Social housing managers will be required to study for qualifications, announced Michael Gove.
The Housing secretary said the measure is part of the effort to professionalize the sector after the death of a two-year-old child in a musty apartment.
sir gove announced the changes after acknowledging that social habitation residents were being “inexcusably let down”.
He said the move would “raise the bar” across all industries following the tragic death of Awaab Ishak.
Awaab died in December 2020 of a respiratory problem caused by mold at his home in Rochdale, Greater Manchester.
In response to his death, ministers proposed that landlords have to investigate and fix damp and mold in social housing within strict time limits under what would be known as the “Law of Awaab”.
‘Culture change needed’
In addition to these reforms, Mr. Gove has announced new rules that will mean around 25,000 managers across the sector will be required to have a suitable housing management qualification.
Managers must have a qualification that comes from a provider regulated by Ofqual supervisory exams and is equivalent to a level 4 or 5 certificate or diploma in housing.
Alternatively, they can have a charter degree from the Chartered Institute of Housing.
The changes will be made through amendments to the Social Housing Bill (Regulation) in accordance with the Department of Leveling, Housing and Communities.
Officials said the new requirements will drive a “needed culture change” in the industry.
They said ensuring managers have the right qualifications will bring social housing in line with other sectors that provide frontline services, including social care, education, health and care services.
Any homeowner who fails to meet the requirements of the new standards could eventually face an unlimited fine from the Social Housing Regulator, the department said.
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Gove said: “The Grenfell The tower tragedy and, more recently, the death of Awaab Ishak have shown the devastating consequences of residents being inexcusably let down by underperforming landlords who consistently fail to listen to them.
“We know that many residents of social housing are not getting the service or respect they deserve.
“The changes we are making today will ensure that social housing managers across the country have the right skills and experience to deliver excellent service and raise standards across all industries.”
The bill is the latest step in response to the 2017 Grenfell Tower fire, with the Fire Safety Act enacted and the Building Safety Act passed last year.
As previously announced by Gove’s department, the bill will give the social housing regulator strict new powers, allowing it to enter properties with just 48 hours’ notice and make emergency repairs with landlords who foot the bill.
The legislation is expected to return to parliament on March 1.