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Issue 28 • October 2008                                   on Housing Reform

This                              An in-depth look at            What CIH thinks - a       Join the housing
                                  the latest issues and          shortlist for housing     reform debate now
edition                           debates on housing             reform - see back page.   and influence the
includes …                        reform.                                                  housing reform
                                                                                           green paper.

    Spotlight on
    Earlier this year the Westminster Government announced plans                   The implications of the current ‘credit crunch’ also have an impact
    for a Green Paper on housing reform. With the new Housing                      for the housing reform debate. For many people home ownership
    and Regeneration Act now on the statute books, policy makers                   seems further away than ever before. Many more will be forced
    have shifted their emphasis away from issues such as infra-                    out of home ownership once their unsustainable fixed rate
    structure and regulation, to the role of social housing and the                mortgages come to an end over the next few years. Others will
    rights and responsibilities of tenants and residents.                          face losing their jobs as unemployment continues to rise,
                                                                                   currently at 5.5 per cent - the highest for nearly a decade.

                                          The debate on housing reform was         But despite these problems, and the extra pressure it will place on
                                           started by the Chartered Institute of   social housing and housing choices, the credit crunch is forecast
                                            Housing (CIH) at its UK annual         to remain with us for a relatively short time. It is important that
                                            conference in Harrogate last June.     the housing reform debate looks behind the current challenges to
                                            With the debate moving towards its     provide lasting solutions to some of the systemic problems and
                                            final stages, the Government is        generation spanning issues identified by Hill and others.
                                            likely to be well on the way to
                                            formulating their ideas and
                                            proposals for publication later this   REMINDER OF WHAT JOHN HILLS SAID:
                                                            year. And it is        Social housing plays a vital role in supporting around four million
                                                              important that all   households in England (and five million across the UK). But the
                                                              the major            John Hills review found that there are challenges that we need to
                                                               stakeholders join   address so housing can support people better:
                                                               the reform debate
                                                               and influence       • social housing has become "polarised" and "residualised" -
                                                               Government            more tenants with greater needs and lower incomes live in
                                                               thinking over the     social housing, and existing tenants with higher incomes
                                                               next few weeks.       have left
                                                                                   • the number of social tenants who do not work has
                                                  Alongside the                      significantly increased
                                                  housing reform                   • housing "wealth inequalities"
                                                  debate,                            have widened - home
                                                 Government has                      owners have financial
                             also embarked on a series of reviews of                 advantages over others,
                        great significance to the housing sector.                    and people now find it
                 These include a Review of the Council Housing                       harder to enter
    Finance in England and Housing Benefit, which has implications                   homeownership
    for the whole of the UK.                                                       • "mobility" is very low -
                                                                                     tenants find it difficult to
    In this special edition of Housing Spotlight, CIH looks at some of               move house, especially for
    the keys issues and themes debated over the summer. CIH also                     work or training
    gives its own view on the direction of housing reform.                         • tenant dissatisfaction is
                                                                                     high and has worsened in
    WHY IS THIS DEBATE SO IMPORTANT?                                                 some cases.
    The starting point and impetus for this debate is John Hills’ review of
    social housing in England published in early 2007. His analysis made
    it clear that social housing – despite being affordable and secure –
    does not help people make social and economic progress.

    Alongside this is the Government’s desire for fairness, rights and
    responsibilities across a wide range of policy areas, not just housing.
    It is inevitable that the debate will and must touch on some very
    sensitive areas - none more so than the link between social housing
    and economic inactivity.

