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ONS Decision Expected in September

Scottish Government has now made regulations commencing the Housing (Amendment) Scotland Act 2018, and have also laid in the Scottish Parliament draft regulations, under section 9 of the Act, on local authority influence over RSLs.

These steps have been taken quickly to enable the Office for National Statistics to review its decision on the classification of RSLs in September.

The Director of National Accounts and Economic Statistics at the ONS will make the final decision on classification.  He will do so on the basis of a recommendation from the Economic Statistics Classification Committee (ESCC) of the ONS.   

As the ESCC’s next meeting is scheduled for 19 September, Scottish Government are aiming to have concluded parliamentary scrutiny of the draft regulations by 12 September.   SFHA has written to the Local Government and Communities Committee supporting the regulations and progressing this as quickly as possible (see the downloads section to the right of this article).

The commencement regulations provide for sections 8 to 10 of the Act to come into force on the “appointed day” of 6 September, and for sections 1 to 7 to come into force on the “appointed day” of 8 March 2019.  The latter provision is intended to give the Regulator and RSLs a six month period of grace in which to prepare for the changes that the Act makes to the Regulator’s powers - i.e. those relating to consent for disposals and organisational change.  

The section 9 regulations provide for a similar period to allow any local authorities and RSLs affected by the regulations to take the steps necessary for them to comply with the regulations.  Scottish Government has discussed both of these provisions with ONS to ensure this will have no impact on their decision.

The regulations are available here:

The Housing (Amendment) (Scotland) Act 2018 (Commencement and Savings Provisions) Regulations 2018

The Regulation of Social Housing (Influence of local authorities) (Scotland) Regulations 2018