What is social housing compliance?

The Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) is the government body responsible for the regulation of registered providers (RPs), across England and Wales, of which Sustain (UK) Ltd is one.

The RSH undertakes economic regulation of RPs, focusing on issues such as governance, financial viability, housing standards and value for money.

The RSH takes a co-regulatory approach to assessing RPs, which means RP boards must take responsibility for attaining set standards openly and honestly.

Find out more about compliance at A Guide to Regulation of Registered Providers

Issues with non-compliance

In January 2019, an RSH Regulatory Judgement (4687), declared Sustain non-compliant in three areas associated with organisational governance.

The areas of non-compliance were:

  1. Issues around potential conflicts of interests with members of the board   
  2. Concerns around the level of executive salaries
  3. A need to be further compliant with rent standards

What has Sustain UK done?

Sustain UK takes a co-regulatory approach to compliance and has worked closely with the regulator and external advisors to meet the required standards.

Sustain UK’s executives all voluntarily agreed salary reductions in 2019, and as of September 2021, the RP is now compliant in all the areas identified in the Regulatory Judgment, other than that of the rent standard, where Sustain UK is working to bring its service charges in line with the 2020 rent standard changes.

Compliance in this area should be achieved in early 2022, at which point Sustain UK expects to become a registered provider of choice and lead by example in providing a much-needed service for vulnerable adults across the city.

Why did these compliance issues occur?

Such has been the increase in the need for safe, quality supported housing and services across Birmingham in recent years, Sustain UK had to expand rapidly in order to meet demand and appropriately help and house hundreds of vulnerable people across the city.

As a result, Sustain UK has, at times, had to put people first and work retrospectively to meet the levels of infrastructure and governance demanded by the regulator for an RP of its now increased size.

Since it was formed in 2009, Sustain UK has always placed the needs of its residents at the heart of its ethos. Sustain UK is proud of how it has changed lives through the quality and safety of its accommodation and support, and moving forward is committed to matching these high standards with consistent compliance.   

Who can I contact?

If you have any questions in relation to compliance and the changes Sustain UK Ltd has made over recent years, please email Finance Director Ian McGregor at ian@sustainuk.org