The regulatory arm of the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is being rebranded as the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH). Writing in a letter to sector stakeholders, executive director of regulation Fiona MacGregor said the Tailored Review of the HCA had concluded that its regulatory and investment functions should be separated. This, she stated, would enable the former to be established as a standalone body, thereby reaffirming the government’s commitment to “a strong, independent regulator with credibility within the sector”.
The HCA’s investment functions are meanwhile being branded and relaunched as Homes England.
Social housing providers have been advised that until legislation is enacted for the regulator to be established as an independent organisation, both Homes England and RSH will legally remain as functions of the HCA but will operate with distinct corporate identities.
Furthermore, the Regulation Committee, which is responsible for the regulation of social housing, will remain a statutory committee of the HCA.
Ms MacGregor added that this change does not alter its regulatory framework, approach or powers. She said this means it will continue promoting a “viable, efficient and well-governed social housing sector able to deliver homes that meet a range of needs”.
Stakeholders will be notified about the RSH being established as a standalone organisation when it is confirmed in legislation.
The Local Government Association has welcomed the separation of regulatory and investment functions. However, it stressed that for the new Homes England agency to be a success, it must work positively with local government “to deliver the mix of homes, infrastructure and places that people want to see”.
The Chartered Institute of Housing added that it wants the agency to “take new and innovative approaches which could make a real difference to get us building more homes at a crucial time”.
For further information on any of the points raised in this article please contact Andrew Murray in our Social Housing Team.