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Resident led self regulation has been devised to help housing providers, residents and the regulator to achieve resident-driven accountability. This is a new method for tenants to look at specific areas of their landlord's organisation and identify areas where they think things might be improved or changed. The plans are for residents and landlords to assess how good things are - this is called ‘co-regulation’. Resident scrutiny reports will be part of the evidence that landlords will provide to show that they are working with residents to make desired improvements.
Resident scrutiny was recommended in Every Tenant Matters, Professor Martin Cave’s review of the Regulation of Social Housing (2007). This report promoted the idea of resident scrutiny through a new system of co-regulation. He suggested this as a central feature in his recommendations for regulatory reforms for social housing.
Their aim was to move to a mature form of co-regulation, where they rely largely on self-regulation by landlords with the support of their tenants through effective resident scrutiny, accountability and external validation, backed up by their own intervention if a landlord is not delivering a good service
Three important areas for Scrutiny:
Assessing the organisations self assessment.
Monitoring the National Standards.
Monitoring Local Standards.
Staff and tenants of SNH are committed to making a success of tenant scrutiny and thereby being able to demonstrate the co-regulation is effective.
SNH forums have both a scrutiny role and a consultative role.
A scrutiny co-ordinating group, consisting of the Forums' chairs/vice-chairs, meets 1-2 times a year to decide the direction of the forthcoming Scrutiny Review and then ad-hoc if required to carry out a specific scrutiny function.
The scrutiny review panel members carry out specific scrutiny examinations. Review subjects can be requested via the Co-ordinating Group by tenants, the board and customer committee
To establish a degree of independence from the governance of SNH and to prevent any potential conflict of interest, board members can not sit on the scrutiny forums.
The scrutiny groups:
SNH residents completed their first review in 2013. They assessed the Out of Hours Emergency Repairs Service and presented their recommendations to the Board of Management on 7th February 2013.
The recommendations were all agreed by the Board and we are working to implement the service improvements. The Repairs and Improvements Forum monitor the progress and hold us to account.
Following the first review SNH's involved residents took the decision to use the Residents Inspectors to complete the next review. The Inspectors completed an initial mini review focussing on the Major Works Programme and are currently reviewing the Lettable Standards. This report will be published later in 2014.