2   spotlight . issue 28 . october 2008
 Communities and Local Government (CLG) plan to publish a                Housing reform and young
 housing reform green paper towards the end of this year. The green      people. Watch the videos on
 paper will contain proposals on how we can change social housing        You Tube:
 so that housing services and options help and encourage people
 towards greater economic independence and social mobility whilst
 delivering greater fairness and making best use of public funding.
 The green paper will explore housing services and options that:

 • are different for people with different needs and in different
 • are offered fairly and transparently and make best use of finite
   resources                                                           There is a growing dichotomy that whilst global populations have
 • are delivered through a "family" of providers which is led by       more opportunity to travel and migrate, movement within the UK is
   local authorities - but includes housing associations and the       becoming more challenging. The limited supply of private and social
   private rented sector                                               housing and the issue of affordability are major contributors to the
 • make ownership of all or part of a home more accessible.            lack of mobility in the UK. The other is the difficulty of moving
                                                                       within social housing – locally, regionally or nationally - for economic
                                                                       reasons such as finding employment or career development. Both
                                                                       reasons are contributing to a divided society highlighted, in part, by
                                                                       the fact that around sixty per cent of social housing tenants receive
                                        Join the housing reform        housing benefit. So if economic activity is so fundamental to ‘moving
                                        debate now and                 on’ in housing careers and life, should this be factored into the
                                        influence the housing          allocation of social housing alongside the big three of homelessness,
                                        reform green paper.            health and overcrowding?

                                                                       Social housing has always been there to help the most needy in                                       society and it is clear that this must continue. But the definition of
                                                                       ‘needy’, as traditionally applied, is very narrow in today’s housing
                                                                       market. The lack of supply and increasing house prices have brought
WHAT ARE THE KEY AREAS FOR DEBATE?                                     in a new market of people, who wouldn’t normally be classed as
Government has suggested five main areas to consider in the            ‘needy’, but they do have a strong case for more help and support.
housing reform debate. There are others, but it is clear that few of   So is it still fair that only the most needy get access to social housing,
the debates offer any easy answers or solutions. An open and           and once that need ends what should be done to stop the system
constructive debate is needed to make progress in this difficult       stagnating?
policy area.
Housing and young people                                               Home ownership is undeniably the tenure of choice. And facilitating
Forty per cent of all lettings go to people under 24. Many of them     ownership is a natural vote winner. But the movement into home
have an expectation to be allocated social housing. A large            ownership is difficult from other tenures. This might be right because
proportion of people don’t move on in their housing careers.           ownership is clearly not suitable for all. Arguably, it is also reckless
To many this does not seem right and there is a difficult and          with the fundamental health of our economy if ownership is funded
problematic discussion to have about limiting entitlements to          through irresponsible lending and founded on bad financial advice
social housing.                                                        and awareness. So how can we deliver more home ownership which
                                                                       balances individual aspirations with responsible decision-making?
There is an even harder debate about rights and responsibilities.      And what can we do to make renting a more positive choice?
An uncomfortably high number of young people in social housing
are economically inactive, and possess fewer skills and                The wider role
qualifications compared to people in other forms of tenure. The        Housing providers have a long track record of tackling social
debate is complicated by the often difficult personal circumstances    disadvantage and encouraging progress amongst their tenants.
of many young people. Few in this category have a fast or clear        There is growing recognition of this work, although it is not core
path to independence. Good policy in relation to housing and           business for the sector and the policy framework for its
young people may be the key to breaking the growing issues             implementation, alongside the range of other partners, is not always
identified by Hills. Organisations like the Joseph Rowntree            clear and understood. There are opportunities to work closer with
Foundation have produced good work on homelessness and                 agencies such as Jobcentre Plus, but this may complicate relationships
research into ‘rewarding young people for pro-social behaviour’,       with tenants, in a sector which already experiences lower levels of
but how reasonable and practical is it to attach conditions, such as   customer satisfaction compared to other public sector services.
a commitment to seek employment or training to a tenancy?              So what is the sector’s wider role and where could it make the
                                                                       biggest contribution?

