Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Tuesday, 19 November 2019
Select Committee on Housing, Planning and Local Government
Housing (Regulation of Approved Housing Bodies) Bill 2019: Committee Stage
On Deputy Boyd Barrett's points, we might be confusing a couple of issues. We are not talking about standards such as standards of insulation. Rather, we mean standards for financial performance, governance and others. It is not to say the regulator will have a responsibility for putting them in place but instead to ensure that AHBs will have standards for matters such as the letting of properties and communicating with tenants. It is a matter of ensuring that standards will be in place but not of setting them.
We hear different views from our constituents. One might hear from people living in AHB homes that because a management company is in place, they feel they get a better service than one might hear from people living in local authority homes. The reverse is also the case, however, and one might hear from people in local authority dwellings, depending on where they are, about the kind of service and support they receive from local authority staff. This is not about AHBs versus local authorities and how they manage their homes. It is about putting in place a statutory regulator for AHBs, which, to date, had been only voluntary. The voluntary regulator has such standards in place for governance, financial arrangements and these types of policies. This will ensure that the regulator, on a statutory footing, will also the role of ensuring that AHBs have those standards in place. It will not step in the way of the RTB, it has nothing to do with local authorities, and it is not about the types of standards to which Deputy Boyd Barrett referred.