CIH Scotland responds to Scottish Housing Regulator consultation on response to COVID-19
CIH Scotland has responded to the Scottish Housing Regulator’s consultation on proposals to adjust their regulatory approach in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
In its response CIH Scotland notes its members have been working incredibly hard to deliver essential services to people during a very difficult time. They have had to adapt quickly to new ways of working, dealing with higher than average rates of staff absences and with many having to juggle family and work commitments.
While the Institute agrees with most of what is set out in the consultation document, it is concerned with the suggestion that Annual Assurance Statements should be submitted within the normal timescales. It notes that while some landlords will be confident that they can meet the existing deadline for submitting Annual Assurance Statements, others may have been focussing stretched resources on other areas, particularly to ensure essential service delivery.
The Institute suggests that extensions to the deadline should be granted where necessary to ensure that social landlords are not penalised for having to deal with extraordinary circumstances out with their control.
CIH Scotland national director, Callum Chomczuk, commented:
“The social housing sector is very diverse, providing a wide range of services and different delivery models. Landlords have been impacted very differently by the pandemic depending on the location of their stock, the profile of their tenants and customers and how staffing levels have been impacted by illness, caring obligations or the need to make use of the furlough scheme.
This means annual reviews, internal audit programmes and business planning activities which contribute to compliance with the assurance framework have all been disrupted.
Given these issues we hope that the SHR will continue to work flexibly with any landlords that indicate they may find the deadline for Annual Assurance Statements difficult.”
Notes to editors
1. 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
2. For further information, please contact Callum Chomczuk, national director, CIH Scotland at firstname.lastname@example.org