In response to the Regulator of Social Housing’s decision to upgrade JRHT’s governance from G2 to G1 and confirm its existing V2 grade for viability, JRHT Executive Director Chris Simpson said: “ Today’s regulatory judgement marks an important milestone in the journey to ensure that JRHT has a bright future for many years to come. Thanks to guidance from the JRHT board, the commitment of all our colleagues and support from tenants and residents we have laid a strong foundation based on robust risk controls and value for money”.
“As we continue to develop our care services, move forward with growth in our home building programme and place an emphasis on delivering first class housing services our intention is to build a stronger partnership with tenants and residents. The formalisation of our autonomy within the wider Joseph Rowntree Foundation group - remaining linked through a set of shared values but with distinct missions, strategies and governance teams - means we are well placed to deliver on our plans for the future.”
In 2017 the Regulator of Social Housing downgraded us to a G2 rating. At that time, it concluded that we needed to improve our approach to risk management to ensure we could meet the standards expected of a housing association around financial stability and safeguarding. They also observed that the relationship between the JRHT Board and the JRF Trustees meant accountability was split and unclear.
After the judgement we quickly put in place a road map to get us back on track. Starting in 2018 we invited leading figures from the housing sector onto our board to help steer the organisation and increased their oversight of our care and development work.
The work between 2018 and 2020 to incorporate JRHT as a community benefit society guarantees our autonomy within the wider Joseph Rowntree Foundation group. Although we remain linked through a set of shared values, our distinct missions, strategies and governance teams means we are well placed to meet head on the challenges and opportunities that confront a provider of our size and complexity.
There is still a lot to do. As the regulator’s judgement makes clear, whilst we have taken steps to redress high-cost areas, financial performance in our core business remains weaker than we’d like with a heavy reliance on sales of new homes to help us break even.
But that shouldn’t take away from the achievement of getting us to this point. We would like to thank our colleagues, board members and partners for their help on this journey.