Sep 142021
 
Regulator of Social Housing (RSH) – Chair

Chair - Regulator of Social Housing (RSH)

Body: Regulator of Social Housing
Appointing Department: Department for Communities & Local Government
Sectors: Charity & Public Sector, Communities, Regulation
Location: National
Skills required: Business / Commercial, Regulation, Transformation
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £65,000 per annum
Time Requirements: maximum 2 days a week
Closed for Applications: 18/10/2021

This post is subject to a Select Committee for a Pre-Appointment Hearing. A hearing in front of the committee will follow after interviews and once preferred candidate is identified.

Vacancy Description

The Secretary of State for the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) is seeking to appoint a Chair to the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH). The Chair will help guide the next phase of the organisation’s growth and development. We are open to applicants with a wide range of skills and backgrounds and would welcome hearing from applicants who have experience leading an organisation through significant change.

This Government is committed to improving the lived experience of social housing tenants. The Charter for Social Housing Residents: Social Housing White Paper recognised the role RSH plays in protecting and empowering social housing tenants through a robust regulatory framework, and committed to strengthen that further. RSH will therefore have a key role to play in delivering the reforms set out in the White Paper in what will be an exciting and challenging time to join the organisation.

RSH is one of MHCLG’s key arm’s length bodies, ensuring that providers are well-run, financially sound, and able to deliver the homes that are needed, as well as ensuring that existing tenants have landlords that provide homes that are safe and deliver a good service.

Ensuring the financial stability of the sector and overseeing the response of landlords will continue to be crucial for RSH. As an economic regulator overseeing a sector with access to over £100bn of private finance, regulation and understanding of the sector are key in maintaining market confidence and spotting financial issues before they arise.

RSH is not a large organisation in terms of people and operating budget, but it is key in terms of overseeing services to the 4 million households who live in social housing and in terms of delivering Government objectives on housing. Social housing accounts for 17% of households in England and social landlords are on average responsible for over 20% of all new housing delivery in England in any given year. RSH’s Board members are pivotal to the delivery of housing objectives to tenants and Government.

All of this is likely to provide a challenging task for a new Chair of RSH. The role will require ensuring that the organisation continues to deliver in these more challenging times, and that going forward it can respond and evolve to delivering a more consumer-focused regulatory regime involving a significant change in the size and role of the organisation.

Person Specification

As Chair of the Board you will be responsible for:

  • Leading the Board and establishing the strategic aims and objectives of RSH in line with its fundamental objectives and functions;
  • Maintaining confidence in RSH and its ability to regulate providers to promote delivery of good quality homes that meet a range of needs;
  • Representing RSH effectively with key stakeholders including in government, and with bodies representing lenders, providers and tenants, and with the general public;
  • Working closely with and supporting the Chief Executive, and supporting and challenging the Executive to lead and develop the organisation;
  • Ensuring that the Board operates and exercises its functions in accordance with the highest standards of conduct and probity and established good practice in decision making;
  • Promoting the most effective and efficient use of resources consistent with delivery of the organisation’s overall objectives; and
  • Ensuring that the Board members play a full and active role, including that they are appropriately briefed on their duties and responsibilities.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Ensuring that the board is fit for purpose to support the RSH’s activities and contribute to the achievement of its statutory objectives, including by: ensuring that clear corporate and business plans are set; driving delivery against them; and ensuring that the complexity, financial impacts and range of risks facing the sector are fully understood and inform the Regulator’s strategy.
  • Helping to ensure that RSH has long-term capacity and capability and undertakes on-going horizon-scanning and using the collective skills and experience of the Board to support and challenge assumptions and long-term strategy.
  • Being a figure head for the organisation with key external stakeholders and bringing credibility to the role and organisation with registered providers, their residents, lenders and Government.
  • Bringing an informed external perspective and ability to assimilate complex issues and finances to challenge and support on delivery of outcomes.
  • Ensuring that clear performance information is used to provide assurance of delivery of statutory objectives within agreed risk appetite, and that budgets are achieved.
  • Ensuring the Regulator’s overall capacity and capability to deliver its statutory objectives.
    Agreeing and supporting the Regulator’s corporate standards, culture and values.
  • Management and evaluation of the Board and Chief Executive.
  • Informing and agreeing distribution of responsibilities between the board, committees, and executive in line with the Regulator’s Framework Agreement and Board Terms of Reference.
  • Ensuring sound financial management of the Regulator of Social Housing.
  • Scrutinising the allocation of financial/human resources to the achievement of the corporate plan.
  • Ensuring organisational design supports the attainment of strategic objectives.
  • Setting risk appetite and ensuring appropriate controls are in place to manage risk.

