CIH Scotland comments on housing association reclassification announcement
CIH Scotland has commented on the announcment today by the Office for National Statistics that registered providers of social housing in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be reclassified as public non-financial corporations for the purrpose of national accounts.
CIH Scotland Executive Director Annie Mauger said:
“We support the Scottish Government’s proactive work to put in place a mechanism that will enable the ONS decision on housing association reclassification to be reversed as part of its legislative programme for 2016-17. We believe it is vital to ensure that, as far as possible, we continue protecting the key aims of the current regulatory regime in the broadest sense that are designed to demonstrate value for money, to ensure good standards of financial management and governance, to safeguard tenants’ interests and accountability and to protect historic public investment.
“It is important to bear in mind that the current system of regulation has helped create an environment in which lenders have been prepared to invest with confidence; and it has reassured tenants that housing associations are bound by rules and by a regulator which protect their interests. Achieving the Scottish Government’s target to deliver 50,000 affordable homes over the lifetime of this Scottish Parliament may be compromised if housing associations are subjected to public sector borrowing rules.”
Annie Mauger concluded:
“We look forward to working closely with the Scottish Government and other key stakeholders to ensure the reversal of the ONS decision is well-informed by our members working across the housing sector in Scotland.”
Notes to Editors
1. The Office of National Statistics (ONS) has undertaken a review of the statistical classification of registered social landlords and housing associations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This followed a similar review into private registered providers of social housing in England, concluded in 2015. On 29th September 2016, ONS announced that it had concluded that registered providers of social housing in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland are public, market producers and, as such, will be reclassified to the Public Non-Financial Corporations (S.11001) sub-sector for the purpose of national accounts and other ONS economic statistics: https://www.ons.gov.uk/economy/nationalaccounts/uksectoraccounts/articles/statisticalclassificationofregisteredprovidersofsocialhousinginscotlandwalesandnorthernireland/september2016
2. The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) is the independent voice for housing and the home of professional standards. Our goal is simple – to provide housing professionals with the advice, support and knowledge they need to be brilliant. CIH is a registered charity and not-for-profit organisation. This means that the money we make is put back into the organisation and funds the activities we carry out to support the housing sector. We have a diverse membership of people who work in both the public and private sectors, in 20 countries on five continents across the world. Further information is available at: www.cih.org
3. For further information, please contact: Annie Mauger, Executive Director, Devolved Nations: firstname.lastname@example.org