Regulator informs MSPs of how tenant feedback shapes its work

Kay Blair
Kay Blair

The Scottish Housing Regulator has highlighted to the Scottish Parliament how its work is shaped by direct tenant feedback.

Chair Kay Blair and chief executive Michael Cameron gave evidence to the Parliament’s infrastructure and capital investment committee on its work over the past year.

Ms Blair opened the session by confirming to the committee that the regulator achieved all its objectives in 2014/15 and operated within its budget with its 50 staff members. Again it was a challenging but good year.

She explained how tenants influence the regulator’s work. In 2014/15 the regulator co-produced with tenants the landlord Charter reports and used tenant feedback to direct the focus of its national analysis of Charter data. The regulator also set its programme of thematic work around the areas that customers of social housing told it matter most.

Ms Blair told the committee that in August the regulator published the second year of information on individual landlords’ Charter performance. Noting the positive feedback from tenants on the regulator’s Charter comparison tool, Ms Blair advised the committee that other organisations are also using the data it publishes to analyse and benchmark landlords’ performance.

She explained that the regulator will publish its full national analysis early in the New Year. Commenting on early findings from year two, Ms Blair said: “Our analysis shows that in general landlords are delivering modest improvement across almost all of the indicators, and most encouragingly those landlords with most room for improvement are those that have improved the most.”

The committee heard how the regulator has listened and responded to stakeholder feedback on its work. Ms Blair highlighted:

  • the new ‘How we work’ publication series;
  • the early engagement with stakeholders on appeals proposals through a discussion paper;
  • ongoing dialogue with lenders to help maintain confidence;
  • streamlining regulatory requirements from landlords; and
  • productive roundtable discussions with landlords on value for money and risk.
  • Ms Blair also updated the committee on the regulator’s statutory action in two RSLs, Wellhouse Housing Association and Muirhouse Housing Association. Both landlords have made good progress, and Ms Blair highlighted to the committee that the regulator ended the statutory appointment of the manager at Muirhouse.

    She told the committee: “We will continue to support both landlords as they put right what had gone wrong in their organisations and make further improvements.”


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