The Regulator of Social Housing has just published the 2018/2019 report. “Consumer Regulation Review 2018-19 July 2019.” (1)
When you think of what has been happening over the last few years, surely the Regulator has been kept busy criticising housing associations? Think of the Grenfell disaster, refusal to disclose Fire Risk Assessments, bent ‘consultations,’ the A2 Dominion repair scandals, the segregation of play areas for social housing residents, the Dispatches programme on Sanctuary Housing Association, regeneration projects which have no social rent homes, etc etc
Well, you would be wrong if you thought the Regulator was actually doing anything.
For last year (2018/2019) the Regulator found that out of 502 complaints only 6 required action.
In the previous year of 543 complaints only 5 required action. This is less than 1% of cases in which the complainant was found to have a case.
One explanation is that we housing association residents are all just a bunch of whingers who make complaints without any merit and the sooner we shut up the better.
But there is another explanation – and it can be found in the Regulator’s own Review.
The truth is that Regulator of Social Housing has been set up by the Government so that it does not regulate.
As the Review itself notes:
“We are only able to use our powers where we judge both that there is evidence that a consumer standard has been breached and, as a result, there are reasonable grounds to suspect that:
-the failure has resulted in a serious detriment to the provider’s tenants; or
-there is a significant risk that, if no action is taken by the regulator, the failure will
result in a serious detriment to the provider’s tenants.”
This ‘serious detriment’ test makes sure that the Regulator allows housing associations to get away with murder. And leaseholders and shared owners are not even covered by this ‘Regulator.’
This is part of the Government’s plans to allow housing associations to run themselves without any control. And we all know the results of that policy.
HARA is going to fight for change on this.
If you are leaseholder, shared owner or tenant who is fighting for more regulation and accountability in your housing association – we want to work with you in this battle.
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