That the Standing Committee on Social Issues inquire into and report on government-funded community housing, and in particular : The role, The effectiveness The relative effectiveness of large and small models in other jurisdictions Appropriate models for New South Wales, The effectiveness of links between community housing providers and government and non-government support services, training and support Current management and operational policies and practices, their efficacy and transparency, reporting and regulatory frameworks in ensuring corporate governance and accountability, Any other matter arising out of or incidental to these terms of reference Current performance systems no structured or consistent method for collecting and comparing information across community and public housing providers or for setting benchmarks or common performance indicators No way of sharing good practice
Legislative Council Standing Committee on Social Issues: Report on Community Housing 18 (page 91) That the Department of Housing finalise the details of its proposed tiered registration system in consultation with the community housing sector. 20 (page 97) That the Department of Housing examine means by which providers can obtain access to an independent review of decisions made concerning their registration and performance management. 22 (page 102) That the Department of Housing ensure that the funding and regulation functions relating to community housing have administratively separate reporting lines, with consideration given to having the regulatory functions reporting directly to the Minister for Housing. 23 (page 106) That the Department of Housing finalise the details of the Performance Management Framework in consultation with the community housing sector, and implement it without further delay. 24 (page 108) That the Minister for Housing prepare an amendment to the Housing Act that incorporates: i.) a definition of community housing ii.) the regulatory role and functions iii.) powers for resourcing and provisions for funding contracts iv.) a multi-tiered registration system, and v.) provisions relating to title and equity 31 (page 141) That the Department review its title and equity arrangements for housing associations and co-operatives to examine opportunities for raising private finance to expand the sector. In particular, consideration should be given to the establishment of sector-based intermediary agencies to hold title and equity for the housing associations and housing co-operative sectors. 30 (page 133) That the Department of Housing review its policies relating to title and equity arrangements for housing partnerships. Any changes to title and equity arrangements should ensure safeguards are maintained for public funds, equity of access and tenants’ rights.
Regulation encompasses setting out obligations, monitoring compliance and providing assistance and/or enforcing improvements to meet such obligations. Most importantly, where improvements cannot be made towards a satisfactory level of compliance, a regulatory system will set out strategies for intervention.
To be successful, regulation should be necessary, fair, effective, and affordable, and enjoy a broad degree of public confidence. To achieve this, the following principles will drive the development of the Framework. Accountability Regulators must be able to justify decisions, and be subject to public scrutiny. Transparency Regulators should be open, and regulations should be simple and user friendly Targeting Regulation should be focused on the problem, and minimise the side effects Consistency Government rules and standards must be joined up and implemented fairly Proportionality Regulators should only intervene when necessary. Remedies and intervention strategies should be appropriate to the risk posed, and costs identified and minimised
Scotland (see Appendix 2) Who regulates? Communities Scotland is the single regulator for Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) and local authorities. What is regulated? Communities Scotland regulates the social housing sector against a set of guiding standards, which include management systems, social inclusion, service delivery, communication and RSL governance and financial management. These are further enhanced by a set of activity standards, grouped into functional areas, which incorporate housing management, property management, property development, homelessness, services for owners, services for Gypsy Travellers (local authorities only) and wider action (RSLs only). How is it regulated? differing levels and layers to the implementation of the regulatory system in Scotland commensurate with the identified level of risk. Initially an organisation will conduct a self-assessment, followed by an inspection conducted by a dedicated regulatory inspection team from within the Regulation and Inspection Unit in Communities Scotland. Where possible, the Scottish Single Regulatory Framework draws heavily on current performance management and data collection systems already in place, including Annual Performance and Statistical Returns and Annual Accounts, and avoids duplication in the collection of information. Memorandums of Understanding have also been developed with other government departments which collect performance information from the sector, for example the Accounts Commission for Scotland and the Scottish Executive Housing Statistics Unit. There are some standards for which there is no information currently collected and in this case Communities Scotland is working with stakeholders on developing ways to collect this information. Good practice is collected and promoted throughout the system. Communities Scotland also carries out Thematic Regulation Studies - topic based studies, which analyse good practice and value for money across the social housing sector. The inspection system relies on Communities Scotland’s Regulation and Inspection Unit’s internal quality assurance processes. An emphasis is placed on the skills, knowledge and experience of the inspectors with CS employing individuals with experience in both local authorities and RSLs. CS also adds value by including associate assessors with specific expertise, who may be brought in through job swaps and secondments, as well as in house financial analysts. Voluntary associate assessors may include trained tenant assessors or peer assessors (staff from regulated organisations), brought in specifically for their perspective. Participation and tenant involvement features highly in the Scottish regulatory system. A public register is maintained by Communities Scotland. The Register groups organisations under the following headings: mainstream RSLs; small Housing RSLs; Abbeyfield Societies; co-ownership Societies; provisionally Registered RSLs; RSLs De-registered; and tenant’s Choice Organisations. The Directory provides the following