The Scottish Housing Regulator has used its statutory powers to appoint a manager and seven governing body members to Fairfield Housing Co-operative.
It has taken this action to safeguard the interests of tenants and service users after an independent investigation identified potential serious misconduct and systemic failures of governance amounting to mismanagement.
The investigation highlighted a number of areas of serious concern including the inappropriate receipt of payments and benefits. It found that Fairfield’s governing body had failed to establish and oversee an effective system of internal control. It found evidence of widespread failures to comply with policies and procedures, Financial Regulations and delegated authorities for spending, poor procurement practices, failure to manage conflicts of interest and to uphold the standards of conduct expected of Registered Social Landlords.
The statutory manager will be directly accountable to the Regulator. The first priority for the statutory appointees will be to address the serious and urgent risks to the interests of tenants and service users and to tackle the failures in governance and financial management identified in the investigation.
Ian Brennan, Director of Regulation, said:
“We have used our statutory powers to protect the interests of tenants and service users and to safeguard the reputation of the sector. In our judgment Fairfield is not complying with the Regulatory Standards of Governance and Financial Management. There are serious and widespread compliance failures across all six Standards.”
“We have directed the statutory manager to carry out further inquiries and take action to address any immediate risk to ensure Fairfield meets regulatory standards.”
The Regulator has published a regulation plan for Fairfield Housing Association.
- The Scottish Housing Regulator was established on 1 April 2011 under the Housing (Scotland) Act 2010. Its objective is to safeguard and promote the interests of tenants and others who use local authority and RSL housing services. The Regulator operates independently of Scottish Ministers and is accountable directly to the Scottish Parliament. It assumed its full regulatory responsibilities on 1 April 2012. The Regulator consists of the Chair and seven Board members. More information about the Regulator can be found on its website at www.scottishhousingregulator.gov.uk
- SHR regulates around 160 registered social landlords and the housing activities of 32 local authorities.
- SHR sets out how it regulates social landlords in its published framework – Regulation of Social Housing in Scotland.
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