The National Housing Federation (NHF) has published its new code of governance after completely overhauling the version that has been in place for five years.
The new NHF document, which comes after months of consultation with the sector, focuses on three key issues that have risen in priority for housing associations.
- Upholding the reputation of the sector
- Putting in place a framework for ensuring equality, diversity and inclusion within all housing associations and their boards
- The importance of being accountable to residents
The 17-page document sets out the standards organisations can be reasonably expected to uphold if they want to maintain good governance.
Four principles – which include mission and values, strategy and delivery, board effectiveness, and control and assurance – underpin the code.
Campbell Tickell was commissioned by the NHF to draw up the code after discussion with an advisory group of sector experts in governance.
In August, the NHF published its draft version of the code, which for the first time included a requirement for boards to be accountable to residents.
The preceding code of governance, which was published was in 2015, focused more on boards and their strategic control.
The new version puts greater emphasis on equality, diversity, and inclusion in governance, as well as sustainability and culture.
The code states that those adopting it should place residents’ needs “at the heart of strategic decision-making” with “robust oversight” of safety measures.
Boards must also “exert a firm grip of risk, including thoroughly testing the impact of potential risk scenarios on the organisation’s future plans”.
The NHF represents nearly 800 associations across England.
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