The Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) has downgraded SBHA’s governance to G2. A G2 grading continues to be compliant with standards but reflects that we need to improve some aspects of our governance arrangements to support continued compliance. Our financial viability grading of V2 is not affected and is retained.
In recent years, SBHA has been investing in a business-wide transformation programme called Future 50. An integral aspect of this programme has been to increase the strength of our governance and assurance processes in relation to landlord compliance functions.
Through this increased scrutiny and systemisation of data records, we discovered that we were behind our scheduled programme for electrical and asbestos safety checks. The RSH judgement follows a self-referral we made to the Regulator in October 2019 as soon as this came to light. We also implemented an action plan to bring all outstanding checks into compliance.
The RSH investigated this and found that we had breached the Home Standard. These findings were published in March 2020, at which time the RSH placed our governance under review. Having concluded that review it has now downgraded our governance rating from a G1 to a G2.
CEO Matt Campion said: “The safety of our residents is our primary concern and we take our landlord compliance duties very seriously. We have worked closely with the Regulator who has acknowledged work already in progress to increase the strength of our governance and compliance framework. We will continue with this to ensure that controls are robust, and we are operating in line with our policies and procedures, and that there is effective Board oversight of the management of key risks.
“While this is obviously disappointing, it was the outcome that we had anticipated upon making the self-referral and we consider that the RSH’s judgement is fair and reasonable.”
Work already in progress by SBHA to strengthen governance and compliance includes:
- Increased resources around governance and risk management, including at director level.
- Improvements in our data management and reporting
- Investment in systems and process improvement
- The Board approving funding to bring forward outstanding work.
- Recruitment of new Board members.
- Training for all staff combined with new reporting systems leading to greater insight into risks and the management of risks.
The RSH said: “Shepherds Bush continues to meet the requirements on governance set out in the Governance and Financial Viability Standard. However, following recent reactive engagement we have concluded that it needs to improve some aspects of its governance arrangements to support continued compliance.
“Shepherds Bush notified the regulator of concerns relating to its compliance with statutory health and safety requirements with subsequent engagement confirming that it has failed to meet statutory requirements in relation to electrical safety and asbestos safety. We concluded that this represents a breach of the Home Standard and that there was a risk of serious detriment to tenants during this period. We have confirmed this finding in a separate regulatory notice.
“On the basis of further engagement with the provider we have concluded that Shepherds Bush needs to continue work already in progress to strengthen its governance and compliance framework to ensure that controls are robust and are operating in line with its policies and procedures, and that there is effective board oversight of the management of key risks.”
We have contacted all residents directly affected by the issues which led to the regulatory notice in March. We will updating residents on the downgrade in their May edition of Buzz. If any resident has any questions or concerns please call 020 8996 4200.