                                                                                                                  spotlight . issue 28 . october 2008   3
    CIH launched a housing reform discussion                                 She continued: "There isn’t a lot of information out there for us to
                                                                             access and if there is it’s all in company jargon. We don’t know that,
    website in June to help get to the heart of the
                                                                             you need to talk to us on our level. People should work with us".
    key debates. Links to the site have been placed
    on over 30 websites to ensure all the major                              Bianca Lilley, from London, said: "I personally think that the options
    stakeholders are included in the debate. In this                         for young people are very limited. It’s all very well going into shared
                                                                             accommodation and shared housing, but the options after moving
    section CIH looks in more detail at some of the
                                                                             on are very, very limited…I think if there are more options it means
    current debates on the key issues.                                       you don’t have to depend on supported housing. Supported housing
                                                                             is secure and people are there to listen, but once you move on,
                                                                             you’re by yourself and there are not enough options for young
    HOUSING REFORM AND YOUNG PEOPLE                                          people to choose from."
    With housing reform likely to affect young people in particular, it is
    important that their voice is heard. At the outset of the reform         Glen Lashley, from Birmingham, was keen that Government focussed
    debate Government has been keen to listen to the views of young          on offering more vulnerable young people better security of tenure:
    people, as well as other stakeholders, who don’t normally have the       "I’ve worked with a lot of young people and they’re not ready to
    opportunity to influence housing policy. As a result CIH has taken       have their own accommodation but they have no choice but to get
    the opportunity to help young people from across the country to          their own accommodation…because of that a lot of them lose their
    send some clear messages to Government on a range of housing             tenancy. A better support structure for vulnerable young people
    issues including homelessness, benefits and support agencies.            would be great."

    CIH has worked with members of the National Youth Reference                                                                A better support
    Group – part of the National Youth Homelessness Scheme – to
                                                                                                                               structure for
    produce a series of 14 short video clips on a range of issues. The
    videos have been uploaded onto ‘You Tube’ to help stimulate                                                                vulnerable
                                                                                                                               young people
    The videos were filmed at St Basils in the West Midlands and feature                                                       would be great."
    young people from London, West Yorkshire, Hertfordshire and
    Birmingham. All have faced real challenges in relation to housing        Samantha Jackson, from Hertfordshire, also stressed the importance
    from an early age and are able to talk in depth about the positives      of good skills and education to help homeless people: "Not that
    and negatives of the current housing system.                             many people have life skills to cope on their own. There are quite a
                                                                             few young people who think it’s cool to not get an education but it
    The views of young people                                                doesn’t lead you anywhere in the long run…. They need more life
    Ashanti Webb, from Birmingham, highlighted problems with                 skills and budgeting skills to come off benefits or after living with
    accessing support and advice. She said: "You’ve got your Connexions      their parents.
    and your drug service…you have to travel round the whole of
    Birmingham just to access these services. What if you had one that       "When you’ve got your own place you feel more confident, you feel
    was all together in one house so that young people…. can get             you’ve achieved something. Now I’m in my own place I feel more
    everything from one service. If you’re on benefits you haven’t got the   confident to go out there and re-do my GCSEs and try to get on a
    money to keep paying £3 here and there to go here and there".            course that will lead me to counselling."

                                                       You’ve got your Connexions and your drug service…you have to travel
                                                       round the whole of Birmingham just to access these services. What if
                                                       you had one that was all together in one house so that young
                                                       people…. can get everything from one service.

