HCA promises transparency
The new social housing regulator has pledged to be transparent, despite not holding meetings in public.
A Homes and Communities Agency regulatory committee took over economic regulation of housing providers, monitoring governance and viability, following the abolition of the Tenant Services Authority on 1 April.
Unlike TSA board meetings, which were held partially in public, the HCA committee’s monthly meetings will not be open to the public or the press. Julian Ashby, chair of the committee, said most discussions will be commercially sensitive - covering matters previously discussed in the closed part of TSA board meetings.
Mr Ashby said: ‘We are committed to transparency and will improve openness in other ways, such as publishing redacted minutes.’
The regulator will continue to publish a quarterly assessment of the risks facing the sector. A spokesperson said redacted minutes would not be published until next month’s committee has agreed them, so any minutes would be published more than a month late.
The HCA is due to publish a document this month saying how it intends to regulate standards. Michael Gelling, chair of the Tenants’ and Residents’ Organisations of England, said there are better ways for organisations to ensure transparency than public meetings, such as making it easier for people to raise issues by writing in.