Mpolai Nkopane, SHRA Acting CEO. Photo by SHRA
The new framework will assist the SHRA in creating a more supportive, enabling, and inclusive accreditation process for social housing institutions (SHIs) and other delivery agents (ODAs).
After a constructive and informative stakeholder engagement towards the end of last year through which various concerns were raised, the SHRA has taken measures to ensure that these concerns have been addressed in the new framework. This will facilitate smoother operations, which are beneficial to all involved. Further, the framework will assist in easier accreditation for designated groups and aid in promoting a more transformed social housing industry.
Importantly, the new framework aids the SHRA to better fulfil its core obligations by improving the creation of delivery and management capacity. With a strengthened accreditation process, pressure on compliance monitoring is alleviated, institutional communication and support are provided, and the need for regulatory enforcement is enhanced. The framework addresses ten key concerns:
1. Lack of delivery of social housing by new conditionally accredited institutions: The policy mandates a more rigorous and hands-on assessment of the motivation, skills, and resources of the applying institutions before accreditation. These institutions will then receive access to structured pre-accreditation support, and a Social Housing Business Incubation programme, intended to assist them to achieve their first project, and with income flows to the business.
2. Re-application for accreditation status of accredited institutions: The new framework allows all accredited institutions with units under management and accredited projects to retain their accredited status unless recommended otherwise by the Compliance Monitoring section of the CAR unit.
3. Disjointed accreditation of projects: There was a disjointed approach to the accreditation and approval of ODA projects. The criteria for project accreditation have been revised to include separate project criteria and institutional criteria.
4. Difficult compliance monitoring and poor communication: The framework provides a more systematic approach to the collection, verifying and collating of compliance information. The development of a caseload approach for Compliance Officers encourages proper quality information collection from and feedback to the delivery agents in their caseloads.
5. Cumbersome KPIs and compliance reporting system: The number of KPIs has been reviewed and reduced, and an online reporting system has been introduced which streamlines reporting and information compilation.
6. Link between compliance reporting and analysis and interventions: An improved system will ensure feedback and cooperative planning of the best interventions, with regular structured forums with key internal and external stakeholders.
7. Involvement of ODAs in compliance reporting and linkage to company performance: Compliance Officers shall assist ODAs to make better use of their compliance information to inform their planning and service delivery. The framework revises the approach to both the Building Conditions Audit (BCA) and Tenant Satisfaction reporting to engage the ODA more proactively in linking their own monitoring to their business development.
8. Compliance monitoring of Social Housing and tenant profiles: The framework details a database of tenant demographics and financial details at the point of entry and will be updated annually, reflecting tenant turnover.
9. Compliance monitoring of capital project delivery: Compliance monitoring of capital delivery of SHI assets was built into the accreditation of projects. Consideration is given as to whether such policy needs strengthening within the Project Development and Funding (PD&F) unit.
10. Lack of systematic approach to regulatory enforcement resulting in delays in resolving non-compliance: The policy creates a Regulations Manager position with high-level legal skills to refine steps in regulatory enforcement with sound legal advice on the appropriate approach and the strengthening of the responsibilities.
This policy revision is set to improve the operation of the SHRA as well as benefit our stakeholders through the institutional strengthening of the sector to deliver on the social programme. This will create confidence in the sector and encourage investment and delivery capacity from the private sector.