Government publishes long-awaited social housing report - Mind comment

Posted On: 
14th August 2018

The Government has published the long-awaited Green Paper on social housing, setting out what the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government intends to do to improve social housing for tenants. Social housing is accommodation provided to those who need it by local authorities and charities if they’re affected by issues such as low income or disability.

The report – entitled ‘a new deal for social housing’ - centres around five broad themes. Tackling stigma and celebrating thriving communities, expanding supply and supporting home ownership, effective resolution of complaints, empowering residents and strengthening the regulator and ensuring homes are safe and decent

Responding to this publication, Vicki Nash, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Mind, said:

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“We’re pleased that this report has finally been published but disappointed not to see greater emphasis placed on mental health, given the high proportion of social housing tenants affected by poor mental health. Over one in three people who live in social housing have a mental health problem and there is a strong link between housing and mental health. You’re more likely to experience problems with your home if you have a mental health problem and, equally, where you live can have a huge impact on your mental health.

“There are a huge number of housing issues affecting our members, campaigners and supporters, whether it’s facing long waits to get a home, being exposed to poor quality homes affected by things like mould, damp and overcrowding, living in fear of being evicted or struggling to keep up with rent. We welcome the focus on safety and security and resolving complaints effectively as we know these are all issues affecting the people we hear from every day.

“We are also pleased to see Government recognise the need to better understand how social housing is being allocated across the country. We know too often people with mental health problems don’t get the social housing they need – whether because they’re being discriminated against, or because there’s a lack of understanding about their needs. The Government has made clear their commitment to mental health in other areas – so we hope to see mental health front and centre when it comes to this review of social housing allocations too. It’s essential that people with mental health problems are treated fairly and compassionately in social housing.

“We hope this is just the start of the conversation about the role social housing plays in our society – a conversation we hope will include people with mental health problems every step of the way. Over the coming months we’ll be supporting people affected by poor mental health to ensure their views are heard as part of the consultation.”