General Debate on Grenfell

By: Shaan Bhangal
Published: October 2019

Briefing: General Debate on Grenfell

It is important to note that the causes of the Grenfell Tower fire run deeper than the issues with unfit cladding. Grenfell was the result of a system of regulation that neglected residents and consistently failed to listen to their concerns.

The upcoming general debate on Wednesday presents an opportunity to ensure that this Government, along with those in the future, does more to protect the health, safety, and well-being of all social tenants. To ensure that this happens, there needs to be a level of oversight and scrutiny on social housing standards that can only be delivered through an effective regulator.

This is why Shelter are calling for a new system of regulation - one which is tenant-focused. We have seen similar developments in the regulation of the food industry, following food-related deaths, and the financial sector, after the banking crash.

At present, social housing tenants do not believe that the existing regulator is user-friendly or exists to protect them. As a result, simply ‘beefing up’ or restoring the existing regulator does not nearly go far enough to restore faith in the current regulatory system – tenants want and deserve a new purpose-built social housing regulator.

Therefore, Shelter are calling on the Government to create a new consumer regulator for social housing, with significant powers for effective monitoring and enforcement.