information for each RSL: RSL name and registration number; current correspondence address; telephone number; fax number; email address; contact name of current Director, Senior Officer or Secretary were appropriate.; local authority area of main office; and Communities Scotland co-ordinator region. What are the incentives and intervention strategies? Regulation and inspection provides tenants with standardised quality services and also lenders with assurance that organisations are committed to high standards of performance and continuous improvement. The Housing Scotland Act 2001 gives Communities Scotland powers of intervention for poor performers. These include the power to appoint or remove a member of a governing body, appoint a person to conduct an inquiry into a RSL, and to instruct a RSL to transfer its land to another RSL, following an inquiry. However, Communities Scotland is committed to providing support to an organisation prior to statutory intervention and is currently formulating an intervention strategy in consultation with stakeholders. How applicable is it to NSW? The Scottish Regulatory System is the only model examined that encompasses a single regulatory framework across social housing providers, both government and non-government. Given this is the aim of the NSW model, we would be well placed to reference the Scottish model in the development of a cross provider regulatory framework for social housing in NSW. The Scottish system groups standards into functional areas. This ‘functional grouping’ model provides flexibility for the various service provision models both existent in NSW and currently under exploration for future delivery. Grouping standards by functional area will mean that an organisation is only regulated for the functions it carries out. In Scotland, regulation is targeted to risk of the organisation, which is also relevant to the NSW sector given the variations in size of organisations, their functions, and their asset responsibilities. A comprehensive consultation process and strategic approach was employed by Communities Scotland, which has led to a robust system with a high level of ownership across sectors and with other stakeholders. CS used several strategies for consultation including: consultation paper - ‘Proposals for the Single Regulatory Framework; 13 inspection roadshows around the country. ‘ About 150 organisations attended, including nearly every local authority and about three quarters of all RSLs. Many senior members of staff attended and people said they now understood the inspection process much better .’  ; presentations at a wide range of conferences, seminars and training events on the work of regulation and inspection; Pilot inspections of the Single Regulatory Framework; Evaluation of the pilot inspection program; and Pathfinder inspections – including close evaluations of the first application of the new inspection approach. The Regulation and Inspection Unit has a strong commitment to working in an open and accountable way, evident in its Participation Structures, which include a; Regulation Board; Regulation Advisory Group; Tenant’s Panel; Homelessness Panel; and Inspection Advisory Group. As with the NSW social housing sector, the Scottish system already had several performance monitoring systems in place prior to the recent introduction of a single regulatory framework. In order to avoid duplication and placing new and onerous reporting requirements on organisations, Communities Scotland has aligned currently collected performance information with the standards and draws on this information as evidence of meeting the standards. Communities Scotland has also developed MOUs for the exchange of information with other government departments collecting performance data.  Regulation and Inspection Annual Report 2002 – 2003 Communities Scotland
Ontario (see Appendix 4) Who regulates? The Ontario social housing system has recently been through a process of ‘devolution’, that is, handing over responsibilities for the funding and administration of social housing from the Province to municipal government service managers who have a role in monitoring non-profit providers. Housing services are delivered solely through non-profit housing providers. There is no established administrative regulatory system in Ontario. Regulation of the social housing sector in Ontario relies on the Social Housing Reform Act 2000 (the Act). The Act covers all non-profit and co-operative housing providers. Social Housing Reform Act 2000 outlines the roles and also outlines reporting responsibilities as well as criteria for eligibility for housing, operating standards, rents and subsidies. The Regulations list ‘prescribed providers’ Minister sets benchmarks for service managers and the social housing services corporation is responsible for maintaining a benchmarking/best practice system How applicable is it to NSW? Whilst the demographics and social housing sector size, composition and funding environment in Ontario are comparable to NSW, there is no system of regulation in place to draw from. In the Ontario system all regulation is based in legislation, which inhibits flexibility in regards to the range of service delivery models in existence in NSW and the possible models for future service delivery. The NSW public and community housing system is undergoing a period of change and embedding all regulatory functions within legislation would result in the cumbersome task of legislative reform for even minor administrative variations NSW VETAB (see Appendix 5) Who regulates? The NSW Vocational Education and Training Accreditation Board (VETAB) regulates training organisations in NSW within the national system of the Australian Qualifications and Training Framework. What is regulated? Organisations applying for endorsement as Registered Training Organisations are assessed against a set of national standards. Standards are set nationally and are used by VETAB to assess an organisation’s compliance for the delivery and assessment of training as well as client services and administration systems. How applicable is it to NSW? Whilst the NSW training sector itself is obviously not comparable to the public and community housing sectors, the VETAB system is useful in terms of the organisation’s self-selection of ‘scope of registration’. As future service delivery may include many different organisational models delivering many different types or sets of functions, the success of regulation will lie in the ability of the system to be flexible enough to meet the needs of regulation without being onerous for organisations to comply with. The VETAB system also provides some guidance to the use of risk management in the targeting of its regulatory system to those organisations which pose the most risk. Targeting to high risk organisations would greatly reduce the costs of the regulatory system.
