1. Welcome and Introductions
Kelda welcomed everyone to the meeting and began the meeting by offering condolences on behalf of SHR to the group following the death of group member, Mac (John McKenzie).
In attendance: Shona Gorman, Liz Richardson, Linda Lennie, Gordon Saunders, Bruce Cuthbertson, Margaret Dymond, John Duffy, Kelda McMichael (SHR), Tracey Houston (SHR)
In attendance (items 1 and 2 only): Helen Shaw (SHR), Laura Gillespie (SHR) Colin Stewart (SHR Board Member), Helen Trouten Torres (SHR Board Member)
Observing: Ross McAneny (SHR)
2. Declaration of interests & minute of last meeting
Bruce declared that he is a Board Director at TIS.
Margaret declared that she is a Board Member at TPAS
The minute of the last meeting was accepted with one small amendment.
3. Regulatory Framework Review
The Group welcomed Helen Shaw (Director of Regulation), Laura Gillespie (Regulation Manager) and Colin Stewart and Helen Trouten Torres (SHR Board Members). Helen and Laura delivered a short presentation to the group outlining the Regulatory Framework review, and this was followed by a discussion with the group. The main talking points were:
- the use of plain English would be helpful in improving accessibility and encouraging (tenant) participation.
- the potential for recording the occurrence and treatment of damp and mould in the ARC
- current and possible mechanisms to support tenant participation. It was suggested that the SHR undertake a thematic study to help improve tenant participation; improve tenant confidence and encourage participation by younger tenants.
- the need for clarification of the complaints handling process and when a complaint might become a Significant Performance Failure and therefore a matter for SHR.
- sector wide training on the Regulatory Framework to ensure that governing bodies are informed and can make appropriate decisions regarding the Annual Assurance Statement.
- the pressures that landlords were facing which could impact on performance and whether one way to help could be to discuss with the Scottish Government the availability of funding to support landlords carry out relevant health and safety checks which are required by legislation.
The group was advised that formal responses to the consultation can be submitted via the SHR website or e-mailed directly and that responses may be published. The group indicated that a formal response from the Network will be submitted before the deadline of 11 August.
4. SHR updates
Kelda summarised the SHR’s recent publications, including SHR’s strategy and work plans for 2023/24; a report on Lessons Learned on effective recording of decisions and discussions by governing bodies of RSLs and the Annual report from the National Panel of Tenants and Service Users.
In July, we wrote to landlords regarding the requirements for the upcoming Annual Assurance Statement (AAS); and also published a thematic review on the findings of SHR’s Annual Assurance Statement (AAS) visits.
Kelda also provided an update on Engagement Plans since the group last met; and reminded the group that all Engagement Plans can be accessed on our website.
Kelda then provided a SHR Board Update. In May, the agenda included approval of the Regulatory Framework review discussion paper and SHR staff presented the outcomes of the regulatory risk assessment. In June, two guest speakers attended the Board. The Regulator of Social Housing (English Regulator) and also Engage – who presented the research with SHR’s National Panel of Tenants and Service Users. The board also received early feedback from stakeholders on the Regulatory Framework review discussion paper and update on preparation for next steps. The next meeting is in August.
Kelda also provided an update on the work of the Tenant Advisors. This included the work they completed as part of the Annual Assurance Statement Thematic Review.
The group also spoke about SHR’s Director of Regulation, Helen Shaw’s recent speech at the TPAS Conference; and the second sector report on tenant and resident safety and damp and mould developed by Campbell Tickell on behalf of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) in partnership with the ALACHO & CIH.
Kelda then highlighted upcoming publications and events for SHR. This includes the deadline for responses to the SHR discussion paper on 11 August. And the National Report on the Scottish Social Housing Charter, landlord reports and comparison tool which will be published at the end of August. In October, we will also attend the Scottish Housing Network event; and publish our Annual Report and Accounts; and an analysis of landlords Loan Portfolio Returns. We will also start our formal consultation on the Regulatory Framework Review in October.
5. Regional networks update
There were no formal updates from the network. However, they did note that Network members had met earlier in the month, to discuss the SHR Framework Review submission. This session was facilitated by Michael Boal, from the Scottish Government Social Housing Team. A formal response will be submitted before the deadline.
6. Any other business
7. Date of next meeting
Tuesday 24 October 2023.