Committee's 'serious concerns' with HCA addressed by government
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Central Government and also in Housing, Regulation
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The Communities and Local Government Committee has published the government’s response to its September 2013 report on the regulatory work of the Homes and Communities Agency.
The Government has welcomed recent changes made by the HCA, stating that it “should further strengthen the transparency of viability and governance ratings”.
In its report - 'The work of the Regulation Committee of the Homes and Communities Agency' - the Committee raised concerns that the HCA's practice of using governance ratings to signal concerns about financial viability lacked openness, and was confusing and misleading.
The committee recommended that the practice should cease and the HCA publish accurate financial viability ratings.
The HCA has since introduced a ‘watch list’ on its website giving an earlier signal that a provider’s grading is at risk of being downgraded and stated that it intends to review the straplines of the grades.
Clive Betts MP, committee chair, said: “During our inquiry, the committee was shocked to discover that what purported to be an assessment of the financial viability of housing associations was no such thing. We note the efforts made since by the Regulator to rectify this and improve the transparency of the system.
"The government must, however, closely monitor the operation of the new arrangements and ensure that they are understood by lenders, providers and the public. My Committee will continue to scrutinise the operation of the social housing sector, and the crucial work of its regulator, for the rest of this parliament.”