Salix Homes. Releasing the potential

Tenant Led Self Regulation

The responsibility for housing regulation in England moved to the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) in April 2012, taking over from the Tenant Services Authority following the introduction of the Localism Act 2012.

The scope of their regulatory activity applies to registered providers of social housing. As the Regulator they are responsible for maintaining the register of social housing providers, and for setting out the regulatory framework within which they must operate. The Regulatory Framework includes both the regulatory standards which providers must meet, and the way in which the Regulator carries out its functions.

The focus of their activity is on governance, financial viability and value for money as the basis for robust economic regulation; maintaining lender confidence and protecting taxpayers. There is a shift in emphasis to consumer regulation.

While they set consumer standards, the primary responsibility for resolving issues with these is between landlords and their tenants at a local level. They will only intervene in cases of serious detriment that have caused, or are likely to cause harm.

Their regulatory responsibilities are discharged through a new independent Regulation Committee, and within the parameters of the new Regulatory Framework.

The new regulatory framework for regulating housing associations and the housing activities of local authorities who own their stock, including ALMOs came into effect on 1ST April 2012.

The HCA want to encourage landlords and tenants to work together to improve the levels of service delivered. The HCA role would be, in part, to rely on the things agreed and delivered as a result. The HCA call this co-regulation and this is the HCA's preferred approach to regulation. Co-regulation is a balance between:

  • Direct regulation - where national standards are developed and evaluation of performance is assessed directly by the regulator 
  • Self regulation - where local standards are developed with tenants by landlords themselves, led by their boards and performance is verified independently within a framework approved by the regulator.

 This balance will enable the standards framework to be more tailored to local priorities.

Salix Homes is at the forefront of resident led self-regulation and has an established mechanism that allows customers the opportunity to review, influence and direct the organisation at a strategic level either by being part of the Customer Senate, Customer Panels or being a member of the Board.