Governance and Regulatory
Effective governance, decision making and risk management have never been more important for housing providers. At the same time, regulatory bodies require assurance that housing associations and Local Authorities are doing all they can to build and maintain resilience and future proof their organisations. Day 2 of NHC heard the views of regulators and consultants on what they consider to be key priorities going forward.
Andrew and Hugh gave an overview of how the sector had adapted and moved to new ways of working during the past year. Their view was that the sector has risen to a massive challenge and seems well placed for the next phase and the challenges that will bring. However, there needs to be vigilance in terms of governance and decision-making processes given the indirect nature of oversight due to the pandemic, and also in terms of the resilience of housing providers.
Ian Brennan, of the Scottish Housing Regulator, shared the positive view of the sector's response and the levels of communication that he has seen. However, he warned that the next stage could be the hardest and business plans will need to be revised and previous assumptions reconsidered.
The positive role of housing providers in their communities during the pandemic was also noted, as was the need to make sure benefits from the changes are not lost in a return to 'normal'.
Other areas covered included:
- Self assurance and engagement with regulator
- Blended working
- A to do list for chief executives
- Brexit impacts
- Business plans and development risks
Watch the full sessions
Ian Brennan is Director of Regulation at the Scottish Housing Regulator and a member of the Board of Historic Environment Scotland where he chairs the Audit and Risk Assurance Committee. Previously Ian has held senior positions in higher education, the NHS and the Accounts Commission. He has also worked for a number of accountancy firms.
He is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered and Certified Accountants. He also holds a business degree from the University of Strathclyde and a Masters degree from the University of Glasgow.
Andy has worked in housing for over 30 years, as a finance professional in the social housing sector and for the last 20 years as a strategic advisor to housing associations and local authorities. Andy and the DTP team operate throughout most of the UK, with clients in England, Scotland and Wales. The Isle of Man Government has also been a DTP client for a number of years.
Andy joined DTP in January 2012 and he took on the role of Managing Director in January 2017. Prior to this, Andy was a partner at EC Harris LLP, having previously been a director in Tribal Group’s housing consultancy team. Andy is experienced in financial and business planning, governance and regulation. Andy has advised on organisational change projects and he has helped to establish a number of housing partnerships, often providing support to these in the shape of financial (and sometimes cultural) due diligence services.
Hugh Carr is a chartered accountant with extensive practical experience and knowledge of voluntary sector governance, through an executive director role in one of Scotland’s first LSVTs and later in one of the largest Scottish RSLs, and consultancy work.
For 12 years, he was a board member at Barony HA, and was successively Chair of the Finance Committee, Vice Chair and Chair in 2010 for 5 years, and led the association while it explored options for partnership with other providers to ensure a sustainable future. Hugh was a Board member at Bield Housing and Care for 4 years, and chaired the Pension and Remuneration Committee, and is currently the Vice Chair of Shire Housing Association.
Hugh joined the Board of Dumfries and Galloway College in 2011, and chaired the Audit Committee for several years, and was elected Chair of the College Board in 2020.