As part of the new Regularoy Framework for social housing the HCA have once again taken responsibility for the regulation of Social Housing Providers in England from 1 April. The new Framework implements the amendments to the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008 introduced by the Localism Act 2011. The Tenant Services Authority will be replaced with a new regulatory committee which will preserve independence from the HCA’s investment activity.
As the activities of Registered Providers are becoming more complex the new Regulatory Framework details how governance, viability and value for money will be the focus of economic regulation and has been designed to maintain lender confidence and protect taxpayers.
There will also be a different approach to consumer regulation. While the HCA will continue to set consumer standards for tenants, it will only intervene in cases of serious detriment that have caused, or are likely to cause, harm to tenants. It is the intention that less serious tenant issues and complaints will be resolved locally through landlords, tenant panels and local councillors.
As ever it remains to be seen how the regulation will translate into working in a practical effective way.