Institutional Formation in Tumultuous Times: Reforming English Social Housing Regulation Post-Grenfell

English social housing regulation theoretically exists to promote the social purpose of the sector, yet the success of regulation against this objective has been questioned amidst concerns with the quality of service provided by landlords. Following the Grenfell Tower fire, the government initiated a reform process to reverse a policy of regulatory passivity on consumer standards. This paper conceives of regulatory reform as a case of institutional formation; a dynamic process that shapes conduct via rules, practices and narratives. It fills an empirical gap on how regulatory practice has responded to an ambiguous institutional environment where the governmental narrative was committed to improving standards, but formal legislation lagged. Quantitative text analysis demonstrates that the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) has re-emphasised consumer standards post-Grenfell. But the process of institutional formation has been punctuated by social, political and economic crises, and the power of the regulator to enforce improved standards has been limited by legislative delays.



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Marshall, M. 2023. ‘Institutional Formation in Tumultuous Times: Reforming English Social Housing Regulation Post-Grenfell.’ Critical Housing Analysis 10 (2): 58-69.