Regulator continues to impose statutory powers on housing association
Scotland’s housing regulator is to continue managing a housing association until it resolves “serious issues” in its governance.
Officials from the Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) took action against Antonine Housing Association in August last year after it was made to seek alternative funding for defaulting on a loan.
This alerted the statutory body to a raft of serious governance issues within the association, forcing it to place a management team at the helm.
Although good progress has been made in addressing the governance issues, the watchdog said it would remain in control of the organisation until it was satisfied these had been resolved.
Antonine was registered in 2000 and manages 338 houses in the East Dunbartonshire and North Lanarkshire local authority areas.
An investigation, which had originally been commissioned by the association, found that Antonine “had persistently failed to comply with important aspects of its constitutional arrangements over a significant period of time in relation to its general meetings and membership; the election of governing body members, and the attendance of governing body members at its meetings.”
As a result, Antonine confirmed that it did not have a governing body which was able to make decisions on behalf of the association and asked the regulator to consider appointing its own officers.
Its director resigned in October after the problems came to light with an interim appointment made soon after.
In its updated progress plan, the regulator states: “Antonine is working co-operatively with us and is making progress.
“However, given the further serious issues which have emerged; and the action plan and strategic review work which remain on-going, the full remit of the manager and the appointees has not yet been delivered.”
It added: “We consider the weaknesses in Antonine’s governance and financial management remain a serious risk to tenants’ interests, to lenders’ interests and to the wider reputation of social landlords.”
Christine Macleod, SHR’s director of regulation, said: “With the support of the statutory manager and appointees Antonine has resolved a financial crisis and managed to secure funding.
“And it has started to make good progress towards improving both the services it delivers to tenants and investment in their homes.
“But there is still much to be done and Antonine will consider with its tenants what kind of landlord it will be in the future.”