4   spotlight . issue 28 . october 2008
The professionals’ view                                                   CIH wants all councils in England to be able to retain income from
Debates amongst housing professionals over the summer have                council house rents in order to plan for better quality housing in the
revealed some agreement on some of the key issues articulated by          long term and improve services to tenants. It wants an end to the
young people, especially education and good advice. Both are              process of redistributing overall revenue between councils and for
concerned about the high loss of tenancies in the first year caused by    councils to have the power, together with tenants, to set their own
a basic lack of life skills and knowledge, which often results in         rent levels, within guidelines. Councils should also be able to keep
outcomes such as rent arrears and abandonment.                            any surplus income at a local level. CIH wants the new system to put
                                                                          all councils on a level playing field and wants Government to address
One contributor to the housing reform website summed up the               the issue of historic debt.
concerns of many housing professionals*: “Homeless young people
under the age of 18 automatically get a tenancy hopefully with a          CIH believes reform towards a devolved system would allow for local
guarantor but sometimes without. We do not know whether or not            authorities to become more autonomous and flexible, to plan long
they are able to balance their finances, whether they are responsible     term to meet local priorities, maintain their housing stock, lever
citizens and happy to comply with the responsibilities of their           additional funding for investment and provide additional services to
tenancy or whether they do not give a hoot to their neighbours            tenants. With autonomy, councils should ensure that housing plays
rights for peace and hold parties every night and cause other anti        its role in the overall place-shaping agenda and that residents have
social behaviour. Rent is paid by Housing Benefit so no                   greater control over the services delivered.
encouragement is given to find employment. I believe this sets up the
young person’s future expectations.”                                      REFORM OF HOUSING BENEFIT
                                                                          In July, Rt. Hon Stephen Timms MP, Minister of State for Employment
Another contributor was keen to promote more financial                    and Welfare outlined some of his own thoughts about the future of
independence*: “This age group need social support and often              housing benefit, and wider welfare reform, at an event hosted by
financial support too, as they make the transition to adulthood and       CIH. He said:
independence. For me independence means having a job and the
ability to meet your own housing needs. By the age of about 25-35         “The idea that Housing Benefit is merely a means of transferring cash
young people should be able to afford to buy a home, or rent              from the state to the customer, with no strings attached, cannot be
privately if they choose. To me the notion of an 18 year old with no      sustained. Welfare is no longer delivered to the individual passively
skills, job or financial independence being put into social housing is    by the State, without conditions.
not sensible. Young people need to concentrate on growing their
skills, their resources, knowledge and relationships”.                    “Work is the best route out of poverty. Welfare is to help people live
                                                                          fulfilling and productive lives. Independence is at the heart of our
Other contributors believe the current system is just storing up          ambitions for welfare reform. The welfare state was conceived to
problems for later life*: “We do young people a disservice by offering    foster independence. It gives people the support they need, not so
them tenancies before they are mature enough to be responsible            that they become dependent but precisely so that they do not. We
citizens. Under the homelessness legislation 16 and 17 year olds are      are changing the rest of the system to work much better, but we
automatically in priority need and as such Local Authorities have a       need to make sure that Housing Benefit is consistent with these
duty to offer accommodation. This decision was made before any            principles too”.
suitable accommodation was made available.
                                                                          On the current housing benefit system he said: “Too few customers
“Obviously not all young people cause a nuisance but there are those      today receive their benefit themselves, or can exercise choice over
who are not able to consider their neighbours, who cannot manage          where they live or how much of their benefit they pay in rent.
their budgets, who cause anti social behaviour with loud parties etc.     Housing Benefit is passive…I am convinced we can
Giving tenancies also start them on the route of benefits. Right at the   give people far more control than they have at
moment they start "adult" life everything is handed to them on a          the moment; far more responsibility for
plate and we remove their motivation to work to achieve their home.”      managing their own financial affairs and far
                                                                          more choice in finding decent, affordable,
REVIEW OF COUNCIL HOUSING FINANCE                                         housing.“
CLG and HM Treasury are undertaking a fundamental review of the
Housing Revenue Account (HRA) subsidy system. Although not part of        Speaking about his thoughts on potential areas for
the proposed Green paper, it is a far reaching review, reflecting on      reform, he said: “Housing benefit is to ensure that
standards in social housing and how these are set and funded. It aims     people on low incomes have access to decent housing.
to ‘develop a sustainable, long term system for financing council         That core purpose will stay. But beyond that, how does
housing, one that is consistent with wider housing policy, including      Housing Benefit help people into work? How does it
the establishment of a regulator of social housing’.                      help them exercise choice and responsibility? Is
                                                                          it fair? Is its administration efficient and
CIH has provided independent facilitation through a series of             good value for money? The Review of
workshops which has supported the Review. The review of Council           Housing Benefit will look at all those
Housing Finance is more advanced than some of the other current           questions”.
debates. The current system is much criticised and change is
expected with an announcement expected in 2009. With the support          Continued over...
of its membership, CIH has already announced a clear position.

