Saturday, 18 April 2015

New regulator takes ‘holistic’ approach

The new social housing regulator has unveiled its approach to regulation.

The Homes and Communities Agency published its Regulating the standards document today, which provides detail on how it will operate.
The regulator says it will work to understand landlords’ business models from a wide evidence base to identify those likely to fail, rather than focusing on governance and viability separately.

It will still publish separate verdicts on governance and viability in its regulatory judgements, but the regulator will now ask eight questions relating to topics including individual landlords’ strategies, financial plans and leadership.

Matthew Bailes, director of regulation at the HCA, said: ‘The evidence will not fit into boxes marked governance, viability and value for money.’

He added that the social housing sector will get more complex and landlords need to understand the risks.

The document says the regulator will review how it will regulate for-profit landlords and this could lead to changes to the framework. Mr Bailes said it will also look at how it can regulate real estate investment trusts as part of this.

John Bryant, policy leader at the National Housing Federation, welcomed the HCA’s holistic approach.

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