In this article, Active Housing explores the ‘Four Million Homes’ programme, launched by the British Government to address security and well-being concerns for social housing residents in the UK
In light of ongoing concerns about social housing security for millions of residents across the UK, a transformative programme called “Four Million Homes” has been launched by the British Government.
This initiative aims to empower those living in social housing and battling challenges such as security, health and safety concerns and slow response times.
What is the Four Million Homes programme?
Four Million Homes is a comprehensive training programme that aims to follow a watchdog-style “Know Your Rights” programme to empower residents: an avenue into achieving full influence and control over their social housing experiences.
The Four Million Homes programme has taken a significant step forward recently, being backed by the British Government’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities, through a funding injection of £500,000.
This follows closely on the heels of the “Make Things Right” campaign, showcasing the government’s proactive efforts to address challenges faced by social housing residents, signalling a positive commitment to ensuring the wellbeing of the community. Read more about that campaign in our recent blog article.
The unvoiced challenge for residents
A widespread challenge faced by social housing residents has long been a lack of awareness of their rights and responsibilities.
Four Million Homes aims to dismantle this informational barrier, arming residents with the knowledge necessary to address social housing disputes and substandard living conditions.
Through a series of carefully crafted webinars, training sessions and online articles, the programme will equip residents with a thorough understanding of their legal rights and avenues for recourse, empowering them to demand fairness and accountability from their landlord.
One recent webinar, for example, has explored anti-social behaviour and what landlords can do to prevent and address this.
There is also a large library of on-demand content that can be accessed and utilised by any resident at any time.
A new era for residents
The Four Million Homes programme marks a new era for both residents and social housing associations, supporting both sides to succeed.
Knowledge and agency: The programme empowers residents, providing them with valuable knowledge about their rights and responsibilities within the social housing system.
This equips residents with the skills to navigate disputes and substandard living conditions effectively, allowing them to advocate for themselves and demand fair treatment.
Voice and accountability: By educating residents, the programme amplifies their voices within the social housing sector.
It ensures that their concerns and needs are heard and addressed by social housing landlords. Increased tenant engagement pushes social housing providers to improve services and responsiveness.
Pushing housing associations to do more
Higher standards: The programme places HAs under the spotlight, encouraging them to elevate standards and incentivising them to provide better quality housing, services and support.
Cultural change: The programme fosters a culture of accountability within social housing providers, urging them to proactively address tenant concerns, maintain transparency, and prioritise tenant well-being.
Baroness Scott, Minister for Social Housing said:
“Tenants deserve better and this training programme will help people up and down the country demand a high-quality service from their landlord. We are driving up standards in social housing through landmark legislation and making sure residents’ voices are heard with digital advertisement campaigns. The Four Million Homes programme is the latest part of our plan to drive a culture change right at the very heart of the social housing sector.”
Hundreds of volunteers turn out in support
Hundreds of residents have volunteered to help shape and inform the content with the programme, via the Four Million Homes Resident Sounding Board.
This is finally providing residents with a platform to face the challenges of social housing and a voice to reach the relevant parties.
This is an overwhelmingly positive step in the government paying attention towards the issues in the social housing sector.
The Four Million Home programme plans to run for 24 months, with many more online and in-person training sessions to follow.
We’re excited to see the programme grow and see what topics are raised to further support and empower residents and direct housing associations alike.
Housing Digital Stakeholder Active Housing is a specialist social housing brand and a part of Hallnet Ltd, a multi-sector development agency that has been operating for over 20 years.
Image: Fabio Balbi/Shutterstock
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