*Visit for more comments                                                              spotlight . issue 28 . october 2008   5
    Reaction                                                                  Even so, some housing professionals remain sceptical. Comments on
    A number of tenants have debated the benefits system issue on             the CIH’s housing reform discussion site include*: “I am not sure how
    CIH’s Housing Reform website. Their comments have included*:              much thought has been given to the enormous burden this could place
    “It [the benefits system] needs to be made more transparent and           on Registered Social Landlords who would have hundreds or thousands
    easier to work out what housing benefit you are entitled to. I feel       more tenants with arrears, and the knock-on effect on the court
    the present system is leaving people in great hardship as a housing       service, evictions, homelessness applications, not to mention the social
    benefit claim is not paying all or enough to those with the               costs and misery for households sinking into housing debt”.
    greatest need.
                                                                              The Government’s look at housing benefit is limited to an internal
    “I myself am on incapacity benefit and so is my wife and we have          review at present. But it seems clear that their desire to encourage
    to pay £20 a week rent and £12 a fortnight council tax. This is a         greater financial awareness, personal ownership and independence
    massive amount to pay out and this is why people get into                 could have a major impact on the sector.
    difficulty paying and getting into debt”.
                                                                                                                  SOMETHING FOR NOTHING?
    Other tenants have concerns about the administrative system*:                                                 One of the most contentious
    “…the council offices that deal with these claims are far too slow                                            debates is potentially linking social
    and arrears have mounted to several hundreds of pounds by the                                                 housing to conditions such as
    time you get a decision. And even then the amount of times you                                                commitments to look for work,
    get a wrong decision is far too high”.                                                                        training and other responsibilities.
                                                                                                                  The debate was ignited in Caroline
    The Tenant Participation Advisory Service (TPAS) wants to see a                                               Flint's first speech as housing
    balance between compulsion and incentives. They want proposals                                                minister in February 2008. It
    to be rooted in evidence, fair and proportionate. In their                                                    sparked some strong comment in
    submission to Government on housing reform they said: “We want                                                the sector by suggesting that
    to see the barriers to work removed; not people penalised for long                                            tenants could risk losing their
    term unemployment. We would be concerned if the                                                               homes if they fail to look for work.
    recommendations from the forthcoming Housing Benefit review                                                   In her speech she asked a series of
    did not address the adverse impact of the tapers and disregards                                               questions linked to worklessness
    that act as a disincentive. The Housing Green Paper must ensure                                               that have continued to echo and
    issues such as steep HB tapers and disincentives around returning                                             still need answering:
    to work such as disregards for returning to work periods, are
    addressed. The problems with Working Family Tax Credits and               • Should existing tenants who need to move for work be given
    income estimates remain a challenge for low income households               higher priority on waiting lists?
    trying to sustain employment”.                                            • Could new tenants, who can work, sign commitment contracts
                                                                                when getting a tenancy, agreeing to actively seek work alongside
                                                                                better support?
                                                                              • How can we improve the links between housing services and
                                                                                employment services?

                                                                              Seven months down the line Flint has continued to air some of the
                                                                              difficult public debates around housing and wider policy reforms.
                                                                              Prior to this year’s autumn Labour Party Conference she said:

                                                                              Confronting the issues
                                                                              ‘Part of being a minister and politician is being brave enough to
                                                                              actually confront some issues that are rather uncomfortable
                                                                              sometimes.’ She reiterated her concern that: “a third of houses or flats
                                                                              given through social landlords had gone to young people under 25 of
                                                                              whom 80 per cent were out of work … we’re basically handing the
                                                                              keys to, in some cases, a newly-built flat or home and that’s the end of
                                                                              the story. I wouldn’t accept that for my own children and I wouldn’t
    Early indications are that Government is looking at the changes to        want to accept it for anybody else’s children.’
    the Local Housing Allowance (LHA), rolled out nationally in April, as a
    potential model for the payment of housing benefit. In itself the         But the minister also seeks to reassure those who have real housing
    new system for LHA was a very significant change for tenants in the       need that they will not be disregarded. At the same time, however, she
    private rented sector. In addition, some financial institutions have      suggests that the present system is ‘like a race to the bottom’. Despite
    already seen the potential with a pre-paid card system – potentially      the best of intentions, the current system rewards the family or
    an important stepping stone to mainstream banking for some                individual who can ‘present themselves as practically on the verge of
    financially excluded people.                                              collapse,’ rather than ‘someone who is in housing need and is finding it
                                                                              difficult to combine work with paying market rents.’