Given these drivers, the key to a successful regulatory framework will lie in its: simplicity, flexibility and appropriateness to service deliverers and their clients; ease of operation; ability to allow intervention when necessary; and ability to limit duplication of work by utilising existing performance monitoring systems
Regulation in New South Wales NCHF seminar presentation Jenn Crowe Business Strategy and Improvement Date: 23 July 2004
Our environment…….. <ul><li>Community Housing Inquiry </li></ul><ul><li>Current performance systems </li></ul><ul><li>Ad-hoc support and intervention </li></ul><ul><li>Housing Act 2001 </li></ul>
Community Housing Inquiry <ul><li>Tiered registration system </li></ul><ul><li>Funding and regulation - separate reporting lines </li></ul><ul><li>Performance Management Framework </li></ul><ul><li>Amendment to the Housing Act </li></ul><ul><ul><li>definition of community housing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>regulatory role and functions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>powers for resourcing and provisions for funding </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>multi-tiered registration system </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>provisions relating to title and equity </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Title and equity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>safeguards are maintained for public funds, equity of access and tenants’ rights. </li></ul></ul>
Performance Systems <ul><li>Community Housing Performance Management Framework </li></ul><ul><li>Community Housing Registration </li></ul><ul><li>Community Housing Audit System </li></ul><ul><li>Community Housing Accreditation </li></ul><ul><li>Best value inspections </li></ul><ul><li>Public Housing Team Service Contracts </li></ul><ul><li>Public Housing Quarterly Business Reviews </li></ul>
Drivers to look at a regulatory system <ul><li>Accountability and protection of public investment – managing the risks </li></ul><ul><li>Standards </li></ul><ul><li>Quality service for clients </li></ul><ul><li>Support and intervention </li></ul><ul><li>Share good practice - sector development </li></ul><ul><li>Consistency </li></ul><ul><li>Systematic approach </li></ul><ul><li>Flexibility for future service delivery </li></ul>
What we mean by regulation…… <ul><li>Defining characteristics of the sector (community housing) </li></ul><ul><li>Setting out obligations </li></ul><ul><li>Monitoring compliance </li></ul><ul><li>Providing assistance </li></ul><ul><li>Ensuring and assisting improvements </li></ul><ul><li>Strategies for intervention </li></ul><ul><li>Legislation </li></ul>
Principles of regulation…….. <ul><li>Accountability </li></ul><ul><li>Transparency </li></ul><ul><li>Targeting </li></ul><ul><li>Consistency </li></ul><ul><li>Proportionality </li></ul>
Our research and exploration <ul><li>Other states + other industries </li></ul><ul><li>England (Separate regulators for public and community housing ) </li></ul><ul><li>Scotland (Single Regulatory Framework) </li></ul><ul><li>Ontario (similar demographics – regulation legislative base) </li></ul><ul><li>NSW VETAB (concept of self selecting ‘scope’) </li></ul>
Scottish Model Main Types of Social Housing Council housing RSLs (Has and Co-ops) Scottish Homes Rented Housing Process Principles of Inspection Participation and Involvement When do inspections occur Evaluation How is performance assessed The Inspection Team The inpsection process and timeline Communities Scotland A single Regulatory Framework Guide to Inspection Performance Standards Good Practice Guidance Performance Standards Contextual information Register of Social Landlords Assessment tools Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 Intervention Strategy Service Delivery REGULATION
Other models with interesting elements <ul><li>England </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Strong RSL sector </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Private investment (title, stock transfer) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Canada </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Devolution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Social Housing Reform Act – operating standards and ‘prescribed providers’ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>VETAB </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Risk approach through selection of scope </li></ul></ul>
Common elements of a regulatory system <ul><li>Principles and objectives </li></ul><ul><li>Legislation </li></ul><ul><li>Risk assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Code </li></ul><ul><li>Standards and Guidance </li></ul><ul><li>Process for inspection and validation </li></ul><ul><li>Process for collecting and sharing good practice </li></ul><ul><li>Incentives, sanctions and intervention </li></ul><ul><li>Public Register </li></ul><ul><li>Appeals mechanism </li></ul><ul><li>Participation </li></ul>
Challenges (1) <ul><li>Cross Provider feasibility </li></ul><ul><li>Simplicity, flexibility and appropriateness </li></ul><ul><li>Ease of operation </li></ul><ul><li>Consultation, participation and client input </li></ul><ul><li>Limit duplication of work by utilising existing performance monitoring systems </li></ul>
Challenges (2) <ul><li>Cross sector KPIs and benchmarks </li></ul><ul><li>Enabling – not restrictive </li></ul><ul><li>Avoiding onerous reporting – usefulness </li></ul><ul><li>Skills of regulator </li></ul><ul><li>Separation of regulation and service delivery </li></ul>