16 March, 2018
In January 2018, the Homes and Communities Agency split into two separate entities: Homes England and the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH). The reasoning behind the move is to eliminate the perceived potential conflict of interests between the part of the body that regulates registered providers, and the part of the body that advises and provides funding to them. The RSH is now your Regulator and is the entity that deals with all things regulation, including updating and enforcing the Standards and Codes of Practice, registration, and IDAs.
It may be worth checking through your contracts, such as any management agreements, to ensure that the definitions of "Regulator" pick up any replacement regulator from time to time, to make sure that there are no loopholes that would mean that, for example, obligations for management agents to assist in compliance with "the HCA's Standards" will not work.
As one of its first acts, and following the sector-wide consultation that ran from 27 September to 20 December 2017, the RSH has published its decision statement on the Value for Money Standard, and the revised standard will come into effect on 1 April 2018.
From this date, RPs will be required to publish evidence in their annual accounts of their performance against their own VfM metrics (including strategic objectives and any social outcomes) and those set out in the new Standard. The new VfM Standard is outcome-based and obliges RPs to set out an agreed approach to the ways in which they will achieve value for money in meeting their strategic objectives.
For advice and support on the new Value for Money Standard or regulation of RPs by the RSH generally, please contact Dan Crayford on 01254 222451 or email Dan.Crayford@forbessolicitors.co.uk.