Announcement

Julian Ashby appointed HCA Regulation Committee Chair

Housing Minister Grant Shapps has today confirmed that Julian Ashby, deputy chairman of the Tenant Services Authority, has been appointed Chairman…

Housing Minister Grant Shapps has today confirmed that Julian Ashby, deputy chairman of the Tenant Services Authority, has been appointed Chairman-designate to the Regulation Committee of the Homes and Communities Agency.

The committee will take on the regulatory functions within the Homes and Communities Agency of the Tenant Services Authority once it is abolished through the Localism Bill. The final appointment is subject to pre-appointment scrutiny by the Department’s Select Committee and Royal Assent of the Bill.

As well as being deputy chairman of the Tenant Services Authority, Julian is also Chairman of the Institute for Voluntary Action Research and of two ‘not for profit’ organisations that have raised funds for social housing organisations. He is also Chair of the Financial Information Company that publishes a specialist housing journal.

Grant Shapps said:

As we look to reduce red tape and regulate social housing more effectively, Julian’s experience at the Tenant Services Authority will prove valuable. I look forward to working with him as he uses his skills to protect tenants’ rights, and bring in the flexibilities needed to ensure that the precious resource of social housing is used most effectively to help those in greatest need.

Anthony Mayer, Chair of the Tenant Services Authority said:

Julian has played an important role for the Tenant Services Authority in improving the quality of regulation and building its credibility across the Housing Association sector. He will bring a balanced, carefully reasoned and evidence based approach to his new role that recognises the need to let providers get on with the job whilst identifying and tackling failure.

Robert Napier, Chairman of the Homes and Communities Agency, said:

The Regulatory Committee needs an experienced and skilled Chair - and Julian will bring these attributes to the HCA. This independent committee will have a vital role regulating Registered Providers of social housing, ensuring that they are well-managed and financially sound.

Notes to editors

  1. The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is the single, national housing and regeneration delivery agency for England. Their vision is to create opportunity for people to live in homes they can afford in places they want to live, by enabling local authorities and communities to deliver the ambition they have for their own areas.

2. Subject to passage of the Localism Bill, the Tenant Services Authority (TSA) will be abolished and its economic regulation and backstop consumer regulation functions transferred to the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), generating efficiency savings in back-office functions and exploiting synergies across investment and regulation.

3. In order to ensure the continued independence of regulation, these functions will be vested in a statutory committee within the HCA, legally separated from HCA’s investment functions and with its membership appointed by the Secretary of State. The Chair, who joins the HCA Board, is the first appointment to the committee and a further open competition for the remaining members will start shortly.

4. The role of consumer regulation will be refocused on setting clear service standards for social landlords and addressing serious failures against those standards, with a higher legal threshold for regulatory intervention.

5. Greater onus will be placed on local mechanisms to address routine problems and to enable tenants to hold their landlord to account and press for better services. There should be a clearer role in the complaints process for locally elected representatives and tenant panels in advocating for tenants.

6. In order to maintain lender confidence and protect taxpayers, proactive economic regulation of housing associations should continue as now but with more focus on value for money for the taxpayer.

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