Our report covers the recent issues imposed on housing associations. Debbie Watson summarises the report.
It's been challenging for housing associations to steer their focus away from the immediate concerns of the last 12 months, from lockdown to Brexit.
Despite the circumstances, we've seen housing associations perform well and continue to do what they do best: provide support to the most vulnerable members of our society. However, social distancing and other operational challenges have made achieving your aims more difficult.
Our report looks at the key challenges you're facing and what the knock-on financial and regulatory impact will be.
Housing associations are navigating new building safety regulations, the social housing white paper, and a significantly changed National Housing Federation Code of Governance. All of these have a clear focus on tenants’ needs and safety.
These developments are likely to have a significant impact on most associations, and, therefore, I expect that these will also be reflected in annual reports, particularly in the narrative reporting.
Climate change and Brexit
With increasing expectations on housing associations from stakeholders, the decarbonisation agenda and a new voluntary Sustainability Reporting Standard, there's an additional onus on associations to address climate-related issues. I expect reporting in this area to increase significantly, whether required by legislation or through best-practice reporting.
With regards to Brexit, the deal has now been finalised. However, there's still uncertainty about the future, and there are some clear challenges that many associations are likely to face and should already be planning for. I recommend a particular focus on the impact Brexit may have on your workforce, funding and finance, as well as supply chain disruption and increased costs.
Housing associations have a number of challenges to navigate through this coming year. We hope that our sector developments publication, together with our housing model accounts, will give you some effective tools to tackle your financial reporting preparations in this difficult time.
If you need further support, get in touch with Debbie Watson.