6   spotlight . issue 28 . october 2008
She continued: ‘Personally, I find that demeaning and a dysfunctional      PRIVATE RENTED SECTOR
system because … there will be people who can play the game in order       To some the Private Rented Sector (PRS) is a new and relatively
to get what they want – and we have created that system, we’ve             unexplored opportunity to solve some of the issues facing social
forced people to play in that way.’                                        housing. The greater abundance of supply has strong appeal and
                                                                           may outweigh some of the inherent problems, such as a perceived
After an initial outcry from housing professionals and other               lack of professional standards. According to the Citizens Advice
stakeholders, many housing professionals still seem to be digesting the    Bureau, one in five private sector tenants were dissatisfied with the
implications of conditionality. On balance people seem to be reluctant     quality of repairs carried out by their landlord and feared retaliatory
to engage fully in this most difficult of debates, at this stage.          action if they complained to authorities. On the other hand,
However, there is an opposing view and this has been put forward           landlords can face problems with poor tenants not paying rent and
several times on the housing reform website*:                              anti-social behaviour.

“Surely we should be incentivising people to work rather than              Earlier this year, Government commissioned an independent review
threatening them with the stick of eviction? The carrot always works       of the private rented sector, headed by Julie Rugg and David Rhodes
better than the stick... Caroline Flint's idea couldn't be further from    from the Centre for Housing Policy at York University. The review
what we actually need and just punishes people who are already in          is considering PRS’s users, quality of accommodation and
dire straits. Instead of judging out of work people, we should be giving   future demand.
them a help to get back to work. Then, and only then, should we
consider more drastic measures, such as cutting benefits, or even          Some of the opportunities and concerns about PRS are being
public service, but never, ever, should we consider evicting people from   reflected by contributors to the housing reform website *: “There is a
their home because they refuse to work.”                                   lot of stock out there [private rented sector] that could quite easily
                                                                           provide a viable alternative to the social sector for many people but
                                                                           until those of us working in the profession make more of an effort to
‘Surely we should be incentivising people to                               break down the barriers between the two sectors we are unlikely to
work rather than threatening them with the                                 see much reform. Having worked in both sectors I am aware of both
                                                                           the fundamental differences and the huge similarities.”
stick of eviction? The carrot always works better
than the stick...’                                                         One of the key issues to resolve with the PRS is lack of security of
                                                                           tenure. In complete contrast to the system of social housing, the PRS
                                                                           is geared away from security to a system which manages a high
                                                                           churn of tenancies and deters investment in home and community
                                                                           by tenants. The question for Government is how do you encourage,
                                                                           or compel landlords, to grant secure tenancies over a longer term.
                                                                           Many PRS landlords would want to keep flexibility. And not everyone
                                                                           wants to get rid of their property for a long period and not everyone
                                                                           needs security.

                                                                           For most PRS landlords the overriding aim is to get a return on their
                                                                           investment and the implications of this on the standard of private
                                                                           housing stock and sustainability of communities is one of the main
                                                                           concerns of housing professionals in the social sector.

                                                                           Another contributor to the housing reform website said*: “The PRS
                                                                           has a lot of work to do to change its reputation and it could learn a
                                                                           lot from the social sector but this needs an open mind from both
                                                                           camps and an attitude that good practice is good practice wherever
                                                                           it comes from”.

                                                                                                                   Join the housing reform
                                                                                                                   debate now and
                                                                                                                   influence the housing
                                                                                                                   reform green paper.


