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Shapps to scrap Tenant Services Authority

18/06/2010 | By Stuart Macdonald

Responsibility for regulating the financial governance of social landlords will be passed to the Homes and Communities Agency, under plans to ‘delete’ the current watchdog the Tenant Services Authority.

Inside Housing can reveal that housing minister Grant Shapps is planning to use his speech at next week’s annual Chartered Institute of Housing conference in Harrogate to confirm the widely-trailed abolition of the TSA.

The controversial move will herald the second wholesale shake-up of social housing regulation in as many years, with the HCA assuming many of the powers removed from its predecessor, the Housing Corporation, in December 2008.

There will also be an enhanced role for the Housing Ombudsman Service as arbiter in intractable disputes between social landlords and their tenants, although any sanctions are ultimately likely to come through the Communities and Local Government department.

In an exclusive interview with Inside Housing, Mr Shapps said: ‘The TSA is something I have always been very sceptical about. I think it was set up as a very expensive way to do some reasonably straightforward things…and in terms of looking after the tenants it is in danger of failing very badly.’

He said that he wanted to use the upcoming 2010 decentralisation and localism bill to ‘delete the quango’ and that prior to this he would take steps to change the direction of regulation ‘straight away’. It is unclear whether this would involve the HCA taking on any regulatory role prior to the Bill gaining Royal Assent in 2011.

Mr Shapps defended his plan against the charge of simply abolishing one quango and expanding another by saying his aim was to ‘…go way beyond the incredibly complex structures that the TSA envisages and bring power back home for tenants’.

Despite criticising the £42 million ‘set-up costs’ of the TSA, Mr Shapps said he felt the regulatory framework it had produced was ‘great work’.

He also added that, although the HCA would take on responsibility for financial regulation, he hoped ‘…in the future you would see banks wanting to do more of their own due diligence’.

The news comes in the same week as the TSA published two studies appearing to show its new regulatory framework was a success. The first, a study of 39 areas piloting the TSA’s approach for landlords to agree ‘local offers’ with tenants, concluded landlords would not find the process cumbersome. The second found providers were beginning to see the case for shaping services by listening to tenants.

Meanwhile, Mr Shapps also lifted the lid on the debate over security of tenure for future tenants by saying in the House of Commons last week that he wanted to reduce social housing waiting lists and that ‘…may include looking at tenure for the future’.

http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/news/housing-management/shapps-to-scrap-tenant-services-authority/6510335.article

Absolutely spot on from Shapps there. A talking shop and an ego trip for their chief exec. Made a big fuss of going round the country in a pink camper van (I kid you not) holidng events and asking tenants what is important them as if this had never been done before. When in fact it is done year in year out by every Housing Association as part of their basic brief.

The long term regulators (prev HC then TSA) who knew the sector said it was useless and jumped at the chance of early retirement when the TSA decided it could dispense with some of these vital people because it wanted more economists (wtf) and board members.

So regulation and building grants go back to a single body, as it was before, and the TSA is put down like a superannuated sheep dog that doesn't do any useful work anymore. Great news.

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QUANGOs rarely die - you usually find that they get merged elsewhere and the costs go up.

The costs go down in this case, massively. The frontline regulators remain but they go back to working for the Housing Corp (or HCA as it's now renamed). But you lose one huge lump of highly paid unemployables civil servants from the top of the tree.

Simply good news in this case.

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The more quangos that go the better - as long as they are the right ones. I fear that all quangos relating to politically correct issues will be left untouched and indeed allowed to keep growing.

So far I have seen nothing in the media relating to the cessation of smoking cessation officers, five - a - day teams, street football organisers, etc., let alone anything relating to the "diversity" industry.

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Don't be fooled into thinking that there will be a bonfire of the quangos. For every quango eliminated there will be a new one created...conservative quangos to replace labour quangos. So predictable,

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Don't be fooled into thinking that there will be a bonfire of the quangos. For every quango eliminated there will be a new one created...conservative quangos to replace labour quangos. So predictable,

My brother works as a credit controller and deals with many government department's and quangos . He said where the NHS is concerned it has got so out of control that there are quangos telling other quangos what to do.

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  • 150 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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