League tables for social landlords are expected to appear within two years and they will include housing associations, councils and ALMOs according to the sector’s regulator.
The prospect of using tables to rank social landlords by their performance was included in the Social Housing Green Paper published a few months ago. It provoked a series of angry protests and warnings that they could be counter productive by encouraging landlords to chase targets for performance indicators. Simon Dow, interim chair of the Regulator of Social Housing has said critics have no “compelling case for what to do instead”.
Jonathan Walters, deputy director of strategy and performance at the RSH, said: “If we are asked to develop a suite of metrics we would want to take the time and work with others to make sure we were coming up with the right metrics. I think it doesn’t really matter who your landlord is as far as tenants are concerned. It shouldn’t matter whether it’s a local authority or a housing association, it would be the same metrics that apply.”
“With regard to league tables, I think the question is what government is trying to achieve with that and I think there are two things really. The first is that league tables are trying to achieve transparency, so tenants can see more about what their landlords are actually like. The other thing is that no one wants to be at the bottom of the league table, so this would persuade people who aren’t doing well to do better,” he added. “And if you really don’t like the idea of league tables, what you need to do is accept the outcome that Government is trying to achieve and come up with an alternative system that can meet those aims and help social landlords do better.”
By Patrick Mooney, editor