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Social Heart, Business Head, Local Impact

Governance upgrade

The Regulator of Social Housing has upgraded SBHG to governance rating to G1. The group now holds G1 and V1, the highest ratings possible for governance and financial viability.

In upgrading it, the Regulator of Social Housing highlighted SBHG’s work to strengthen its Board capacity and its approach to delivering Value for Money.

CEO Matt Campion said: “For our new 2018-2023 Corporate Strategy we took on board feedback from the Regulator and used this to strengthen ourselves as an organisation. Our strategy sets robust, ambitious targets for increasing resident satisfaction, improving services, increasing financial strength, building homes and investing in existing homes.

 “We have a strong, skilled board who have led us in developing our Corporate Strategy and will ensure our progress is on track. Our focus on value for money has underpinned this with clear objectives, indicators, measures and actions.”

SBHG had a routine assessment in April 2016. It retained its V1 rating but was given a G2 rating (still fully compliant) with clear actions needed to be restored to G1. These related to its Board capacity and approach to value for money. SBHG immediately instigated a work programme to address all issues.

In upgrading SBHG, the Regulator said:

“Since April 2016 SBHA has completed a programme of work to enable it to manage its affairs effectively. The board has developed a skills and competency framework which provides assurance that SBHA has clear processes in place to ensure that board skills meet business needs both now and in the future. We have assurance that SBHA has improved the quality of information provided to the board. Stress testing now meets our expectations, including clear scenarios and related impacts. Mitigations and triggers are clearly specified and performance is reported against these.

 “The regulator also has assurance that SBHA now meets the requirements of the VfM standard. The board has developed a VfM strategy which draws together its agreed objectives, indicators, measures and actions. Responsibilities for delivering and monitoring the strategy are clear. SBHA has demonstrated an understanding of the return on its assets; as a consequence it has identified significant further opportunities for efficiencies to reduce costs whilst optimising service delivery. We have assurance that SBHA is making progress to achieve efficiency savings in line with the target for the first year of its strategy.

The regulator’s assessment of SBHA’s compliance with the financial viability element of the Governance and Financial Viability standard is unchanged. Based on evidence gained from reactive engagement, the regulator has assurance that SBHA’s financial plans are consistent with, and support, its financial strategy. The provider has an adequately funded business plan, sufficient security in place, and is forecast to continue to meet its financial covenants under a wide range of adverse scenarios.”

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