Why we are engaging with Homes for Life
We are engaging with Homes for Life about its governance.
COVID-19 has significantly impacted the services provided by social landlords in 2020 and will continue to influence how services are provided in 2021. We will continue to monitor, assess and report upon how each landlord is responding and we will keep our regulatory engagement under review so that we can continue to respond to the challenges of COVID-19.
In October 2020 Homes for Life commissioned an independent investigation which identified weaknesses in relation to aspects of its approach to asset management and performance management. Homes for Life agreed an action plan and has made progress towards addressing some of the findings and recommendations.
We asked Homes for Life to provide its assessment of its compliance against the Regulatory Standards of Governance and Financial Management (the Regulatory Standards) and regulatory requirements. Homes for Life has identified several areas where improvements are required including business planning, its asset management strategy, its governance framework and succession planning.
Homes for Life told us that five of its nine governing body members have served for nine years or more. The Regulatory Standards require landlords to formally and actively plan to ensure orderly succession of governing body places to ensure the sustainability of the governing body.
Homes for Life has commissioned external support to help it deliver the improvements required. It plans to co-opt additional members to strengthen its governing body.
We are engaging with Homes for Life to get assurance that it has the capacity to take forward improvements. Homes for Life is working openly and constructively with us.
What Homes for Life must do
Homes for Life must:
- provide us with a consolidated improvement plan setting out how it intends to deliver and embed the improvements required; and
- provide us with regular updates on progress towards delivery of its improvement plan.
What we will do
- review Homes For Life’s improvement plan and meet with its Senior Officer and Chair bi-monthly to discuss progress;
- review our regulatory strategy in light of this; and
- update our published engagement plan in light of any material change to our planned engagement with Homes for Life.
- Homes for Life must provide us with the following annual regulatory returns and alert us to notifiable events as appropriate:
- Annual Assurance Statement;
- audited financial statements and external auditor’s management letter;
- loan portfolio return;
- five year financial projections; and
- Annual Return on the Charter.
It should also notify us of any material changes to its Annual Assurance Statement, and any tenant and resident safety matter which has been reported to or is being investigated by the Health and Safety Executive or reports from regulatory or statutory authorities or insurance providers, relating to safety concerns.