1. Welcome, introductions, apologies and arrangements for the day.
In attendance: Bill Chapman, Leonora Montgomery, Cameron Grant, Tom Allan, John Duffy, Heather Cuthbert, Bruce Cuthbertson, Mac Mackenzie and June Anderson, Kelda McMichael (SHR), Tracey McAlpine (SHR)
Apologies: Angela Sulo
2 Declarations of Interests
3. Agreement of:
- Minute of last meeting - Minute of 27 November 2018 agreed as correct by Tom Allan and Max Mackenzie
- Updated MOU - General agreement on the minor changes made. SHR to review points 1.2 and 1.3 before issuing a revised document.
4 SHR Update
New frameworkKelda McMichael talked through the new framework. She noted the following.
- The new Framework is now available, and goes live on 1 April 2019.
- The new framework has been shaped by SHR’s experience of regulating over the past six years. SHR had a great response to the consultation on the future framework, and held a series of events across the country with tenants, landlords, organisations who work with people who are homeless, and other service users as well as with lenders and funders. These events helped SHR hear first-hand the thoughts of a wide spectrum of people with an interest in social housing. SHR also had around 100 written responses. Broad themes were around:
- Gathering and publishing data in ways that tenants and others can use
- Getting assurance from landlords
- Taking action where we need to
- Thematic work to look in depth at specific areas of landlords' work
- There was broad support for all the major changes, including annual assurance statements, engagement plans and a regulatory status for each RSL.
- The new framework promotes a culture of assurance, openness and transparency.
- The changes are designed to help board and committee members of landlords to get the assurance they need that their organisation is well run and so delivers good outcomes for tenants, people who are homeless and others who use their services.
- Annual assurance statements are new and will be central to landlord self-assurance. SHR will use them in our assessment of risk.
- The annual assurance statements are a way for landlords to assure first themselves, and then their tenants and service users that they comply with regulatory requirements and are meeting all of their legal duties, including on tenant and resident safety.
- Landlords would then submit the statement to SHR and SHR will publish it.
- SHR are changing the way it sets out its view of landlords, including local authorities. From April 2019, we will publish an engagement plan for every landlord. And from April 2020, SHR will publish a regulatory status for each RSL which will set out SHR judgment on compliance with regulatory requirements and the regulatory standards of governance and financial management.
- SHR has put all regulatory requirements in to one place to make it easier for landlords to see what they need to do and to assure themselves that they are doing it. SHR arealso committed to working with the sector to develop a toolkit which will help board and committee members to ask the right questions and get the assurance they need.
- SHR will work with landlord representative bodies and the Equality and Human Rights Commission to support the sector to develop a guidance framework around equality and human rights in social housing in Scotland.
- SHR does not expect to undertake Thematic in the coming year to March 2020. Kelda explained this was to allow for a ‘bed in’ period attached to the new framework. The group provided some feedback as to the type of thematic work they’d like to see in the future. This centred around tenant participation and value for money.
Kelda provided the group with an update on the Charter Review which concerns figures collected from 1 April 2019 onwards. SHR has now published new Charter technical guidance which will apply to Charter returns due in May 2020
Kelda made the group aware of the Brexit circular issued to landlords on 22 February.
Removal of Consents
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) reclassified RSLs as public non-financial corporations.
SHR wrote to all RSLs to make them aware of changes to the legal position around regulatory consents to disposals of land or assets and to constitutional and organisational changes. The provisions of the Housing (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2018 removed the Regulator’s powers of consent under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2010 come in to force on 8 March 2019. This means that from 8 March 2019 RSLs do not need to apply to the Regulator for consent to disposals of land or assets and to constitutional and organisational changes.
From 8 March 2019 RSLs are required to notify the Regulator of relevant disposals and constitutional and organisational changes, and to notify it of the outcome of tenant consultation where that is required by the 2010 Act. The Regulator issued guidance on such notifications in February.
Risk Assessment process
This year sees a change to the Risk Assessment, Kelda set out the new process, and explained how it has changed from previous years. She highlighted the Local Authority information around Homelessness and noted that Local Authority Engagement Plans can be viewed on SHR’s website from 1 April.
Group were up-dated on new BACS process
The Tenant participation strategy we currently have in place is for 2016-2018. One of our work tasks in the next financial year will be to update this.
5 RTO Liaison Group update
On going discussions relating to the SHR framework. Discussions relating to Domestic Abuse and Homelessness are also on-going. All regions working on a short life working group in relation to a Common Housing Register (CHR) for Veterans this is a nationwide discussion taking in the home counties. AGM 11 May
Looking at the CHR for Veterans. Lesley Baird from TPAS was also out for a chat with the group.
Looking at the CHR for Veterans. The group is also discussing the Regional Network Survey AGM 8 June
Domestic Abuse and Homelessness on the agenda, HRA scrutiny panel being set up, fire safety panel met and highlighted they were disappointed no one from fire brigade was there.
6 Any Other Business
Bruce Cuthbertson has been selected to deputise for Bill Chapman should Bill not be able to attend SHT:RTO meetings
Date of Next meeting: 18 June 2019