SHR Board Meeting Minutes - 12 December 2023


18 March 2024


18 March 2024



George Walker (GW)              SHR Chair

Andrew Watson (AW)             SHR Deputy Chair

Siobhan White (SW)               SHR Board member & ARAC Chair

Lindsay Paterson (LP)            SHR Board member

Colin Stewart(CS)                  SHR Board member

Ewan Fraser (EF)                   SHR Board member

Helen Trouten Torres (HTT)   SHR Board member

Marieke Dwarshuis (MD)        SHR Board member


In attendance at the meeting

Michael Cameron (MC)          SHR Chief Executive

Helen Shaw (HS)                   SHR Director of Regulation (items 1 – 9)

Iain Muirhead (IM)                 SHR Director of Digital & Business Support (items 1 – 9)

Roisin Harris (RH)                  SHR Corporate Governance Manager (items 1 – 9)


Maureen Mallon                    Chief Executive, OSCR (guest speaker item 10)


Observers (items 1 – 9)

Amanda Macgregor                SHR Business Manager

Andrew Wylie                         SHR BI Support Officer

Welcome, Apologies and Declarations

GW welcomed all present, especially staff observers.   There were no apologies or declarations of interest.

Consent Agenda

The Board also noted and approved the consent agenda items including:

  • Chair & Member activity report;
  • Board minutes from 10 October and 8 November 2023 and a note from the Board workshop on 8 November; and
  • the matters arising report.

Chief Executive Report

MC presented on issues and developments that impact regulated bodies, the wider housing environment and SHR.  

He reported on the Scottish Government budget for 2024/25 explaining that publication was delayed and now expected on 19 December 2023 and that he will update the Board when information is available on SHR’s future budget.

MC also updated the Board on:

  • homelessness and a recent meeting of the short term supply working group that the Scottish Government has reconvened. The Board discussed the importance of encouraging stakeholders to bring forward suggestions to Scottish Government, welcoming the conversations that MC has already had;
  • RAAC, highlighting that SHR has published information collected on RAAC in social housing, which it will continue to update to reflect ongoing engagement with landlords. The Board noted one landlord has decanted some tenants and that Scottish Government is producing guidance on management of RAAC, but there is no clear timescale for this; and
  • progress in the refresh of SHR’s statutory manager list.

The Board also discussed the new Social Housing Net Zero Standard consultation.  MC explained that three elements are proposed and that landlords have until 2027/28 to meet the basic level.  He highlighted continued uncertainties around funding and exemptions.  The Board agreed it would welcome an opportunity to discuss this further at a future meeting. 

The Board thanked MC and noted the CEO update. 

Action: MC/RH to find future agenda time for the Board to discuss the new Social Housing Net Zero Standard.

Stakeholder Engagement

The Board reflected on the stakeholder engagement that it and SHR staff team have been involved in to promote the review of the Regulatory Framework.  The Board discussed and focused on feedback on the Framework proposals and wider issues raised at meetings with:

  • a group of advice agencies;
  • groups of landlords including those classed as systemically important as well as a range of urban and rural landlords;
  • tenants; and
  • lenders and investors, agreeing to seek an opportunity for further engagement in 2024.

It also noted a range of feedback gained from engagement with conference delegates at events that SHR staff and Board members had attended.

The Board noted that it will receive analysis of all the issues raised via the consultation responses for discussion and consideration in January 2024. 

Actions: HS to seek an opportunity for SHR to engage further with existing and potential investors about SHR’s approach to regulation in 2024. 

Quarter Two Corporate Performance Report

MC presented the quarter two corporate performance report to the Board.  He highlighted how the format had been amended to reflect on feedback from the Board. The Board considered the report and discussed:

  • format changes, welcoming how these demonstrate the connectivity with SHR’s strategy and operating plan tasks better. It reflected on the volume of different types of corporate work that SHR carries out, both in terms of public body duties and to be an effective organisation, and agreed it could be useful to differentiate to help understand the burden for SHR as a smaller body.  It also noted that some regulatory work tasks are broadly stated and involve a lot of work;
  • risk management, noting additional information on tasks added to the operating plan as part of risk mitigation activity;
  • SHR’s staff’s recent volunteering work at a tree planting project in Glasgow, noting that this contributes to SHR’s biodiversity duties as a public body;
  • public service reform and work that the Scottish Public Bodies Delivery Group is doing to respond to this agenda, noting that the Scottish Government will present to the Board at its workshop in January 2024; and
  • Notifiable Events, noting an increase in financial issues reported and discussions SHR is having with RSLs to encourage early discussions with lenders on loan covenants.

