Regulatory Standards & Our Local Offer

Changes in regulation

The regulation of social housing formally passed to the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) after the closure of the Tenant Services Authority (TSA) at the end of March 2012.

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A government review of social housing regulation concluded that the new regulator should focus primarily on the economic regulation of registered housing providers, ensuring their long-term financial viability. The HCA will also set the consumer standards that housing providers must meet. The review also recommended that co-regulation should be “retained and enhanced”, with landlords responsible for the service they provide and held accountable by their tenants.

Economic Standards

The APH Board is responsible for ensuring our organisation meets the economic standards. The HCA has a proactive role in relation to economic standards and will engage with providers to obtain assurance that they are being met in terms of governance and financial viability. They will also ensure providers of social housing will deliver a comprehensive and strategic approach to achieving value for money in meeting their organisation’s objectives. The APH Board must maintain a robust assessment of the performance of all our assets and resources. APH must ensure we are managing our resources economically, efficiently and effectively to provide quality services and homes, and planning for and delivering on-going improvements in value for money.

The economic standards are:

  • Governance and Financial Viability standard
  • Value for Money standard
  • Rent standard
Consumer Standards

The following standards apply to all registered providers. The HCA role is limited to setting the consumer standards and intervening only where failure of the standard could lead to risk of serious harm to tenants as described in the HCA’s serious detriment test.

The four consumer standards are:

  • Tenant Involvement and Empowerment
  • Home
  • Tenancy
  • Neighbourhood and Community

The standards are set out in The Regulatory Framework For Social Housing In England From April 2012.

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For more information please visit the Homes and Communities Agency website

The APH Local Offer

Ashton Pioneer Homes will provide all our customers with a Local Service Offer annually. This will mirror the framework used by the HCA standards but we will be asking local residents what they expect to see at a local level in terms of these standards. Our customers will receive a new Local Offer each and every year in April. We will also produce an Annual Report in October each year to give to all customers and stakeholders.

This will provide information on the following:

  • Our performance against the Local Offer
  • Our performance against National Standards compared with other Housing Associations
  • The Pioneer Way improvement Plan
  • Ways that residents can get involved in agreeing the Local Offer
Tenant Involvement and Empowerment
What our residents said:Our Local Offer:
  • Tenants would like the opportunity to reality check our services without the need to become involved with detailed scrutiny of services
  • Tenant Groups would like more training opportunities
  • Tenants would like APH to provide access to the internet so that Tenant Groups can support their neighbours with Welfare Reform issues such as applying for benefits on line to help
  • We will provide opportunities for tenants to be trained in the following:
    • Using the Internet
    • Tenant Scrutiny
    • Mystery Shopping
  • Continue to support the Pioneer Panel in their scrutiny role
Home Standard
What our residents said:Our Local Offer:
  • Tenants would like to see APH support them with energy efficiency measures
  • Tenants would like to see more appointments being available for gas servicing and general repairs with contractors and APH staff
  • Tenancy, Neighbourhood & Community Local Offer
  • Help residents reduce fuel bills through energy efficiency savings
  • Further extend the use of the appointment system for the repairs service
Tenancy, Neighbourhood & Community Local Offer
What our residents said:Our Local Offer:
  • Tenants want to see local people and in particular tenants that put something back into the community, receive recognition when they are applying for an APH tenancy
  • Tenants want to see more community based activities including internet based training
  • Give priority to applicants on the Housing Waiting List that can demonstrate a community contribution
  • Provide free access to the internet to all APH tenants via the Tenants Base
Value for Money Standard
What our residents said:Our Local Offer:
  • Tenants would like to see APH use their rent money effectively and not waste money unnecessarily
  • Facilitate more opportunities to communicate digitally & through social media
  • Involve local tenant groups in a VFM self-assessment
Governance & Financial Viability Standard
What our residents said:Our Local Offer:
  • Tenants do not feel that they have a relationship with the Board and that they do not understand the role of the Board.
  • Tenants are elected to the Board and most tenants are aware of this but there is a concern that tenants are elected because of popularity not because they have the necessary skills.
  • APH will review the way Tenant Directors are recruited to the Board
  • Board Members and Senior Managers will work with tenant groups to plan for the financial implications of Welfare Reform