Watchdog overseeing housing associations has been criticised
- 11 Sep
The social homes watchdog who oversees housing associations in England has come under criticism from MPs for financial ratings.
Clive Betts, the select committee chairman, has said that the Homes Communities Agency's reluctance to downgrade associations' financial viability meant "nobody would have a clue" if they were in trouble reports the BBC.
Only one of England's housing associations were not downgraded by the ratings agency Moody's in May. Moody's claim that the move was prompted by a "reassessment of the likelihood" of a financial bail-out from the government.
Despite the mass downgrade, the industry regulator the HCA only gave one housing association (the Cosmopolitan Housing Group) the lowest V4 financial viability rating.
Mr Betts says that this "amounted to a futile exercise in locking the stable door long after the horse had bolted".
Housing associations are responsible for the management of 2.6 million homes in England and the not-for-profit bodies have replaced local authorities as the main providers of social housing since the 1980s. However, reduced funding from central government meant that they need to incur debt to a greater extent than previously" in order to pay for new homes, the committee's report stated.
Julian Ashby, chairman of the HCA's regulation committee, told MPs he was reluctant to downgrade housing associations' financial viability ratings in case it triggered an increase in the cost of their debt, meaning they will face further difficulties.
Instead, he said he would mark down their governance rating to signal concern, a tactic described by MPs as "misleading" and lacking "openness".
"The committee was surprised to find that what purported to be an assessment of the financial viability of housing associations was no such thing," Mr Betts said.
The report called on the HCA to change its practice, adding: "We recommend that the regulator publish accurate financial viability ratings."
- 02 Nov
THE ONS PLANS TO CHANGE THEIR DECISION TO MAKE HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS PUBLIC BODIES
According to reports by 24 Housing, the ONS said the following:Gavin Smart, Chartered Institute of Housing's deputy chief executive also said:"Although we have been expecting this decision for some...
- 30 Aug
RECENT ANALYSIS FINDS THAT THE HELP TO BUY SCHEME HAS ADDED TO THE INFLATION OF HOUSE PRICES
The analysis of the Help to Buy Scheme revealed the following:The chief executive of Paradigm Housing Group, Matthew Bailes, said:" ... clearly, it worked well for developers, and for providers, it...
- 22 Aug
A NORTH WALES COUNCIL REVEALED THEIR WAITING LIST FOR NEW HOMES HAS REACHED BREAKING POINT
The north Wales Council revealed their waiting list for new homes has reached "breaking point".According to Clare Budden, Flintshire Council's community enterprise chief officer said:"There are...
- 17 Aug
HOMELESSNESS POLICY IS UNDER REVIEW IN A NORTHAMPTONSHIRE COUNCIL
Kettering Borough Council has amended its letters to homeless residents to let them know of their right to request a temporary accommodation review.According to an ombudsman, Michael King:"People in...
- 15 Aug
FINANCIAL CONSTRAINTS HAVE CAUSED THE CLOSURE OF MANY CHILDREN AND YOUTH CENTRES
Local Government Association (LGA) made the following findings:Chair of the LGA's children and young people board, Richard Watts, said: "The reality is that services for the care and protection of...
- 11 Aug
RESIDENTS OF BUILDINGS IN LEDBURY ESTATE, SOUTHWARK, SOUTH LONDON WILL BE MOVED OUT TEMPORARILY
The buildings in Ledbury Estate in Southwark have been constructed in a similar way to Ronan Point, a tower block in Newham which collapsed in 1968 as a result of a gas explosion, killing three. An...
- 10 Aug
THERE IS A DECLINE IN THE HOUSING MARKET IN LONDON AND OTHER PARTS OF THE SOUTH EAST OF ENGLAND
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) made the following findings:Chief Economist at Rics, Simon Rubinsohn:"Sales activity in the housing market has been slipping in the recent month...
- 07 Aug
REPORT FINDS THAT PEOPLE ARE INTENSELY SUFFERING FROM LACK OF AFFORDABLE HOMES IN SCOTLAND
According to the report by "Shelter":Shelter's deputy director, Alison Watson, said:"This report shows the disproportionate impact of Scotland's housing crisis on young people and private renters who...
- 02 Aug
NEW REPORT BY THE PUBLIC ACCOUNT COMMITTEE IN WALES COMMENDS HOUSING ASSOCIATIONS
The report which was put together after nine months of inquiries stated the following:Nick Ramsey, Chair of the Public Accounts Committee, said:"Generally, we found governance and regulation within...
- 31 Jul
LONDON COUNCIL URGES THE GOVERNMENT TO MAKE MEASURES TO END LETTING FEES FOR PRIVATE RENTERS
The London council say urgent action is needed because the government has not provided "a clear timescale to introduce its own measure", Letting Agent Today, reports.Last year, the government had...
How to Fund Housing Support and Social Care Sevices Extremely informative, excellent speaker. Alison Halstead - Riverside ECHG