Housing Minister calls for greater transparency in social housing

Housing Minister Grant Shapps has today announced plans to consult on a new way for tenants and members of the public to scrutinise how housing associations are run.

The Government will consult with housing associations later this year on whether to extend the scope of the Freedom of Information Act (FOI) to include housing associations, many of which receive substantial public investment.

Housing associations provide affordable housing that millions of people across the country rely on, and Mr Shapps believes bringing housing associations under the  FOI Act could make it easier for tenants and the public to find out more about how their landlord work, and what their taxes pay for.

Speaking at the Chartered Institute of Housing conference in Harrogate, Mr Shapps called on housing associations to follow Government’s lead and open up more public scrutiny to help them drive efficiency and provide a better service to tenants.

Mr Shapps said the Government had put its own house in order by opening public scrutiny like never before, and it is now the turn of housing associations to embrace the new spirit of openness and become more transparent and efficient. He reminded housing association boards that, as social business, they should keep the salaries of the chief executives and senior officers under tight scrutiny in order to squeeze the maximum efficiency and value from shrinking resources.

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