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Opinion: Associations claim they don't know what value for money means

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Opinion: Associations claim they don't know what value for money means

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing

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Image: Housing via Shutterstock

By Alistair McIntosh, chief executive, the Housing Quality Network

I don’t believe it. Inside Housing says that “four in 10 social landlords claim to have experienced difficulty interpreting new value for money regulatory requirements, according to research by consultancy Housemark”.

How on earth can this be true? The HCA gave you one page of guidance. It was pretty clear what they wanted. What sort of person fails a test this simple? Every tenant that gets a home through choice-based lettings has to deal with something that is a lot more complicated. How would you cope if you needed to claim universal credit? Iain Duncan Smith won’t take “I got a bit confused” as an answer, will he?

Let me demolish the excuses that we hear.

“There are no normal market pressures in our world”. That is true. So what? Lots of associations do well at saving money. That means they can all do it. Stop hiding behind schoolboy economics.

“We didn’t get enough guidance”. Mummy took the stabilisers off and I fell. Are you really calling for more red tape? Why not go the whole hog and ask to go back to the council?

The housing industry has been let down by the four in 10 brigade. They do not reflect the good work that is going on in most places. I say thank you to Housemark for exposing them. The one crumb of comfort is that only 66 responded to the survey.

The HCA needs to report to MPs again in the spring. Let’s use that time to help the HCA give a better picture of the sector.

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