Landlords heed Shapps’ demand for transparency
Three more housing associations have pledged to publish details of expenditure over £500.
In a sign that housing minister Grant Shapps is winning his battle to persuade associations to be more transparent, Adactus, Hyde and Sanctuary housing associations have now pledged to publish details of expenditure. Family Mosaic, Viridian and Home Group are already publishing the information and Network Housing Group has said it will publish from the end of August.
The move follows a private meeting last month in which Mr Shapps urged housing association bosses to be more transparent. He argued that he would find it more difficult to resist the extension of the Freedom of Information Act to associations if they don’t publish the information.
Paul F Lees, chief executive of Adactus Housing Group, said: ‘Following a recent meeting at the Communities and Local Government department, we came away impressed by the housing minister’s arguments in favour of publication. We felt however that for our organisation a £500 threshold would be too high.
‘We therefore decided to publish a summary of all invoices over £99.99 on our website and we launched this last week. We have made this information available as a usable spreadsheet because we are fully committed to being transparent as an organisation.’
Mr Shapps today said the majority of housing associations are ‘behind the curve’ and argued that as councils are making the data available, associations should too.
Mr Shapps said: ‘I want to see more housing associations follow what Adactus, Hyde and Sanctuary have today said they’ll do and put the power of the paper trail firmly in the hands of their residents.
‘This is now an inevitable trend that all social landlords must join.’
The National Housing Federation has previously argued that publishing details of all expenditure over £500 would create bureaucracy with little tenant benefit.