Deregulation 6th April – The brave new world of Boards and executives in control

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On the 6th April the new Social Housing Regulatory construct becomes operational

Steve Douglas, Altair Partner

Below we analyse some things that will stay the same and some things that will change for the Social Housing regulator (SHR) and Housing Associations.

SameDifferent
Boards will still be responsible for their decisions (except rent levels and use of the Recycled Capital Grant Fund).The Consents regime that required HCA approval for the decisions on constitutional changes, disposals, transfers, mergers and acquisitions will be abolished.
VFM standards will be a core part of SHR’s regulatory framework.The standard will be refreshed with a new set of metrics. It will aim to be strategic and outcome focused.

Growth and new supply is likely to feature explicitly, as well as consideration of all organisational options, from collaboration to mergers.

Where the VFM statement is to be reported and in what format will be reconfirmed.

Watch out for the consultation coming soon.
Indepth Assessments (IDAs) will be a core part of SHR’s regulatory framework. Board oversight of VFM will be more rigorously tested, including assessing Boards understanding and challenge.
Regulatory judgements will be a core part of the regulatory regime. G1 will still be the top grade for governance.No change.
Boards responsible for reputation of their organisations and by extension the wider sector.With the abolition of the consents regime, the Regulator’s role for sector reputation protection is likely to be through proactive sector trends analysis, advice and warnings, with backstop intervention.

A Notification regime will be introduced with an expectation that Registered Providers inform the Regulator of material events.
Regulator not responsible for government policy, just its application in given circumstances.No change.
No locus for SHR on tenants beyond the existing consumer standards.Regulatory judgements will be informed by engagement with the regulator including RPs appropriate application of the notification regimes.

Tweaking of the Tenant Involvement and Empowerment standard to strengthen the requirement for meaningful consultation with tenants, prior to changing landlord or management arrangements.
An Independent Regulator (for the purposes of the Public Accounts Committee).An Independent stand alone Regulator.
Restrictions on the influence by Local Authorities over Registered Provider governance. Specifically Large Scale Voluntary Transfer Associations.

More details to come.
New special administrative regime to protect social housing assets in the event of insolvency.

More details to come.
Fees to be charged from October 2017 with stakeholder body to hold SHR to account
The SHR will remain within the DCLG family.It may move from Marsham Street.

Steve Douglas

Partner

07810 152 840

steve.douglas@nullaltairltd.co.uk

Steve Douglas

@AltairLtd