The Scottish Social Housing Charter (the “Charter”) was approved by the Scottish Parliament on Wednesday 14th March 2012. Section 31 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2010 requires the Scottish Ministers to set the standards and outcomes that all social landlords should aim to achieve when performing their housing activities. The Charter is the mechanism for this. It has effect from 1 April 2012 and continues to apply until the Parliament approves a revised Charter.
The Charter replaces the performance standards set out in the guidance that the Scottish Ministers issued under section 79 of the Housing (Scotland) Act 2001 in November 2006. It does not replace any of the legal duties that apply to social landlords, but in several cases the Charter outcomes describe the results social landlords should achieve in meeting their legal duties.
The Scottish Housing Regulator is to launch a formal consultation on measuring performance against Charter outcomes (of which there are 16) in June 2012, to run until August 2012. The finalised performance measures are likely to be published by October 2012, with social landlords required to collate data pursuant to these measures from April 2013. The first ‘Annual Return on the Charter’ will be required to be submitted in May 2014 (for the performance year 2013/14).
Blog by Ruth McNaught, Solicitor at Harper Macleod