Westminster

In his opening address, Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) CEO Gavin Smart has called on government to pick up the pace when it comes to social housing legislation.

He said one of the big challenges was the “slow pace of progress” and that those who are homeless or on waiting lists need housing now.

Saying that “we need government to do more” Smart pressed that these issues “can’t wait” and support was needed for social rented homes.

He also took on the government around some of their recent proposals, including section 106 and permitted development rights, which he said needs a rethink.

He added: “These aren’t the homes that we want to build for our future.”

Looking at building safety, Smart said government needs to do more again, stating that “it seems unfair to me that leaseholders have to pay for a failure of building regulations.”

Looking more inward, Smart said the incoming culture change for housing organisations, from Social Housing White Paper to professional standards, needs to take shape.

He said: “The Social Housing White Paper measures send a clear message of focusing on the views of the people that live in social housing.

“I think we all understand that it is impossible to get everything right all of the time. But when things do go wrong, we must do it as quickly as possible and improve. That is what makes a professional.

“To drive change we must listen to residents and tenants.”