No new statutory action taken by Regulator during 2019/20
The Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) took no new statutory action to intervene in a social landlord during 2019/20 as first changes introduced under its new Regulatory Framework commenced over the same period.
Since April 1 last year, the Regulator has published an engagement plan for every social landlord across Scotland. And according to its annual report and accounts for 2019/20, the Regulator did not use its statutory powers to intervene in a landlord up to the end of March 2020.
Three new interventions were launched by the Regulator during each of the previous two years.
The Regulator also published accounts of its intervention at:
- Antonine Housing Association
- Ferguslie Park Housing Association
- Kincardine Housing Cooperative
- Dalmuir Park Housing Association
In December 2019, the Regulator published a report on its inquiry into Dumfries and Galloway Council’s Housing Options and Homeless Service, finding the council has significantly improved the service and is working more effectively with its Registered Social Landlord partners.
It also commenced an inquiry into the homelessness services provided by Glasgow City Council the same month as part of its continued engagement with the council. The Regulator aims to report on its findings during 2020/21.
Changes in social housing regulation were introduced with the launch of the new Regulatory Framework which went live on April 1, 2019. The main changes included new assurance statements for all social landlords and the publication of a Regulatory Status for each RSL.
Elsewhere, the annual report highlights the work the Regulator did last year to safeguard and promote the interests of tenants, people who are homeless, and others who use the services of social landlords.
George Walker, the Regulator’s chair, said: “We began drafting this report in March when COVID-19 had just begun to impact. Since then, the challenges for social landlords, tenants and people who are homeless have changed dramatically and at a pace.
“Our annual report reflects on the work we did during 2019/20 to safeguard and promote the interests of tenants and service users.
“At the start of 2019/20, we set out our regulatory priorities in a new Corporate Plan for 2019-2022. We implemented our new Regulatory Framework and published the first annual assurance statements for all social landlords in October.
“Our sixth National Report on landlords performance against the Scottish Social Housing Charter showed that, overall, social landlords continued to perform well against the standards and outcomes of the Charter. And our landlord reports and comparison tool let tenants find out about and compare their landlord’s performance.
“We kept a strong focus on homelessness services, engaging with 23 local authorities throughout the year and publishing a report on housing options and homelessness in Dumfries & Galloway. We also launched our inquiry into Glasgow City Council’s service for people who are homeless. And our research with the National Panel of tenants and service users gave important insights into people’s experience of using homelessness services.
“Our financial analysis showed that social landlords and tenants continue to benefit from competitive borrowing rates and investors in social housing in Scotland remained in close contact to understand how regulation was supporting the sector during the pandemic crisis.
“We also welcomed three new board members and said goodbye to others as their terms came to end.
“I would like to thank all of the landlords, tenants and service users and others who have worked with us this year. And, I’d like to pay special tribute to all of those who work and volunteer in social housing in Scotland, particularly during these unprecedented and challenging times.
“Over the coming months, we will continue to work with all of our stakeholders as we all continue to tackle the challenges of COVID-19.”