, Chief Executive of housing association Optivo, said: “Involving residents in service design and the governance of the organisation has not only helped improve customer satisfaction, it’s also helped reduce costs. Residents are experts at identifying areas where landlords are over or under serving.”


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