What A Stronger Regulator Means for Housing Organisations Today

Shariq Kochhar

Discover how stronger housing regulations are impacting the sector - and what you can do about them.

Following the Grenfell Tower Tragedy, the government green paper (a new deal for Social Housing) asked critical questions about the role of The Regulator of Social Housing (The Regulator) - and suggested strengthening it - emphasising the need for stronger performance indicators and reporting from social landlords.

Our retrospective today will focus on how far the suggested changes have come, and also on a key question the paper posed:

“What would be the best approach to publishing KPIs that would allow social tenants to make the most effective comparison of performance?”

Get Prepared For a New Standard of Assessment

The green paper stated clearly that landlords should be assessed against standards that matter most to tenants.

This would mean key performance indicators on repairs - i.e. how quickly a landlord responds to repairs and satisfaction with the outcome of repair work.

It would mean measurable and well documented data on tenants’ overall experience and satisfaction.

There would be an additional focus on reporting complaints and handling the outcomes of these - detailed information on resolution - how many were resolved, how many after repeated complaints and how many referred.

In addition to facilitating the transparency previously lacking in critical areas of health and safety, this would serve the added purpose of creating ‘league tables’ to drive better services for residents.

To make this in-depth analysis possible, the green paper emphasised that all this data be published publicly, on the regular, in a consistent format - so that clear comparisons could be made.

It was noted this will inform financial incentives and penalties to promote the best practice and deter the worst performance amongst social landlords.

Start Making Changes Today

It is becoming increasingly clear that today, the Regulator is seen as an organisation in its own right.

And, that it has more power than ever before to ensure landlords deliver better services to tenants.

Evidence of this is stacking up - in a regulatory judgement just last year, Moat Homes, a large housing association, was downgraded after selling some its homes to a for-profit provider - even though this happened outside a breach of slated regulatory standards

This prompted journalists in the sector to wonder - Is the Regulator sending a loud, clear message to housing providers across the UK?

The answer is yes. There’s no messing about. Failure to comply with any health, safety or reporting compliances will cost you.

If there was any ambiguity regarding this, a firm letter from the Regulator this month to stock-holding local authorities in England made it very clear that their utmost responsibility is to comply with established consumer and home standards.

But it’s not all breathing down the necks of non-compliant housing providers. It’s also about a refreshing responsiveness that values devotion to the community.

So it wasn’t all doom and gloom for Moat Homes. By reinstating Moat’s governance rating just this month, The Regulator is showcasing that if standards are worked hard to maintain, recommendations are implemented and adequate frameworks in place, you’re going to be alright.

To housing providers or social landlords who cannot demonstrate regular reporting, evidence of tenant satisfaction and overall experience on their KPIs - or if their compliance or reporting is in any way at fault - there is no escaping the Regulator.

How to Get Ahead of the Rankings

The new regulatory and reporting emphasis seems to be working to right the wrongs of Grenfell in a dedicated and responsive fashion. It also makes clear that there are opportunities for data-driven organisations to win favour and gain an advantage in the market.

At Plentific, we are dedicated to providing you a single tool for all your operational excellence, tailored to your organisation. We help you bring all your portfolio and operational data together for faster, easier and better reporting.

Our platform creates transparency, giving you all the insights you need in one place to improve business intelligence and facilitate better management decision making.

We are also making it easier for you to measure these against market rates, KPIs and SLAs - so you can now report on every aspect of tenant satisfaction and Value for Money metrics in accordance with new Regulator standards.

If you’d like to know more about how we can help you achieve excellence in your housing operations, and ensure happier, safer housing communities, get in touch with us below and book a call today.

ARE YOU PREPARED?

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