January 25, 2012
What is it with the Regulator?
One of the few places in the UK where the mutual ownership and local control over housing has flourished has been in and around the estates of Glasgow. Around 70 community controlled housing associations and cooperatives play a pivotal role in regenerating some of Scotland’s most disadvantaged areas. Take a look at this short film if you need any convincing. But for reasons still unclear, it seems the new Scottish Housing Regulator is no fan of local people running their own affairs.
The Glasgow and West of Scotland Forum – the umbrella body for community controlled housing associations – has responded to the Scottish Housing Regulator’s consultation on “The Regulation of Social Housing in Scotland”.
GWSF has expressed concern that the consultation document does not do enough to recognise the generally strong performance of housing associations in Scotland, or the diversity that exists within the sector.
The response sets out many specific suggestions on how the Regulator should improve its proposals, for example in relation to:
• Monitoring and reporting on the Scottish Social Housing Charter in a more proportionate way;
• Meeting its legal duty to say how it will vary its approach for different sizes and types of organisations;
• Setting governance standards that better reflect the independent status and local democratic accountabilities of most Scottish housing associations;
• Abandoning the flawed proposals to set mandatory maximum terms for voluntary committee members, and to introduce payment for committee members.
GWSF’s response includes a detailed evidence paper on mandatory maximum terms for committee members. The evidence paper confirms that the Consultation Document is factually incorrect and that the Regulator’s numerous public statements that its proposals “would align practice in RSLs with what happens in other sectors” are inaccurate and misleading.
A specific response to the proposal for mandatory terms of office for committee and board members can be read here.
A full response to the Scottish Housing Regulator’s consultation can be read here.