How will the housing sector meet the challenges of the coming years?

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How will the housing sector meet the challenges of the coming years?

Whilst the current property market, and economy in general, faces several unprecedented challenges as we enter the post-pandemic era, the Housing Sector in particular has been presented with a number of dilemma’s that it has to wrestle with in the next few years.

Not only do providers have to work hard to meet the demand for good quality homes – estimated to be in the region of 150,000 a year just to address the immediate housing shortage, the Building Safety Bill, which is currently progressing through the parliamentary process, coupled with the revised Fire Safety Bill becoming law in May 2021, has placed a significant focus on housing providers to ensure that the buildings in which their tenants live are, and feel, safe. The introduction of the new Building Safety Regulator and duty holders, the increased competency requirements for staff working in this area, the requirement for a Customer Engagement Strategy together with the on-going remedial works required to keep buildings safe places both cost and time pressures on many organisations. It will also be interesting to see what impact the amendments to the Fire Safety Order have on the sector, with the consultation process and the publication of the Government’s response recently published.

The drive to a ‘Net Zero Carbon’ economy by 2050 also challenges the sector to find solutions to deliver the change required. Estimates put the cost to decarbonise properties across the UK at around £104bn, so the development and roll out of new products, new markets and new regulation with all the stakeholders working together to deliver change is essential to meet the targets set by Government.

This is all in addition to the on-going review of the Decent Homes Standard – the Social Housing White Paper ‘A Charter for Social Housing’ launched in November 2020 promises social housing residents that they should expect to be safe in their home and to have a good quality home and neighbourhood to live in. The review is still trying to ascertain if the current standards are the right ‘ask’ and whether they should be updated to support the Government’s wider programme of initiatives, including the energy efficiency agenda.

So how does the sector balance these competing needs on time, resources, and money? Across all areas there are conflicting demands, a lack of clarity, and resources. A change in culture and mind-set is needed to drive the change the sector and the wider industry needs to deliver the benefits.

In short therefore, early collaboration with trusted experts in building safety, energy and technology solutions and stock condition is paramount. Organisations need to be able to supplement in-house resources with practical ‘hands-on’ experts in the property sector that are focussed on the collection and provision of high-quality data, reports and inspections that allow cost effective and timely decisions to be made. The housing sector needs pro-active experts that can provide cost effective, innovative solutions based on new thinking that meet ever-challenging value-for-money criteria.

How Pennington Choices can help…

Having worked within property services for over 20 years, delivering projects to property providers and landlords nationally, we have significant consulting and surveying experience in helping you and your organisation respond to the significant challenges the housing sector faces. For more information on how we can help your organisation, or to have a chat about any of the topics within the blog, get in touch with our Property Consultants, by clicking here.

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