Regulator extends statutory intervention at Thistle to oversee proposed transfer



The Scottish Housing Regulator has extended its statutory intervention at Thistle Housing Association to ensure the landlord continues to address “longstanding governance and management weaknesses” and oversee the delivery of the proposed transfer of its homes to Sanctuary Scotland.

Ian Brennan

Last year, Thistle decided to transfer its homes to another landlord after taking the view that this would be in the best interests of its tenants and residents. Since then, Thistle has been developing the proposals for the transfer in discussion with its tenants and residents.

Thistle is now consulting with its tenants on a transfer to Sanctuary Scotland and has commenced an independent ballot which will conclude on November 2.

The Regulator first intervened at Thistle in August 2018 after it identified serious and widespread failures to comply with the regulatory standards of governance and financial management. The Association also failed to meet outcome two of the Scottish Social Housing Charter in how it communicates with its tenants and service users.

In its newly-updated engagement plan, the Regulator said Thistle is “critically dependent” on support from the statutory manager and statutory appointees to maintain effective strategic leadership and governance.

“Thistle is also heavily dependent on the support of external advisers and Sanctuary Scotland to maintain effective governance and ensure it can continue to function and deliver services to tenants and residents,” it added.

The Regulator currently has a statutory manager and eight appointees to the Association’s management committee. These appointments were due for review in October and the Regulator has now decided to continue these appointments until April 2021.

Ian Brennan, director of regulation at the Regulator, said: “We are extending our statutory appointments at Thistle to protect the interests of its tenants and residents and ensure it has the leadership it needs to oversee the transfer to Sanctuary Scotland. 

“The longstanding governance and management weaknesses at the Association have caused serious and complex failures and put at risk tenant, resident and staff health and safety and the financial health of the organisation.

“Thistle remains critically dependent on support from the statutory manager and statutory appointees for the effective strategic leadership and governance it needs to oversee the transfer and to help ensure that the outstanding remedial works required to tenants and residents homes are properly addressed. 

“We will continue to work with Thistle as it works to deliver the transfer of its homes to Sanctuary and ensure that all of its serious and complex problems are resolved.”

The updated Engagement Plan for Thistle Housing Association is available on the Regulator’s website.



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