The Regulator of Social Housing has launched a consultation on proposed requirements that all registered social landlords will be expected to meet.
The outcome of the consultation will form the foundation of the new integrated regulatory regime for social housing, which will come into force next year. There are a number of proposals relating to anti-social behaviour that members should be aware of.
One proposal (8.7) outlines how landlords will be required to support tenants affected by ASB, including by signposting them to agencies who can give them appropriate support and assistance. Vulnerable perpetrators come under this proposal too, as the Regulator correctly recognises that the right support and interventions may help to prevent further ASB.
This means having a good understanding of the different types of support available in your local area (or even, within your organisation) and good relationships with support services. In practice, this will also mean being proactive to identify vulnerabilities and taking appropriate action to support the individual(s) with their vulnerabilities if they are likely to cause ASB further down the line. This could be related to trauma and mental health or drug and alcohol misuse. A renewed focus on early intervention and prevention combined with a trauma-informed approach will serve you well in the eyes of the regulator, help to prevent problematic behaviour, and ultimately, reduce the suffering of those affected by anti-social behaviour.
Registered providers will be expected to cooperate with relevant partners to “promote social, environmental and economic wellbeing” in the areas where they provide social housing. This means working with partners to deter and tackle ASB and to make appropriate use of the powers provided through the ASB, Crime and Policing Act 2014.
More specifically, registered providers must…
- Have a policy on how they work with relevant organisations to deter and tackle ASB in the neighbourhoods where they provide social housing.
You may (/should) have a policy like this already. We know that dealing with anti-social behaviour can be complex and requires a multi-agency response. If you haven’t got good relationships with the other relevant agencies in your local area, now is the time to start opening up those channels and developing those relationships!
Resolve can help you to produce or review your ASB and related policies.
- Clearly set out their approach for how they tackle and deter hate incidents in neighbourhoods where they provide social housing.
Again, you probably already have something like this in place, but you should revisit this approach and ensure that the ‘deter’ part is covered - not just how you respond to hate incidents. Deterring / preventing hate incidents could include initiatives that seek to foster community cohesion and engagement, e.g. community events and WhatsApp groups.
- Enable ASB to be reported easily and keep tenants informed about the progress of their case.
Communication is key. Our YouGov research shows that just 5% of people have noticed information about how to report ASB where they live. When people have made a report, they are generally unsatisfied with the response - or lack thereof - and much of this dissatisfaction could be remedied with better communication and expectation management. We are hoping to see the Government’s new ASB Hub in action in the near future and this may make it easier for victims to report ASB and track their case, but we wouldn’t rely on this. You should have your own systems in place that make it easy for all tenants to report ASB (online, in-person and over the phone) and have specified KPIs for response times and update milestones (e.g. provide an update on the case every week, even if nothing has changed “Still waiting for … but we are doing all we can. Should take another 3 weeks but I will update you again next week. Any further incidents?“ etc)
- Provide prompt and appropriate action in response to ASB, having regard to the full range of tools and legal powers available to them.
Respond to consultation: https://online1.snapsurveys.com/interview/b9569279-6f3e-449c-874d-bd14f3678f51