Antonine intervention continues amid further concerns and breached loan agreement

Scottish Housing RegulatorThe Scottish Housing Regulator has continued its intervention in Antonine Housing Association after it breached a loan agreement last year.

Antonine had to seek alternative funding following the misdemeanour and was required to repay the outstanding balance and breakage costs.

The Regulator initially used its statutory powers to appoint a manager and six governing body members at the Association in August last year after an independent investigation uncovered serious weaknesses in its governance.

The investigation, which had been commissioned by the Association, found that Antonine “had persistently failed to comply with important aspects of its constitutional arrangements over a significant period of time in relation to: its general meetings and the membership; the election of governing body members, and the attendance of governing body members at its meetings”.

As a result, Antonine confirmed that it did not have a governing body which was able to make decisions on behalf of the Association and asked the Regulator to consider appointing its own officers.

Since August, the appointees have identified further concerns about Antonine’s previous governance and financial management practices, including its “failure to review and apply policies, procedures and internal controls; significant weaknesses in procurement; and a failure to plan strategically, resulting in inefficient housing investment in tenants’ homes”.

And in September 2016 Antonine’s lender considered that Antonine had breached its loan agreement and required repayment of its outstanding loan balance plus breakage costs by 31 December 2016.

In updated regulation plan, the Regulator said it has continued its statutory appointments to ensure the Association has the skilled and expert support it needs to tackle the serious issues remaining.

Christine Macleod, director of regulation (governance & performance), said: “With the support of the statutory manager and appointees Antonine has resolved a financial crisis and managed to secure funding. And it has started to make good progress towards improving both the services it delivers to tenants and investment in their homes. But there is still much to be done and Antonine will consider with its tenants what kind of landlord it will be in the future.”

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