New legislation will bring a sea-change in regulating social housing with the interests of the tenant rather than the landlord or service provider taking centre-stage.
Initially the new legislation will only affect housing associations or registered social landlords, but the government is committed to extending the regulation regime to cover local authorities as well within two years.
This paper from the New Local Government Network, looks at the role of the new Tenant Services Authority and offers recommendations on how it can bring together landlords, housing managers and tenants, ensuring that both receive fair treatment and value for money.
The report cautions the TSA to focus on local factors rather than central targets arguing that regulation does not pervert service focus. Difficulties may arise if the TSA concentrates too closely on centrally imposed targets which do not resonate with local conditions. Proper attention must be paid to central targets but regulators, in particular, should consult and engage with staff, service users and other local stakeholders to ensure that there is proper understanding of their requirements and preferences, as well as of local circumstances.
The paper is available from NLGN. http://www.nlgn.org.uk/public/wp-content/uploads/tenant-empowerment1.pdf