Wednesday, 01 April 2015

Housing associations could be subject to FOIs

Housing associations may soon be subject to freedom of information requests after the housing minister announced plans to launch a consultation with providers.

Grant Shapps told delegates at the Chartered Institute of Housing conference at Harrogate today (Thursday) that he will consult with housing associations later this year on whether to extend the scope of FOIs to include social landlords.

The Ministry of Justice is currently consulting on potential inclusion of a range of bodies under FOI and will now draw up plans to consult with housing associations.

Mr Shapps said the move would make it easier for tenants and the public to find out more about how their landlords work and what their taxes pay for.

He said: ‘Housing associations have a long track and distinguished track record of providing the affordable homes the millions of tenants rely on.

‘But with more pressure on the public purse than ever, all organisations that receive public investment should become more transparent and open to the taxpayers who put the pennies in the purse.

‘Tenants should be able to scrutinise and understand the way in which their landlords take decisions.’

He added: ‘Over the last few decades large amounts of ordinary peoples’ cash has been invested in social housing, and the public now deserve to know if there are opportunities for efficiencies that can be exploited, so the very most is made of their past, present and future investment.’

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