Grant Shapps: on housing

Housing minister attempts to challenge social housing prejudices

Housing Minister Grant Shapps has announced new flexible tenancies in order to tackle prejudices about social housing and ensure that it becomes a springboard for success.

New instructions have been published by Shapps which will ensure housing associations and councils are able to ensure that more people benefit from social housing for the time that they need it, rather than a home for life .

Housing Minister Grant Shapps said:

“For too long social housing has been seen by many people as a byword for failure, a home for life in a dead-end street. I want to restore pride to social housing, so a social tenancy is once again seen as a launch pad to fulfil aspirations.


“These changes will not affect existing tenants, but allow landlords to make more housing available for those most in need and give people the helping hand they need, for as long as they need it, including lifetime security where it is appropriate.”

The new standards include:

  • Tenure reform: to allow social landlords to issue flexible tenancies, subject to conditions, to make better use of existing and future stock. In implementing these reforms, we will respect the rights of existing secure and assured tenants.


  • Mutual exchange: to enable access to internet-based mutual exchange schemes to give tenants who want to move the best possible opportunity of finding a match.


  • Tenant involvement: to strengthen landlord accountability to tenants and support the Tenant Cashback model, providing new opportunities for social housing tenants to get involved in commissioning repair and maintenance service for their homes.


  • Rent: to make changes to reflect the introduction of the Affordable Rent model.


  • Quality of Accommodation: to clarify that providers are expected to maintain their stock at a decent level.

Read the responses to the consultation document and final directions


Amanda Frewin

Research & Project Support


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