The Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) has found two housing associations in breach of the Rent Standard.
Any rating below G2/V2 is deemed non-compliant, while the lowest rating for Governance and Viability is G4 and V4 respectively.
In the Westmoreland report, the RSH said: “The regulator has concluded that it lacks assurance that Westmoreland is compliant with the Rent Standard and that previously it complied with the legislative requirements of the Welfare Reform and Work Act (WRWA).
“Following a period of engagement with the regulator, Westmoreland’s board has concluded that, as a result of historic inadequate processes, data, and policies, it cannot evidence the basis upon which it has applied the Specialist Supported Housing (SSH) exception to a large proportion of its stock.
“It is therefore unable to confirm that it is meeting the Rent Standard and the associated rent-setting guidance.”
In regard to remediation, the findings say Westmoreland will now “fully review its property portfolio against the SSH criteria and market rental rate as a matter of urgency”.
The report adds: “It has committed to act upon the outcomes of this review. The regulator will continue to engage with Westmoreland to ensure that it addresses these matters and comes back into a position of compliance.”
The findings on Trinity Housing Association were similar, with the RSH making the same notes about not complying with the WRWA, as well as not being able to demonstrate which properties were exempt due to Specialist Supported Housing.
However, the organisation also couldn’t say if its Temporary Supported Housing (TSH) met the government definition.
The RSH report says: “Trinity’s board has agreed an action plan to fully review its property portfolio against the SSH and TSH criteria and market rental rate as a matter of urgency.
“It has committed to act upon the outcomes of this review.
“The regulator will continue to engage with Trinity to ensure it addresses these matters and comes back into a position of compliance.”
In its report of both housing associations, the RSH states: “Please note that our current viability judgements do not take account of the financial consequences of the Coronavirus outbreak.”
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