Sunday, June 17, 2007

Regulation of social housing - the Dutch model

The Cave Review on the regulation of social housing is due to report soon. It was due in “the spring”. (Spring must have been officially postponed.) It is unlikely to favour the kind of self-regulation favoured by the National Housing Federation and some (definitely not all) of its housing association members.

For some time Dutch social housing and its self-regulation has engendered much enthusiasm among some housing circles. (Perhaps understandably when you visit the Netherlands and housing seems so much better there than here.)

Interestingly the Dutch housing associations have come in for stick recently. The director of the Dutch government's bureau for economic policy analysis said that there was too little supervision of Dutch housing associations. He argued that they were building too few houses and putting their money instead into other things.

4 comments:

G Parry, Liverpool said...

If anyone has ever tried to get the Housing Corporation to enforce its Regulatory Code against a Housing Association then you will know full well that it does everything it can to avoid intervention. This is as a result of the very real and dangerous conflict in the Corporation's role as funder (project partner) and toothless regulator. The Corporation , having often already taken a position by funding a project, will rely on any possible ambiguity in the Code to justify allowing that housing association to continue (often damaging) activities unimpeded. We here in Liverpool are suffering in addition due to the Pathfinder policies which further suspend the application of the code and give RSLs a completely free hand to lay waste thousands of acres of the city.

Bob Deed said...

It will be interesting if the Cave Review separates the funder and regulator roles of the Corporation. I certainly favour a separation.

Bob Deed said...

Cave has now advocated separation. Lets home the government runs with the recommendation. Blurring inspection and regulation in the Audit Commission would be a step back.

GP Liverpool said...

I understand now though that DCLG dont agree with the Cave Review and wish to keep the very poor exisitng arrangements leaving the Housing Corporation to carry out the role which it is patently incapable of doing.

I also note that the Cave Review doesnt provide for any Regulation of RSLs on behalf of wider interest s ie RSLs dont seem to be bound to ensure decent behaviour or be accountable to the wider community so long as they keep their tenants happy then they can do as they please which is an equally dangerous position.