The proposed tenant satisfaction measures scheme, as outlined in the social housing White Paper and underpinned by the provisions in the clause, has the potential to be an extremely useful tool for tenants, both in gaining a better understanding of their landlords’ performance and in providing feedback that can assist in driving up standards. We support it.
Given the diversity of providers across the social housing sector, however, a sufficient degree of standardisation of the collecting, processing and presenting of the information relating to the new tenant satisfaction measures is crucial. If steps are not taken to ensure a prescribed collection method for obtaining the information in question so that, when published, it allows for rigorous like-for-like comparison, the obvious risk is that the TSM scheme will struggle to facilitate an accurate and fair comparison of performance between RPs, and its use as a means of informing regulation will be compromised. The regulator itself has acknowledged the potential limitations of the scheme, owing to the variation in methods of data collection and sampling across different organisations.
The question, therefore, is what might be done to address those potential pitfalls to ensure that the TSM scheme works as effectively as it can. I will be grateful if the Minister could give us a sense of how the Government believe that a degree of standardisation might be imposed upon the TSM process to facilitate an accurate and fair comparison of performance between providers. Also, she might ask her officials to consider whether it would be appropriate for the Government to commit to asking the regulator to review the method of collecting, processing and presenting the information in question within a certain timeframe, following any directions issued under proposed new section 198C coming into effect.