Building a forum for better housing

Date: 10 January 2023
Author: Councillor Millard
Title: Deputy Leader and Vice-chair of Adult Social Services, Health and Housing Services Committee

For Richmond Upon Thames to be a borough for everyone, it is essential we have a place for everyone. We want to provide housing that supports residents at different stages of their lives, regardless of their financial status and that means delivering housing that is tailored to your needs.

Having a close and effective working relationship between the Council and Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) is instrumental in meeting the housing requirements of our communities. With over 8,000 homes under their management, Richmond Council's two largest RSLs, Richmond Housing Partnership (RHP) and Paragon Asra (PA) Housing, play a key role in ensuring genuinely affordable homes are available to residents who need them most.

We are committed to supporting the work of RSLs operating within the Borough and the Richmond Council Adult Social Services, Health and Housing Committee provides a great platform for RHP and PA Housing to update on how they are serving residents: explaining what is working well and the challenges they face. 

This committee gives RSLs the chance to provide an overview of their work and performance, as well as their objectives for the future. It provides an opportunity to discuss repairs, anti-social behaviour, complaints, and new developments. It also creates a forum for councillors to ask questions and to understand how they can support RSLs in reaching their goals, as well as providing a level of public scrutiny over services and issues we know are important to our residents. This gives us an opportunity to share information and pick up on feedback raised through ward councillors.

By regularly meeting with RSLs in the borough, we can create a platform for learning and sharing best practice that makes our partnerships even more constructive. These relationships allow RSLs and the Council to work effectively to decide on future goals. By working in partnership with key stakeholders in the borough, we create a two-way dialogue that aims to get the best outcome for our residents.

In addition to the work we do with RSLs, delivering on our Housing Strategy means doing what we can to help all residents have equal opportunities to rent homes from private sector landlords in the borough. People should not be routinely excluded because they receive some form of benefits and we’ve worked closely with Citizens' Advice Richmond on a big campaign to tackle this illegal prejudice. We are calling on landlords to keep an open mind when assessing potential tenants. It's just one of the ways we can all do our bit to ensure our wonderful borough is even fairer.

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Updated: 10 January 2023