*Visit for more comments                                                                  spotlight . issue 28 . october 2008   7
WHAT CIH THINKS - a shortlist for housing reform
The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) is consulting widely in the development of its
                                                                                                    SHARED OWNERSHIP
submission to Government on Housing Reform. Here are some of the emerging themes
                                                                                                    • Improved knowledge of shared ownership products. CIH would welcome more
CIH is likely to ask Government to consider in their Green Paper. Shaping debate and                communication, better targeting to likely client groups and simplification of products, to ensure
ideas around these themes will be a central part of our work in the coming months.                  people are aware of their full housing options offer.
You can contribute your ideas at:                                   • Integration of shared ownership products into a flexible tenure model. CIH believes this
                                                                                                    would provide security and sense of ownership for people who can no longer sustain full
  WIDE RANGING REFORM                                                                               homeownership or who want to change into ownership from renting without moving house.
  • Holistic approach. CIH is clear that any programme of housing reform must look at the
  housing market as a whole. Housing reform must be linked to wider policy reform such as the
  welfare system. Reform must embrace the needs of everyone and avoid focussing on specific         HOME OWNERSHIP
  and relatively small sections of the population.                                                  • Advice. CIH would urge good housing advice to be available to all, including potential and
                                                                                                    existing home owners and shared owners.
  • Planning housing careers over lifetimes. CIH would like to see improved decision-making
  on housing options. CIH wants access for everyone to a clear, transparent source of advice and    • Low cost ownership products. CIH would support any extension of these products to avoid the
  information about housing options to meet lifetime needs.                                         need for people to stretch their affordability levels above what is sustainable.
  • Flexible tenure. CIH would like to see major changes to interactions between tenures in the     • Universal savings scheme. CIH would support the establishment of a savings scheme to
  UK. Moving between different tenure options should become more normal.                            support entry into home ownership and shared ownership when it is affordable and sustainable.
                                                                                                    • New approach to flexible tenure. CIH would welcome a new mechanism to help home owners
  SOCIAL HOUSING                                                                                    staircase down into shared ownership when their circumstances change acutely e.g. divorce,
  • Housing allocations. CIH believes robust discussion is needed on who is allocated social        bereavement and redundancy.
  housing, how lettings are prioritised, and how the overall system interfaces with support and
  housing options. The role and purpose of social housing needs to be clearer.                      • Reverse equity market. CIH is concerned about the sell and rent back and equity release
                                                                                                    markets and would welcome more regulation and more suitable provision to avoid damaging
  • A move towards flexible tenure and tenure reviews. CIH would welcome a move to a                housing careers.
  system of housing tenure and management offering more choice, and is capable of responding
  to changing circumstances and aspirations.                                                        • Vulnerable home owners. CIH would welcome the development of an integrated system of
                                                                                                    support for vulnerable homeowners to avoid financial hardship and repossession.
  • Joined up approach to mobility. CIH would like to see the opportunity for tenants to have a
  greater choice of providers and a stronger ability to move for employment or social needs.        • House buying. CIH believes more work is needed to simplify and improve the process of buying
                                                                                                    a house in England, including HIPS.
  PRIVATE RENTED SECTOR                                                                             • Stamp duty. CIH considers the current model creates unnecessary pressure points and distorts
  • Improving access. CIH believes work is needed to look at how to improve choice of private       transactions. CIH would welcome a review of the scheme.
  rental accommodation for tenants in receipt of housing benefit.
                                                                                                    • Banks and financial institutions. CIH wants development of a long-term system of responsible
  • Improving quality and management. CIH believes a different approach to regulation is            lending to responsible consumers, tying financial regulation to financial capability and inclusion.
  needed to help establish good standards as the norm, with effective remedies for poor services.
                                                                                                    • Real estate sector. The sale and purchase of properties must reflect the significance of the
  • Supporting housing aspirations. CIH would like to see more support to enable people to          personal investment being made by an individuals and landlords. CIH would welcome a review of
  save and move towards sustainable home ownership from the private rented sector.                  roles and responsibilities.

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