CBI calls for greater competition in social housing

The report, which is being launched at the Inside Government Social Housing Conference in London, features in-depth case studies of where the private sector is already providing high-quality social housing, and shows the benefits of their involvement, which include better property maintenance and related social and economic improvements such as higher GCSE pass rates.

Susan Anderson, CBI Director of Public Services & Skills, said:

“Our report shows the benefits that can be achieved from introducing private providers into the social housing market. There is a clear link between high quality housing and good health and better educational attainment.

“At present only one in 80 homes is currently managed by the private sector. The Government must create a competitive market for social housing management services and allow longer contracts to encourage more providers to enter the market.

“With no requirement to go to the market to see if another provider can deliver better services for the same or lower cost, many housing managers simply opt for the status quo. Without competition, tenants and taxpayers may be losing out.”

In order to encourage greater private-sector involvement in the provision of social housing, the CBI is calling on the Government to:

– Create a competitive market for social housing management services, with in-house providers competing against bidders from other sectors to deliver services
– Allow housing management contracts of at least 10 years in order to attract investment from providers and enable economies of scale to be achieved
– Eliminate barriers to market entry such as higher VAT rates for private providers
– Use best-practice case studies to show commissioners how to apply TUPE (Transfer of Undertakings Protection of Employment Regulations) correctly to ensure staff can transfer smoothly from the public to private sectors
– Design contracts that can track the impact that housing providers make on other parts of the public sector, such as contributing to better education or safer communities, and use an outcomes-based system to reward good results.

Have your say on this story using the comment section below