NHF board placement sparks row over allocations
The National Housing Federation has secured a place on the south east regional housing board, sparking fresh concerns about the way that places on the strategic advisory bodies are being awarded.
The federation's south east policy officer Sharon Hedges has been nominated for a seat on the ten strong board as the regional voluntary sector's representative.
As well as the five core members identified in the Communities Plan, the south east board will also include Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat regional assembly members as well as a Confederation of British Industry representative who will speak up on the business sector's behalf.
Ms Hedges stressed that she would not allow her NHF role to colour her judgement.
‘We will be representing the regional interests in the broadest sense,' she said.
‘A lot of people have concerns about how the
membership of the organisations is panning out'
But Chartered Institute of Housing policy director Sarah Webb said she was hearing a rising tide of concerns from councils and housing associations that membership of the boards was not being determined in a transparent fashion.
‘It's a good example of how we need a bit of consistency. A lot of people have concerns about how the membership of the organisations is panning out,' she said.
Yorkshire and Humberside's regional housing board has also invited one representative each from the region's tenants' and residents' groups, house builders and social landlords.
Meanwhile the London Housing Board has announced it will make the plight of private home owners a top priority in its funding decisions.
A spokesperson for the Government Office for London, which chairs the board, said the decision reflected the emphasis in the Communities Plan on quality in the private sector.
The board will also concentrate on increasing supply, meeting decent homes, reducing homelessness and neighbourhood renewal.
The board aims to produce a ‘final draft strategy' by mid-June after consultation with members of the London Housing Forum and the London Tenants Federation.