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Housing sector comes together to publish second putting safety first briefing

SFHA is delighted to publish the second briefing in the “Putting Safety First” series. It has been developed by Campbell Tickell on behalf of the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA) in partnership with the Association of Local Authority Chief Housing Officers (ALACHO) and Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH).  We also gratefully acknowledge the support for this work from the Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR). 

This briefing note expands on a webinar Campbell Tickell delivered in March 2023 which was aimed at governing body members of RSLs.

The note will be of particular interest to the board/committee members of RSLs in Scotland and elected councillors in Scottish local authorities which own and manage social housing.  Whilst the briefing is not a comprehensive guide to what is a highly complex area of legislation and regulation, it aims to give governing body members (GBMs) the background knowledge and perspective they need to discharge their responsibilities. It suggests key areas where GBMs should be focusing their scrutiny, and the questions they could be asking.  

Carolyn Lochhead, Director of External Affairs at SFHA said: 

"Housing associations and co-operatives have a duty to provide safe, warm, suitable and affordable homes for their tenants, and they take this duty extremely seriously. This important guidance builds on a range of work already done to support housing association boards/committees and other social housing governing body members as they seek to uphold rigorous health and safety standards – for both tenants and employees – in the organisations they govern."

John Mills, Co-chair at ALACHO said:

"The ‘Putting Safety First’ report, will provide governing Boards and Committees with best practice guidance for the social housing sector to provide consistency of approaches to managing mould and damp. ALACHO is committed to work closely with Local Authority members, the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations and the Charted Institute of Housing Scotland to ensure the health and wellbeing of tenants remains a focus of the sector."

Callum Chomczuk, National Director at CIH Scotland said:

“All social housing tenants should live in good quality well managed homes and the role of governing body members in setting the culture of the organisation to deliver on this is fundamental.

"As the home of professional standards CIH Scotland is delighted to work with the SFHA and ALACHO to provide guidance to governing body member across the social sector on what good governance and assurance looks like with regards to managing the risk from damp and mould.  I hope the recommendations further improve the sector’s performance with regards to damp and mould and in turn the housing outcomes of all tenants.”

Helen Shaw, Director of Regulation at the Scottish Housing Regulator said: 

"We welcome this further advice for social landlords to help them to review and improve the way in which they manage instances of mould and damp in tenants’ homes. This advice will help governing body members and elected members assure themselves that they have the appropriate systems in place to ensure their tenants homes are not affected by mould and dampness and to deal with any reported cases quickly and effectively.”

The full briefing is available in the downloads section to the right of this article.




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