Looking Ahead to 2022 and Beyond
Social Housing as a sector will undoubtedly remain a key social, political and environmental issue in 2022. As the Archbishop of Canterbury highlighted in the run up to Christmas 2021, the UK has many critical challenges to overcome to provide safe and affordable housing for all. The influence of the new Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities will also be interesting to watch.
The ‘Levelling Up the United Kingdom’ White Paper, released in February 2022 made specific reference to building more housing, “including more genuinely affordable social housing”, as well as scrapping the 80/20 funding rule that focused greater investment in Greater London and the South East region, and instead will see investment in more homes in the North and Midlands regions of England.
Part of this strategy will see new legislation introduced to improve the quality and regulation of social housing, give residents performance information so that they can hold landlords to account, and ensure when complaints are made, landlords take quick and effective action.
This all is set against a backdrop of very specific challenges the sector will need to meet head on; including the continued costs of fixing fire safety faults, moving towards the net zero target in 2050, ongoing supply issues, increased costs for raw materials and wider ESG responsibilities, particularly following on from COP26.
The journey towards sustainability and the net zero target by 2050 will remain high on the political and social agenda but despite all the challenges ahead, the social housing sector must play a critical role in improving the lives of millions of people across the UK.
A busy, demanding but exciting year ahead.
For information or advice on any of the topics raised, please contact our affordable housing team.