MP Clive Betts visits Midlands Rural Housing
Safe and sustainable homes top the agenda at meeting of Midlands housing chiefs and Labour MP Clive Betts
Changes to the way social landlords are regulated and the future sustainability of housing associations were among the topics discussed at a recent meeting of Midlands housing chiefs and MP Clive Betts, Chair of the Government’s Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Committee.
Mr Betts the Labour MP for Sheffield South East met with David Frederickson, Chair of Midlands Rural Housing and Chan Kataria OBE, Group Chief Executive of emh group on 23rd June at emh’s offices in Coalville, Leicestershire.
The purpose of the event was to enable leaders from the housing sector, and invited local authority guests from across the Midlands, to hear from Mr Betts on a range of issues, including the Social Housing Regulator’s new, impending legislation and the key housing and community issues driving this. The enquiry into the future sustainability of housing associations, the challenge of meeting Net Zero targets and the Labour Party’s approach to housing and communities was also discussed with an opportunity for guests to ask Mr Betts questions.
Members from Leicestershire Rural Housing Association, Northamptonshire Rural Housing Association, Peak District Rural Housing Association and Warwickshire Rural Housing Association boards joined the very open and honest conversation.
David Frederickson, Chair of Midlands Rural Housing and Peak District Rural Housing Association said:
“The event provided a great opportunity for local housing leaders and partners to hear from Mr Betts and discuss current housing challenges with him. The insights he shared were informative and his emphasis on the importance of good quality homes and developing communities resonated with all of the audience and in particular with those of us working in rural housing where community is vital to the sustainability of rural villages.”
Following Mr Betts’ update Chan Kataria OBE Group Chief Executive of emh group, shared a presentation on the sector’s response to the challenges and opportunities as we move forward under this new regime.
"It was heartening to hear such informed debate about the competing demands of investing in existing homes, meeting new supply and addressing the cost of living crisis for our customers. A clear ask from those present was clarity on the future rent policy beyond 2025, as well as political recognition from all parties of the need to ensure there is sufficient funding to decarbonise our homes and meet future Decent Homes standards."
Clive Betts MP said:
“The Levelling Up Housing and Communities Select Committee has recently undertaken two major Inquiries into social housing. In the first we made recommendations about the regulation of social housing and the need to improve management and maintenance.
"Now we are considering the financial situation of housing associations and councils and their ability to keep their homes in good repair and safe, make them more energy efficient and build more home people can afford to rent. These are major challenges which the sector and Government need to work together to resolve”.
Image left to right: Clive Betts MP, David Frederickson Chair of Midlands Rural Housing and Peak District Rural Housing Association and Chan Kataria OBE Group Chief Executive of emh group