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Regulator listens to concerns of co-operatives

SHR acts on points raised by co-operatives.

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Alistair Cant, Director of Lister Housing Co-operative, is pleased to report that the Scottish Housing Regulator has acted on comments from Lister’s Management Committee as well as those from many other fully mutual housing co-operatives.

Alistair Cant said: “Unnoticed by us, and many others, the SHR’s original constitutional requirements stated that the names of members of RSLs were required to be available to the public. The consultation on the newly revised regulatory framework encouraged me to pore over the details, and this original requirement was continued in the new version. Our Committee was most concerned, as our list of members’ names is exactly our list of tenants, so, in this era of data protection and only divulging information with specific consent, it would not be appropriate if we had to make our list of tenants that widely available.

“I raised this matter personally with the regulator at an SFHA consultation round-table meeting – and notes were taken by them. We are thus very pleased to see in the finalised documents released last Thursday, that this clause, number 27 in the new constitutional requirement document, states that the names of members will only need to be made available to other members and to those with a financial interest in the RSL’s funds.

“Although this matter had particular implications for fully-mutual co-ops, this revision by the SHR will benefit all RSLs, which is good news, especially with GDPR and the impending FOI.”

Alistair Cant concluded: “Thank you to other co-operatives who took up this issue with us and made comments of their own as well as to the SFHA which included it in its lobbying efforts.”

Alan Stokes, SFHA Policy Lead, said: "SFHA will shortly consult members on amendments to its Model Rules, and this change to the constitutional requirements will allow for revisions that simplify the model to provide greater clarity and to make them more user friendly."