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Top marks for Housing Plus Group

Housing Plus Group has welcomed the news that it has achieved the highest regulatory grade, following an In Depth Assessment (IDA) by the Regulator of Social Housing confirming that it is a well governed and financially strong organisation.

In a regulatory judgement published on 30 May the housing provider retained its top rating for Governance (G1) and Financial Viability (V1).

The grading comes at a time of viability downgrades across the sector. In November 2017, the Homes and Communities Agency forecast that the number of housing associations with the second highest rating (V2) is set to rise by around half. Following that analysis a string of social landlords have been downgraded by the regulator.

Housing Plus Group, which includes Severnside Housing in Shropshire and South Staffordshire Housing Association (SSHA), says its top rating reflects continued strong delivery of homes and services since merger in 2016.

“Achieving top grading again, at a very challenging time, is wonderful news,” said chief executive Sarah Boden. “It is the result of hard work and dedication from our Board, the executive team, colleagues, our involved customers and everyone who is so committed to making a difference to people and communities in Staffordshire and Shropshire. I am enormously proud of them all.”

Housing Plus Group manages 12000 homes in towns and villages throughout the neighbouring counties of Shropshire and Staffordshire and has committed to developing more affordable homes for local communities. The Group is already on site building 173 new homes and has confirmed that discussions with landowners and developers are at an advanced stage to offer around 1000 more homes for affordable rent and shared ownership.

“We are in a financial position to undertake this scale of development and to maintain high levels of investment in improving the homes of our customers because of the success of initiatives such as our Fair Landlord framework and the introduction of new kinds of housing solutions including market rent and outright sale,” said Sarah Boden. “By working more efficiently and creating new sources of income, we can do so much more to support local communities.”

The judgement can be found on the regulatory website.