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Scottish Housing Regulator Highlights Importance of Good Governance and Risk Awareness at SFHA Development Conference

Good governance and risk awareness are key to successfully building new homes. This was the Scottish Housing Regulator’s message to the SFHA’s Development conference today.
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Ian Brennan, Director of Regulation (Finance and Risk), was speaking to delegates at the SFHA’s development conference in Glasgow. Ian acknowledged that most RSLs have expertise in managing known risks. He noted the landscape is shifting, with BREXIT, reclassification of RSLs and continuing uncertainty around the impact of welfare reform. Landlords that are building new homes need to understand how these risks affect their business. 
 
Ian said: “We know from experience that development can be an acid test of an organisation’s governance. A number of RSLs have got into difficulty over the years when they tried to develop and failed to observe basic principles. Good governance and awareness of risk and its potential impact on the business are essential for RSLs that are developing new social housing”.
 
Ian told delegates that the Regulator expects to publish a thematic inquiry report on development next month.  This will set out principles that underlie positive practice in development.


David Stewart, Policy Lead at SFHA, who chaired the session said

“We  welcome the Scottish Housing Regulator’s input to our  Development Conference at a time when housing associations and co-operatives are working hard to increase the number of affordable new build quality homes in order to meet outstanding need.

While, as Ian rightly states, the majority of housing associations have skills and expertise in managing and mitigating risk, it is essential to manage those risks while delivering the much needed 50,000 affordable homes that the Scottish Government plans for the next 5 years.

We look forward to the publication of the Development Thematic inquiry, and will continue to work with members on sharing experience, skills and good practice as they work to deliver more homes.  For example we recently ran a Development Matchmaking event  showcasing examples of collaborative development and  allowing associations looking for development partners to meet and discuss potential partnerships.”