COMMONS

Government responds to social housing regulation report

16 January 2014

The Communities and Local Government Committee today publishes the Government’s Response to its September 2013 Report, The work of the Regulation Committee of the Homes and Communities Agency.

In the Response, the Government welcomes recent changes made by the Regulator, stating that they "should further strengthen the transparency of viability and governance ratings".

Report

In its Report, the Committee raised concerns that the regulator’s practice of using governance ratings to signal concerns about financial viability lacked openness, and was confusing and misleading. The Committee recommended that this practice should cease and the Regulator publish accurate financial viability ratings (paragraph 22).

In response, the Regulator introduced a ‘watch list’ on its website giving an earlier signal that a provider’s grading is at risk of being downgraded and stated that it intends to review the straplines of the grades.

Clive Betts MP, Chair of the Committee, said:

"During our inquiry, the Committee was shocked to discover that what purported to be an assessment of the financial viability of housing associations was no such thing. We note the efforts made since by the Regulator to rectify this and improve the transparency of the system.

The Government must, however, closely monitor the operation of the new arrangements and ensure that they are understood by lenders, providers and the public. My Committee will continue to scrutinise the operation of the social housing sector, and the crucial work of its regulator, for the rest of this Parliament."

Image: iStockphoto

Share this page