Essential Criteria

  • Ability to champion excellent customer service;
  • Ability to influence a wide range of stakeholders, sufficient to lead and drive transformation of a sector;
  • Ability to shape and champion good governance and approaches to risk, including experience on a board;
  • Ability to understand financial structures and products and the risks and opportunities they present, with the ability to apply this understanding to different markets such as the social housing sector; and
  • Experience of senior leadership in a large or complex organisation, managing complex systems; steering an organisation to deliver effectively and respond to a changing external landscape; and overseeing major corporate transformation.

Desirable Criteria

  • Experience chairing a board, ideally of similar complexity;
  • Experience operating within, and/or running, a regulatory system of comparable scale and complexity.

Additional Information

Term: Appointments, are made by Ministers for a period of 3 years.

The Charter for Social Housing Residents – Social Housing White Paper: 

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/the-charter-for-social-housing-residents-social-housing-white-paper

Aims and Objectives

The Regulator of Social Housing was previously constituted as the Regulation Committee within the Homes and Communities Agency. RSH became a stand-alone arms length body on 1 October 2018.

RSH has two distinct roles set out in statute – these are in relation to (i) economic and (ii) consumer regulation.

Its statutory economic regulation objectives apply primarily to Private Registered Providers of Social Housing (commonly known as housing associations). Economic regulation is currently the main activity of RSH – vital in ensuring that those providers meet standards set in relation to matters such as their financial viability, governance and value for money.

RSH’s statutory consumer regulation objective extends to all registered providers, both Private Registered Providers and stock owning local authorities. RSH’s main activity in this area is to set standards related to consumer regulation matters, which are principally in relation to the services that registered providers make available to their tenants. While RSH sets consumer standards, the primary responsibility for resolving issues with these is between landlords, tenants and their representatives at a local level – with ultimate recourse to resolve individual complaints via the Housing Ombudsman, a separate organisation. RSH can only currently intervene if a consumer standard has been breached and, as a result, there is serious detriment or potential serious detriment to tenant. The Government has committed to removing the ‘serious detriment’ test in the Social Housing White Paper, supporting RSH to move to proactive consumer regulation in future, once legislation has passed.

The economic and consumer regulation standards are reflected in the current regulatory framework for social housing, which came into effect on 1 April 2015 and is regularly updated. The regulatory framework sets out the requirements that providers must meet (in particular, seven outcome-focused regulatory standards) and the way in which RSH carries out its functions.

Its approach to regulation is co- regulatory. This means that boards and, in the case of local authorities, councillors, are responsible for their organisation’s performance, compliance with regulatory standards and adherence to their own selected code of governance. RSH also has a statutory duty to exercise its functions in a way that is proportionate and minimises interference.

How to Apply

Please ensure you include ‘RSH Chair’ as the subject line of your email. Please submit the required documentation to: applications@audeliss.com by Monday 18 October.

  • Curriculum Vitae (maximum 2 pages). Include your education, professional qualifications, and full employment history.
  • An accompanying Supporting Letter (maximum 2 pages). Please tailor setting out your suitability for the role and how you meet the Selection Criteria. We suggest you use specific examples to demonstrate how you meet the Criteria. Please also include the details of two referees who we could contact should you be successful after interview stage
  • Application Form and Diversity Information. You should declare any potential issues including conflicts of interest (perceived, potential or actual), this includes your personal or professional history that could, if you were appointed, be misconstrued, cause embarrassment to the RSH, MHCLG or HM Government, or cause public confidence in the appointment to be jeopardised. The Panel will explore your declarations during the interview process. Failure to disclose such information could result in an appointment either not being made or being terminated.
  • Biography. Please could you provide as part of the application form (in section 7) a short biography that you would be happy to be shared with the panel, Ministers, and with officials. (max 250 words). This information will not be assessed, the panel will assess your suitability using your CV and Covering Letter. Please provide a brief career history set out as follows: your name; current or most recent role(s); board appointments (if any) and any highlights or significant achievement.

Link to the MHCLG RSH Chair 2021 Application Form and Diversity information:

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=EGg0v32c3kOociSi7zmVqCT7isUYtaVLv0yIY7uje0ZURTE1MUU4QUs5V0FTN1hZSTFKQzNWOUU1MCQlQCN0PWcu

We are unable to process incomplete applications so please ensure you include all requested documentation when you apply. Late applications will not be considered.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government are working in partnership with Audeliss. For a confidential discussion please contact Nicky Webster-Hart at Audeliss on nicky@audeliss.com.

Attachments

This post is regulated by The Commissioner for Public Appointments

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