Regulator finds association breaches Home Standard

A judgement of non-compliance and “serious failures” to tenants has been identified for Brunelcare.

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Released today (24th April), the Regulator has highlighted three governance downgrades in a latest judgement.

Displaying a lack of communication with the regulator, Brunelcare is said to have failed to put in place effective health and safety systems posing a “serious risk” to tenants.

In reports, the Regulator concluded this as a breach of the Home Standard, with outstanding work by the association identified as actions categorised as high and medium risk in relation to fire safety.

The Regulator recognises that the provider meets viability requirements and has highlighted the associations demonstration of a safety review and follow up.

In response to the judgement, charity Brunelcare has announced actions to strengthen governance arrangements and improve health and safety reporting.

Brunelcare CEO, Kevin Fairman said: “The safety and wellbeing of our customers is an absolute priority. Work to address the potential risks raised in the regulator’s notice is already underway, and we welcome the regulators recognition of this.”

He added that whilst the charity can assure both customers and the regulator that improvements have and will continue to be made, Brunelcare recognise that historically, processes have not been “robust enough.”

Fairman said: “Brunelcare has been caring for older people in Bristol for over 75 years, and our commitment to doing so remains as strong today as it was when we were founded.”

Origin Housing receives a governance downgrade following a series of consistent “data errors” provided to the Regulator.

The downgrade, from G1 to G2, have been identified as being related to that of the source and availability of future loan drawbacks, presenting a “material risk” to the Regulator of misunderstanding the organisation’s financial position.

As a result, reports reveal that the associations board presents a lack of assurance of a sufficient oversight and operates as appropriate.

The board is said to be acknowledging the issue and has taken steps to improve.

Following a previous judgment, Salvation Army Housing Association (SAHA) receives a governance downgrade, with the Regulator concluding that the group needs to improve some aspects of its governance arrangements to support continued compliance.

The report highlights that in September 2017, Chapter 1 Charity Limited, which was at that point not compliant with the governance and viability standard, transferred all engagements to SAHA.

The Regulator has identified that following this, the group have delivered a “significant” programme of work to re-model and integrate Chapter 1’s assets and services within the business.

The judgment reveals that SAHA needs to strengthen its strategic oversight across the whole of the business to ensure governance compliance.

Hundred Houses Society Limited is reported to receive a governance and viability regrade from V2 to V1, with St Mungo’s receiving a governance upgrade following several improvements to its risk managements and internal control assurance framework.

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