Reidvale granted more time by Regulator and campaigners call for management changes

Reidvale granted more time by Regulator and campaigners call for management changes

Reidvale Housing Association has been granted more time to outline its plans and financial projections to the Scottish Housing Regulator following the decision of its members to reject a transfer of engagements with Places for People Scotland.

The news comes as a campaign group formed to oppose the transfer has requested another Special General Meeting to remove non-resident members from Reidvale’s management committee.

The Regulator has been engaging with Reidvale over several years regarding the landlord’s failure to comply with regulatory requirements and the Regulatory Standards of Governance and Financial Management.

Reidvale concluded in 2022 that it was in the best interests of its tenants to seek a transfer of engagements to a Registered Social Landlord (RSL) which met these requirements and standards but, while the majority of those who voted in a ballot of all Reidvale’s tenants supported a proposed transfer to Places for People Scotland, the plan failed to secure the required two-thirds of voting shareholders.

Following the vote in January, the Scottish Housing Regulator said Reidvale had a duty to show how it will address its governance and financial management weaknesses and comply with all of its obligations.

A deadline of 24 February 2024 was set for the landlord to outline this plan and provide the Regulator with updated 30-year financial projections and assumptions.

Speaking on the Scottish Housing News Podcast last month, Glasgow Labour MSP Paul Sweeney, who was a prominent part of the campaign against the transfer and raised concerns about the process with the Scottish Parliament’s housing committee, described the deadline as “unworkable” and threatened to “overrule, frustrate and stymie the will of the shareholders”.

In an updated engagement plan for Reidvale, the Regulator said the landlord has advised that it required further time to develop its plan and financial projections and these will now be submitted by 4 March 2024.

Also this week, the Save Reidvale Campaign Group has said it would like to remove non-resident members from the management committee of Reidvale Housing Association.

On Monday, the group delivered a request for another Special General Meeting to the Reidvale secretary to put forward its proposal.

According to the campaigners, the changes will allow the organisation to take a different path – where the wellbeing of the Reidvale community and its residents is paramount.

The group stated: “We believe that, over the past three years, non-resident committee members, introduced to the committee by highly paid consultants, have focussed on the transfer of Reidvale’s houses to Places for People, rather than on the services provided to Reidvale’s tenants and other residents.

“At the next Special General Meeting, we propose to remove these non-resident Committee members and to replace them with Reidvale residents.

“We will then co-opt housing professionals with the necessary skills and knowledge to provide support to the management committee.

“Crucially, these professionals will be supporters of community-owned social housing who want to see Reidvale succeed.

“This is just the next step on a journey to restore Reidvale to what it once was – one of the most respected housing associations in Glasgow. We know it will not be easy. But we have no doubt that we will succeed.”

The Save Reidvale Campaign Group said that, under the landlord’s rules, around 48 shareholders’ signatures were required to call for a Special General Meeting. Over two days,  it managed to gather 84 signatures. It said that everyone who signed is a Reidvale resident - and more than 95% are Reidvale tenants.

Reidvale must now arrange a Special General Meeting within 28 days and the group has urged shareholders to attend the meeting and vote in favour of its proposals.

The campaign group added: “Within community-owned housing associations there is rarely any great distinction between shareholders and tenants. Of the 84 signatories calling for another SGM, more than 95% are residents. The vast majority are tenants.

“The trend over recent years to ‘professionalise’ housing association committees has been set, in terms of, tenants or professionals. We view this as highly condescending. Within our community, there are people who are both tenants and professionals. We have a wealth of skills, knowledge and experience.

“The community-owned housing association movement in Glasgow, once described as ‘the greatest success story in Scottish post-war history’, was founded by local tenants and other residents, who were supported by professional officers who believed in their cause. Whilst we view this as the best model to deliver services, we recognise that it can be fragile. Reidvale is an example of what can happen when things go wrong – when leadership is lacking. We intend to put that right.”

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