Response to Call for Evidence on social housing regulation

The Federation has responded to the Government’s Call for Evidence on the regulation of social housing, which was issued alongside the Green Paper.

5 December 2018

Summary of the main points of our response:

  • The time is ripe for a review of the regulation regime, which has been substantially in place since the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 (with some important changes in 2011).
     
  • The role of regulation is to create a framework within which housing associations can deliver on their social purpose as effectively as possible. This is the test against which any regulatory proposals should be judged. The review should be comprehensive in scope, except where issues have been determined recently, such as the new insolvency provisions for registered providers and the deregulatory provisions of the Housing and Planning Act 2016.
     
  • The review should consider the underlying legislative basis for regulation as set out in the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008, as modified by the Localism Act 2011.
     
  • Any changes to the regulatory regime should not add to, and if possible should lessen, the risk of reclassification of housing associations as ‘public’ for the purposes of government accounting.
     
  • The Regulator should remain a free-standing agency with a clear legislative remit and should be subject to direction by ministers only in specific limited areas.
     
  • The Federation supports more effective regulation of consumer issues but we believe it is essential the Regulator maintains its current focus on governance and financial viability and the strengthening of consumer regulation.