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SFHA Comments on ONS Reclassification Decision

Commenting on the decision by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to reclassify private registered providers (known as Registered Social Landlords – RSLs – in Scotland) from ‘private non-financial corporations’ to ‘public non-financial corporations’, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) said it is confident that the measures which it understands the Scottish Government will introduce in the forthcoming Housing Amendment (Scotland) Bill will address any problematic issues created by reclassification.

Posted In

For immediate use: Thursday 29 September 2016 

Commenting on the decision (1) today (Thursday 29 September) by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to reclassify private registered providers (known as Registered Social Landlords – RSLs – in Scotland) from ‘private non-financial corporations’ to ‘public non-financial corporations’, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) said it is confident that the measures which it understands the Scottish Government will introduce in the forthcoming Housing Amendment (Scotland) Bill (2) will address any problematic issues created by reclassification.

Mary Taylor, Chief Executive of the SFHA, said:

“Although the ONS today announced its decision to reclassify Scottish RSLs, all of which are housing associations or co-operatives, as ‘public non-financial corporations’, we are aware that Scottish Government will be taking legislative steps designed to effectively reverse this decision and ensure that it will be ‘business as usual’ for our members going forward.

“As was the case in England, the ONS decision is based on certain powers available to the regulator, which in our case means the Scottish Housing Regulator, which appears to give the state an element of ‘control’ over RSLs.  

“We will, of course, carefully examine the substance and detail of the ONS’s decision, but we confidently anticipate that the measures to be introduced as part of the forthcoming Housing Amendment (Scotland) Bill will address this issue. The changes made over the years to the regulatory framework have already achieved a degree of separation of housing associations from public control, so future changes will be consistent with that trend.

“We have received assurances from Scottish Government that this will not affect housing associations’ private borrowing in the immediate future. We will continue to liaise closely with Scottish Government and our members.”

Ends

For further information, please contact Kirsten Walker on t: 0141 567 6221 m: 0788 788 8348 email: kwalker@sfha.co.uk

Visit our website at www.sfha.co.uk

Follow us on Facebook www.facebook.com/SFHA.HousingScotland

Twitter www.twitter.com/sfha_hq

NOTES:

  1. www.ons.gov.uk/releases/statisticalclassificationofregisteredprovidersofsocialhousinginscotlandwalesandnorthernireland
  2. www.gov.scot/programme2016
  3. The Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) was established in 1975 and has around 120 members providing affordable housing and wider community services across Scotland, as well as a further 200 commercial associates. The SFHA is owned and governed by its members and exists to lead, represent and support the work of housing associations and co-operatives throughout Scotland www.sfha.co.uk
  4. The SFHA is the voice of the principal builders and managers of new affordable housing for rent in Scotland. Housing associations own and manage around 40% of the country’s affordable rented housing stock, over a quarter of a million homes across Scotland.
  5. Housing associations and co-operatives are not-for-profit bodies regulated by the Scottish Housing Regulator. 

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