League tables for social housing less likely

The Government is understood to have dropped its proposal to introduce league tables for social housing providers, after tenants voiced their concerns it could increase their stigma and leave them trapped in poor housing.

The idea was originally included in last year’s Social Housing Green Paper and was thought to be one of the Government’s favoured responses to the Grenfell Tower tragedy. However, Ministers are still expected to introduce key performance indicators for assessing landlords’ performance, although it is still unclear how these will be used.

The Government has yet to publicly respond to the consultation on the Green Paper, with a White Paper not expected until later in this year or early in 2020. When the introduction of league tables was first mooted, many landlords and their representative organisations protested. They claimed tables were a blunt tool, which could be misunderstood and encourage the wrong types of behaviour. Jonathan Walters, Deputy Director of Strategy and Performance at the Regulator of Social Housing, is reported to have said that while KPIs are likely to be part of future consumer regulation, he was less sure about league tables.

Jenny Osbourne, Chief Executive of TPAS, said:

“Tenants have consistently raised their concern to us about league tables and the impact these will have on the wider issue of stigma. What help will it be for tenants whose landlords are among the worse performers when in reality there remains so little choice about moving landlord?

“It could serve to only make a poor situation feel even worse. While league tables could be a help to make performance more visible across the sector, for most tenants what they are concerned with is the service and treatment they and their neighbours personally receive from their landlord. They want that to just simply get better and fast, not what position their landlord is in a table.”

By Patrick Mooney, Editor