The Scottish Housing Regulator is consulting on proposals for how it regulates social housing in Scotland. It is inviting tenants, landlords and others with an interest in its work to give their views by 15 December.
In its proposals, the Regulator explains how it will continue to safeguard and promote the interests of current and future tenants, people who are homeless and others who use social landlords’ services.
A key proposal would see the Regulator introduce a new provision to its statutory guidance to allow the Regulator to require landlords to provide explicit assurance in the Annual Assurance Statement (AAS) on a specific issue or issues.
The Regulator also proposes changes to strengthen the emphasis in its Regulatory Framework on social landlords listening to tenants and service users, to make it clearer when a social landlord is non-compliant, and to initiate a comprehensive review of the Annual Return on the Charter which it will consult on next year.
George Walker, the Regulator’s Chair, said “Our proposals reflect the feedback from stakeholders on our discussion paper from earlier this year. Since then we’ve continued to discuss our ideas at meetings and events, to develop and test our thinking.
“Overall, stakeholders have told us that in general the current Regulatory Framework works well and remains relevant and appropriate. We’ve also seen a clear appetite from those involved in social housing for a period of stability and for changes to be kept to a minimum. There was also general support from tenants, landlords, investors and representative bodies for the approach that we set out in the discussion paper and for the changes we proposed.
“Thank you to everyone who has shared their views so far. This has been a really constructive discussion, and your feedback has been invaluable. The draft Regulatory Framework and guidance we are now proposing have been shaped by your feedback, and will continue to be informed by your responses to this consultation.”
The Regulator will use the consultation feedback to develop its final Regulatory Framework and guidance which it will publish in February 2024 and implement on 1 April 2024.
Notes to editors
- The Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) was established on 1 April 2011 under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2010. Its objective is to safeguard and promote the interests of tenants and others who use local authority and RSL housing services. The Regulator operates independently of Scottish Ministers and is accountable directly to the Scottish Parliament. It assumed its full regulatory responsibilities on 1 April 2012. The Regulator consists of the Chair and seven Board members. More information about the Regulator can be found on its website at housingregulator.gov.scot
- SHR sets out how it currently regulates social landlords in its published framework – Regulation of Social Housing in Scotland.
- SHR published a discussion paper on the future of social housing regulation in June 2023. It used the feedback from this discussion paper to help shape its consultation package.