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Regulator of social housing consults on Value for Money Standard

The regulator is proposing to revise and strengthen the existing Value for Money Standard and publish a supporting new Code of Practice.

The regulator of social housing has launched a statutory consultation on proposals to revise its Value for Money Standard from April 2018. The proposed Standard is intended to encourage providers to achieve their objectives by making the best use of every pound and every property to deliver more new homes, make improvements to the existing housing stock, and provide better services to tenants without placing additional burden on the taxpayer.

The proposed VfM Standard is complemented by a Code of Practice that is designed to help registered providers understand what the regulator is looking for when seeking assurance against the Standard. The proposals signal replacing the current self-assessment, which is primarily narrative, with more focused reporting of value for money. Providers will report against their own defined targets as well as against common value for money performance metrics.

The performance metrics are outlined in a separate Value for Money Metrics – Technical Note, also published today (27 September 2017). As part of the regulator’s commitment to minimise interference and potential burdens on registered providers, the technical note proposes a limited number of financial metrics for providers to report on drawn from the pilot being undertaken by the Sector Scorecard Working Group. The metrics are intended to improve the consistency and transparency of reporting and permit comparison across the sector.

Julian Ashby, Chair of the HCA Regulation Committee said:

“Since we introduced the VfM Standard in 2012, we have seen improvements in transparency and the delivery of value for money, with registered providers demonstrating much more clearly to stakeholders how they are managing their resources and assets. But there is more work to be done to demonstrate the effectiveness of the sector’s response to the value for money challenge.

“There is an increasing level of interest on how providers’ value for money performance influences their ability to deliver new homes, support tenants and ensure existing stock is well maintained. This means it is more important than ever that boards build on progress to date and maintain a clear focus on delivering value for money as an integral part of running their businesses. Please do give us your views on the VfM Standard, Code of Practice and the separate technical note on metrics.”

The consultation on the VfM Standard will remain open until 20 December 2017.

Separate feedback on the Value for Money Metrics – Technical Note can be given until 22 November 2017 by emailing: vfmmetricsfeedback@hca.gsi.gov.uk.

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