The Government first announced plans for a shared ownership right to buy in October 2019. At the time the sector raised concerns about the impact the plans would have on housing associations ability to borrow. An election and a pandemic later the Government announced, during the CIH Housing Festival last week, the return of the right to shared ownership as part of its Affordable Homes Programme (AHP).
There is no doubt that the new Regulatory Framework places greater responsibility on boards, expecting them to think strategically and to scrutinise the RP’s performance, compliance with standards and adherence to the code of practice. One of the key questions that the Regulator will ask the board is whether the RP is effectively led and controlled. Underpinning this is having the right people, with the right skills, at board and management level, to ensure that standards are being met. You would be well advised to carry out a detailed review to identify the skills and experiences needed within both your boards and executive teams to deliver your organisation’s strategy. Boards need to be satisfied that their executive teams have the skills to deliver their particular business – however diverse it might be –including the skills necessary to “stress test” the strategic plan, and vice versa. This may mean identifying areas of focus for future board recruitment and where it may be time for some board or executive team members to move on.
The end result should be that RPs:
- are clear on the skills they need at executive and board level;
- have clear roles, responsibilities and accountabilities for the board, chair and chief executive, as well the wider executive team; and
- are satisfied that any gaps in skills are addressed through an appropriate development programme, restructure or recruitment.
However, the right people and structure to lead the organisation is only the start. The Regulator’s Code of Governance states clearly that an RP needs an overarching, appropriate skills strategy to ensure that across the workforce have the necessary skills to deliver the RP’s business objectives. This skills strategy should then be reflected in the person specifications for all posts. It should also feed the RP’s learning and development strategy and help identify areas where more proactive performance management may be required.
Our view is that the new Code should have a direct impact on an RP’s people strategy and be treated as a tool to go beyond regulatory compliance to deliver excellence, taking into consideration the recommendations above.
For more information
Contact Kate Watkins.
Two final pieces of the possession jigsaw have been published on 15 September 2020. Mr Justice Knowles’ working group on possession proceedings has issued its guidance on the “overall arrangements” for possession proceedings.
One change proposed by the Building Safety Bill is the introduction of a duty holder regime, which will see statutory responsibility for the safety of higher risk buildings placed on key individuals
Throughout this pandemic, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been publishing various “Statements on Coronavirus” (Statements) which provide guidance on consumer rights during this time.
A recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the UK means new measures are being put in place in an effort to reduce the risk of a second wave. Whilst the impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt, it is important to remain focused on the sector’s road to recovery.
Sometimes half an hour at a conference gives you the reality that has been staring you in the face all along. That was my experience watching “Change is on the Horizon”
Following our recent e-briefing on Possession Notices, Helen Tucker and Emilie Pownall from our housing litigation team discuss the impact of the changes on social landlords.
Not only has the possession stay been extended until 20 September, the notice periods to be given to tenants has been extended in certain circumstances with some important exceptions.
The Court has confirmed that a party cannot withhold its consent in order to re-write the original bargain.
Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, building safety continues to be a key concern for social housing providers and their residents.
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