Former housing director takes up SHR ‘bullying’ complaint with First Minister
A retired housing director who requests to retain his anonymity at this stage has revealed to Scottish Housing News that he has lodged a complaint regarding alleged ‘bullying’ by the Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) with the cost of expensive interventions being passed on to the tenants in the form of increased rents.
His complaint is historic and is completely unrelated to any on-going intervention.
Our reader writes: “I have been absolutely astonished to read the two recent major articles on the SHR published by Scottish Housing News and congratulate you for doing so.
“I am a retired housing association director with decades of experience of working for the community I grew up in and I have a complaint about the SHR which involves a truly incredible story of how the Regulator’s intervention destroyed an organisation, a number of decent, caring, competent people and the community itself. My complaint was made directly to Nicola Sturgeon on 28 November and is being dealt with. It was also copied to each party leader in Scotland.”
In his complaint, our reader writes: “My lifelong career in the Scottish housing association movement prompts and necessitates my need to contact you. The issue is that of the role and powers of the Scottish Housing Regulator which I am certain will be increasingly coming to your attention very soon if it has not done so already — as more and more practitioners, professionals and community representatives, existing and retired like myself, find the courage to stand up to the increasingly destructive and chaotic examples of a regulator out of touch and out of control.”
He complains of a lack of regulation of the Regulator “with nobody able or willing to apply any kind of analysis or monitoring of this bullying, discriminatory, disproportionate, disrespectful approach to so-called support to people, actual real, decent, hard-working, caring, people who deliver this essential social service throughout Scotland”.
And he alleges: “There are now many housing association directors and chief executives who are fearful of raising their heads above the parapet to highlight their concerns because they know that if they do, they will be targeted. There is no other meaningful way of engaging in any analysis or review of the impact of the regulator whose purpose, remit, actions and outcomes are the very opposite of those they would publicise and portray.”
A spokesperson told Scottish Housing News: “We have a clear route for anyone who wishes to raise a concern or to complain to us about how we work, and they have the right to take it to the Scottish Public Services Ombudsman.
“We work transparently. We publish an extensive range of information about how we regulate, with guidance and advice for landlords including how we respond to whistleblowing. We also publish a report each time we have used our powers of statutory intervention in a social landlord.
“A complaint to the First Minister is a matter for the Scottish Government to respond to. This matter has not been raised with us directly.”