New housing regulator seeking views

The Board members  of the Scottish Housing Regulator, with centre front,  Kay Blair, chair
The Board members of the Scottish Housing Regulator, with centre front, Kay Blair, chair
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Scotland’s new social housing regulator has launched a consultation on the future regulation of social housing in Scotland, reports GAIL MILNE.

From next April the role of the Scottish Housing Regulator will be to safeguard and promote the interests of tenants and others who receive housing services from local authorities and housing associations. It will replace the existing Regulator.

Before taking on this role, the new Regulator is consulting on its approach and wants to hear the views of tenants, landlords and others with an interest in social housing.

Kay Blair, chair of the new Regulator, commented: “The quality of housing and landlord services has a direct and lasting impact on the lives of the one-in-four households who live in social housing in Scotland.

“Our consultation sets out how we will regulate to promote tenants’ interests and to drive improvements in social housing. It also describes how we will assess each landlord’s performance and how we will take account of the views and experiences of tenants in our regulation of social landlords. Our proposed approach will deliver intelligent and effective regulation. Through our work we will aim to ensure that tenants have access to good quality homes and services, and that landlords are financially viable and well-governed. We will also help to maintain the confidence of the public funders and private lenders who provide crucial financial support to social housing.

“I urge everyone interested in social housing to get involved and to respond to us by late November. We want to hear your views and your suggestions for effective regulation. We will use the feedback we will get from the consultation to help determine how we will deliver our future regulation of social housing in Scotland with the resources available to us.”

The new Regulator is keen to get wide feedback on its proposed approach. The consultation runs until late November.

In addition to publishing its consultation document, the Regulator is holding events across the country, open to tenants, landlords and others, to discuss its approach. You can get a copy of the proposals and find out more about the events by visiting the new Regulator’s website, following the consultation on Twitter or contacting its office.

The new independent Scottish Housing Regulator was established on 1 April 2011 under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2010. Its objective will be to safeguard and promote the interests of tenants and others who use local authority and RSL housing services. The Regulator will operate independently of Scottish Ministers and will assume its regulatory responsibilities on 1 April 2012. The Regulator consists of the Chair and four Board members. More information about the new Regulator can be found on its website at www.scottishhousingregulator.gov.uk/newregulator