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Housing Minister responds to Scrutiny review

16 April 2013

The Housing Minister, Deputy Andrew Green, has thanked the Health, Social Security and Housing Sub Panel for its comprehensive review of his proposals for housing reform.
The Panel, chaired by Deputy Kristina Moore, has now released its review of the Housing Transformation Programme.
The Housing Minister's proposals for social housing reform, which are due to be debated in the States on 30 April, proposes four key changes for the social housing sector:
  • establish a Strategic Housing Unit (SHU) that would recommend an Island-wide housing strategy
  • create an independent regulator to ensure the stock is improved, that social housing providers have high standards and that social housing is financially sustainable
  • establish a new wholly States-owned Housing Company to deliver decent homes with commercial efficiency and enhanced tenant focus
  • return social housing rents to previously agreed Fair Rent Levels (90% of market value) to make the whole sector financially viable and remove the current unintended hidden rent subsidy over time
Deputy Green said “I would like to extend my thanks to Deputy Moore and her Panel, for the considerable amount of time and effort that has gone into producing such a detailed report. I will give full consideration to the findings and recommendations that have been suggested and issue a full response to these before the debate on 30 April.
"I am encouraged that, on the whole, the Sub Panel are supportive of the need for reform and of my proposals.  In particular I note their agreement with proposals for the creation of the Strategic Housing Unit, the new Housing Company and a return to nearer market rents.
"They can be assured that I will give careful consideration to their recommendations relating to these important proposals. I am also pleased that the panel recognises the need for some new governance or regulation for social housing providers. 
"They raise some interesting questions in respect of how that new governance is applied and if the States is agreeable to regulation in principle on 30 April, I will look to consult further with the panel to ensure that whatever form regulation takes it is appropriate and meaningful for Jersey and its social housing sector.
"I am pleased with the amount of discussion and debate that has already taken place in relation to Reform of Social Housing report and Full Business Case and except an interesting debate will take place on the 30 April.”
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