Failing social housing landlords could face unlimited fines and “Ofsted-style” inspections under a new bill set to be introduced today.
The Social Housing Regulation Bill would award the Regulator of Social Housing stronger powers to issue failing landlords with unlimited fines, enter properties with only 48 hours’ notice – down from 28 days – and make emergency repairs where there is a serious risk to tenants, with landlords footing the bill.
It is being described as a “major reset of power” between tenants and landlords.
With the bill set to be introduced to parliament today, it means that residents will soon be able to demand information and rate their landlord as part of new satisfaction measures.
Not only that, but tenants will also have a direct line to government under the bill, with a new 250-person residents panel meeting up every four months to share their experiences with ministers, inform policy thinking, and ultimately, help to “drive change” in the sector.
The bill will also remove the legislative barrier that is the serious detriment test, which will make it easier for the Regulator to tackle poor performing landlords once axed, and it will also mean landlords will need to have a named person who will be responsible for health and safety requirements.
Tenants of housing associations will even be able to request information from their landlord too, which is similar to how the Freedom of Information Act works for council housing, according to the government.
“In 2022 it is disgraceful that anyone should live in damp, cold and unsafe homes, waiting months for repairs and being routinely ignored by their landlord,” said Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove.
“These new laws will end this injustice and ensure the regulator has strong new powers to take on rogue social landlords [as] we are driving up the standards of social housing and giving residents a voice to make sure they get the homes they deserve.
“That is levelling up in action.”
The government says the introduction of the bill is the latest step in the mission to halve the number of poor-quality rented homes by 2030, and it will mean that more people get to enjoy the quality of life they “deserve”.
The National Housing Federation also says it welcomes the aims of the bill.
“Having a home that is warm and dry, safe, secure and affordable is the right of every person in this country [and] for social housing providers, this means providing high quality living standards in every home and carrying out repairs on time,” added Kate Henderson – Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation.
Police appeal for information regarding ‘serious assault’ around Old Trafford before United game in October
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) are appealing for fresh information on a “serious assault” committed around the Old Trafford area earlier this year.
GMP issued a press release on Friday, 9 December, asking for members of the public to come forward and share any details they might have on the attack carried along Seymour Grove in Trafford around 1:30pm on 16 October 2022.
They go on to explain that “a man in his 20s was assaulted by a group of unknown males” on the way to the game at Old Trafford, adding that “it is believed that the suspects were also attending the Manchester United vs Newcastle United match.”
It remains unclear whether or not the assailants were travelling fans in town to support the away side but GMP are looking to speak to the men pictured as they may be able to help with enquiries.
As detailed in the statement, “the victim suffered a severely broken jaw, a broken nose, numerous cuts to the face, and damage to the nerves of four teeth which he is likely to need further medical treatment for.” Terrible stuff.
The authorities are continuing to investigate the Seymour Grove assault after having followed up on a number of lines of enquiry since the incident took place and are now asking for the public’s help.
Anyone with information, or anyone who may have footage/images, or can identify the men in the photos, can contact Greater Manchester Police on 101, quoting log number 1589 on 16/10/22; or, alternatively use the Live Chat service HERE.
Alternatively, information can be shared anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Featured Image — Greater Manchester Police/David Dixon (via Geograph)
Football fans call out ‘tone-deaf’ FA TikTok for mocking ‘life-threatening’ head injury
Football fans are calling out the official FA Cup TikTok account for mocking a serious head injury suffered by a Stockport County player earlier this week.
The Hatters beat Charlton Athletic in fine fashion with a 3-1 victory on Wednesday, 7 December, with Will Collar’s hattrick (the club’s first since 2019) sending them through to the next round of the cup.
However, another notable moment from the night was right back Macauley Southam-Hales’ collision with advertising hoarders after a shove from Charlton captain George Dobson.
As the likes of County fan Joel Ward wrote on Twitter, many online were quick to slam the clip for joking about an injury that hospitalised the player, the consensus being that it isn’t a “great look” for the FA.
While many reacting in the comments recognised that Dobson didn’t intend to hurt Southam-Hales by shepherding the ball out of play, the Stockport defender does hit the predominantly metal structure with some force and was left in clear discomfort following the smash.
The video itself has since been removed from the official account following the backlash but people are still reacting as the clip continues to be reshared on social media.
The clip was branded as everything from “disgusting” and “disgraceful” to “simply unbelievable”.
What’s most concerning is that despite the recent push to promote awareness surrounding concussions, brain trauma and even heading the ball – which, historically, haven’t been properly monitored in football – whoever posted the video on behalf of the FA didn’t consider the very serious nature of the incident.
As alluded to above, perhaps what makes the post even more shocking and tone-deaf is that it comes just weeks after Bath City player forward Alex Fletcher was placed in intensive care following an almost identical accident.
The 23-year-old underwent life-saving brain surgery and although he has since been discharged from the hospital, he is said to have a “long road to recovery ahead of him”.
County confirmed that despite being the all-clear pitchside, Southam-Hales was taken to the hospital as a precaution after he suffered significant swelling around the neck area. Nevertheless, as we know all too well, it could have been much worse.
As for the FA, they have now apologised for the inappropriate attempt at humour, confirming that they have removed the video from all official accounts, admitting that “it should never have been published and assuring that they will “review [their] processes to ensure this never happens again.”
You can watch the full highlights from Stockport County vs Charlton Athletic HERE but we’d recommend you watch Alan Shearer reminding everyone who plays football to be more vigilant when it comes to head injuries.