Housing associations are responsible for providing high-quality and affordable accommodation for millions of people across the UK. This can be a tricky task and there are plenty of obstacles that must be navigated – from budget cuts and welfare reforms, through to the housing crisis and on-going economic uncertainty. With so much to consider, having robust and effective risk management processes is a must – but what does that actually mean for housing associations?
Understanding the requirements
The Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) is a government department that works to create successful communities. It does this by making more homes and business premises available to the people who need them. The group also regulates social housing providers in England – similar regulators exist in other parts of the UK. The HCA has issued a standard that requires registered providers to carry out detailed stress testing against a variety of risks and combinations of risks. Mitigation strategies must also be put into place as a result of these tests.
Boards of registered housing providers are responsible for identifying and managing the risks that their organisations face. While the specific risks for each organisation will be different, the regulator has created a Sector Risk Profile, which will help boards to better understand and address the risks that affect them. The complete Sector Risk Profile can be downloaded here. It’s important to remember that managing risk isn’t only about avoiding the negative consequences of an event – it can also be a chance to look for opportunities. Non-compliance Registered providers must inform the regulator when they become aware of potential material non-compliance with the regulatory standards. In situations where a provider is not able to manage its business risks effectively, the HCA will engage with the provider to consider options and solutions. In a bid to remain transparent, the regulator will also report ineffective governance and poor financial decision-making in its published judgements. For extreme cases, the regulator may apply to the High Court to make an order to remedy the failure. There is also provision for bringing proceedings against a housing provider.
How JCAD can help
JCAD’s CORE risk managed software provides an intuitive and effective way to identify and manage risks and opportunities. Suitable for use across a broad range of sectors, the software provides a scalable framework and is ideal for monitoring the risks identified in the HCA’s Sector Risk Profile, as well as other potential risks that are unique to your organisation.