A lease-based provider of specialist supported housing has been deemed non-compliant with the Governance and Financial Viability Standard by the Regulator of Social Housing.
The Regulator said Parasol Homes “failed to ensure its governance arrangements deliver an effective risk management and control framework and has not demonstrated that it has managed its resources effectively to ensure its viability can be maintained”.
The judgement also said that:
- Parasol failed to demonstrate it managed its affairs with an appropriate degree of skill, independence, diligence, effectiveness, prudence, and foresight.
- Parasol failed to ensure it had an appropriate, robust and prudent business planning, risk and control framework.
- Parasol was unable to demonstrate how arrangements it enters into do not inappropriately advance the interests of third parties.
- Parasol was unable to demonstrate it complies with the Rent Standard. Parasol has reported that a significant majority of its social housing stock is Specialised Supported Housing (SSH) and therefore is excepted from the standard, but “we lack assurance on how the board has satisfied itself that the stock meets the exception criteria,” the RSH said.
In another judgement made by the Regulator, there was a downgrade for St Mungo Community Housing Association.
The Regulator said that while the organisation continues to meet the requirements on governance as set out in the Governance and Financial Viability Standard, “we have concluded that St Mungo needs to improve some aspects of its governance arrangements to support continued compliance.”
This is following an In-Depth Assessment, which found that St Mungo’s asset and liability records are incomplete.
The judgement added: “It needs to improve its understanding of its property assets, including property classifications and associated rents, and liabilities to ensure that it is able to identify, assess and manage the risks associated with its complex property portfolio.
“St Mungo is unable to assure itself that it is operating in line with rent setting requirements and needs to strengthen its controls and assurance around Rent Standard compliance.
“In addition, the quality of reporting to the board requires improvement to facilitate more effective monitoring of performance against the provider’s strategic aims. A limited range of targets in both internal and external reporting restricts the ability of the board and other stakeholders to assess strategic performance.”
Network Homes were another organisation to recently come through an IDA. However, for them the rating of G1/V2 was unchanged. The Regulator praised the “adequately funded business plan” but did warn of the pressures of an “ambitious” development programme alongside the increase in investment for building safety and decarbonisation works.
Also in the judgements were many housing associations received retained G1/V1 ratings, such as Look Ahead Care and Support, Wythenshawe Community Housing, Magna Housing, Warrington Housing Association, Plymouth Community Homes, Thirteen Housing Group, Progress Housing Group, Home Group, Hastoe Housing, Pierhead Housing Association, Nottingham Community Housing Association, Optivo, Gateway Housing Association, Community Gateway Housing Association, Connect Housing, Curo Group, Freebridge Community Housing, Black Country Housing Group, Advance Housing and Support, and Durham Aged Mineworkers’ Homes Association.
Some other organisations retained their G1/V2 ratings, including Rochdale Boroughwide Housing, bpha, Sanctuary Group, and Gentoo Group.
Habinteg Housing Association and Incommunities kept their G2/V1 ratings, while The Abbeyfield Society retained G2/V2 gradings.
Riverside Group, who recently merged with One Housing, received an interim judgement of G2/V2 following the merger.