The Board noted the quarter two corporate performance report.

Update on SHR’s Homeless thematic statement and forthcoming analysis of RSL five year financial projections

HS updated the Board on recent and forthcoming publications.  She explained how all this work is feeding into SHR’s risk assessment and highlighted plans to update some local authority engagement plans to reflect the situation around homelessness duties.  The Board considered the update and discussed:

  • the likely volume of a heightened risk of systemic failure in local authorities, noting SHR is focused on breaches of legislative requirements and that HS will provide a further update to the Board in January 2024;
  • stakeholder response to SHR’s statement on homelessness, agreeing systemic change is needed to address the issues and welcoming that representative bodies for all social landlords are keen to engage in finding solutions; and
  • some concerns around the impact on other types of housing needs and on commitments made to tenants at the point of landlord transfer.

HS reported that SHR will publish its analysis of RSL five-year financial projections on 18 December 2023.  She explained that the work was based on submissions made by RSLs in May 2023 and there have been economic changes since then.  HS reported that the aggregate message is RSLs financial performance is robust and cooping well with financial challenges, but that there is tightening.   She explained that RSLs will have to respond to challenges, while there is still constraints in place for rent increase and costs have increased significantly.  She explained that some difficult decisions may have to be made around priorities, cost controls and this could reduce spend on new build.  HS also highlighted that SHR has observed very little provision in RSL financial projections for net zero related costs.  


Correspondence with MSP

GW and MC reported on some correspondence on Reidvale Housing Association received from three MSPs.  The Board noted the letter  and welcomed that SHR has offered to meet with the MSPs to discuss the issues raised.    The Board asked MC to share the finalised response with it.

The Board also discussed and noted normal practice for engaging with tenants during potential transfers.   Finally, it noted Places for People’s commitments around funding the local community centre, which had been closed. 

There were no other items of AOB. 

Action: MC to share with the Board finalised response to MSPs about Reidvale Housing Association.   

Guest speaker – Maureen Mallon, OSCR

The Board met with MM, Chief Executive of OSCR.  It noted that GW was previously interim Chair of OSCR and that MD is the current Chair.   MM presented to the Board on OSCR’s work.  The Board and MM discussed:  

  • how OSCR focuses on regulatory casework, noting the system alerts and triggers it utilises as well as thematic deep dives;
  • OSCR’s register of trustees, noting it has a more limited remit around governance compared to SHR, but welcoming further information on this as it develops;
  • the volume of charities that OSCR regulates and if there are lessons to learn for any future private rented sector regulator, agreeing that clarity around the purpose of regulation is vital;
  • OSCR’s approach to guidance for charity trustees and the importance it places on evidence-based regulation as well as the emphasis it places on charities being fit for purpose;
  • charitable RSLs, noting that there are areas which SHR and OSCR rely on each other’s regulatory judgement; and
  • the Scottish Government’s public service reform, agreeing the importance of SHR and OSCR exploring opportunities and noting that their MOU is due to be reviewed.

The Board thanked MM for making time to meet with it. 

Effectiveness of meetings & papers, DONM & Agenda Planner

The observers welcomed the opportunity and thanked the Board.  The Board noted that the opportunity is open to all SHR staff and in particular promoted during induction.

The Board considered and noted the agenda planner. 

The Board will meet for a workshop with SHR Management Team on 30 January 2024.

Private session

The Board met in private with MC. 


Between 12 December 2023 and 30 January 2024, the Board was briefed or received updates on:

  • Reidvale Housing Association;
  • SHR Statutory Manager list;
  • Biodiversity and Corporate Parenting and Children’s rights;
  • Scottish Government budget outcome for 2024/25;
  • SHR’s analysis of RSL’s Five Year Financial Projections;
  • Standards Commission work;
  • SHR’s Strategy development.