What was the problem?
On 14 June 2017, a devastating fire broke out in Grenfell Tower, a 24-storey block of mainly social housing flats.
Seventy-two people, including 18 children, tragically lost their lives. This was one of the greatest housing injustices this country has ever seen.
This appalling disaster followed years of the deregulation and often poor management of social housing, which has also faced funding cuts from successive governments.
What did we do about it?
Grenfell United - an organisation made up of bereaved families and survivors of the fire - led the campaign for changes to how social housing is managed and regulated, and how tenants are treated.
We supported this campaign and worked side-by-side with Grenfell United, our own supporters, and other housing campaigners like Rob Gershon and Kwajo Tweneboa to fight for the introduction of a Social Housing Regulation Act.
Together, we all campaigned for the act to be stronger and for the safety and wellbeing of tenants to be at its very heart.
In addition to this, we supported the parents of toddler Awaab Ishak in their campaign for Awaab’s Law to be included in the legislation. They wanted better protection for families from serious hazards in their homes. This was after their two-year-old son tragically died in December 2020 as a result of the extensive mould in their social housing flat.
What have we achieved together?
After six years of tireless campaigning for meaningful legislation, the Social Housing Regulation Act 2023 will finally provide a much-needed foundation for real change. It should also help to rebalance the power between landlords and tenants.
The act will:
hold social landlords to account by legally requiring the Regulator of Social Housing to plan regular inspections and enforce standards, which should help to prevent bad practice
set further tough standards for landlords to make sure housing managers are competent, professional and transparent when working for their tenants
And, thanks to campaigning for Awaab’s Law, the act will also:
lead to regulations on serious hazards, like damp/mould and fire safety, which will require landlords to investigate and put right safety issues within clear timeframes
We've still got a way to go in the push for a fairer system that puts people first. And we’ll continue to work with tenants and activists who want to see the act result in major improvements to people’s homes.
But, the Social Housing Regulation Act is definitely a big step in the right direction. It shows what can be achieved when we work together to fight for real change.