Posted by: Carl Brown24/02/2012
For-profit arms, registered non-profit companies, unregistered profit-making parents, entirely for-profit housing associations - the days of the simple, traditional social housing provider look to be coming to an end.
As Julian Ashby, who will chair the Homes and Communities regulation committee, says, the sector is going to be a lot more complex in future.
For this reason, committee members with experience of other sectors, such as Jane May, who has sat on the board of Ofwat, have been recruited to help the regulator cope with the changing face of the sector.
The Communities and Local Government department has hedged its bets by leaving two of the six committee positions vacant, allowing it to appoint relevant members as specific, unforeseen challenges, arise.
More surprisingly the CLG has decided to appoint members for just 12 months initially, instead of the two to three years as originally planned.
This has already caused a few grumbles from professionals hoping for the regulator to provide certainty in a rapidly changing sector operating in an era of austerity and economic unpredictability.
There is a fine line between the CLG leaving the regulator room to be flexible and it giving the impression that it does not know what the committee’s approach should be, or even worse, that it does not trust the committee it has appointed.
From April 1, all eyes will be on the committee, with many in the sector sceptical about its ability to provide robust regulation. The shortening of committee members’ terms, designed to allow the committee to adapt to changing circumstances, could simply send the message that we may not get the stable regulation the sector needs.
From Housing matters
Carl Brown looks at regulation, training, board members, pay and a host of other issues that impact the day to day running of social landlords