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Aberdeenshire housing association put tenants at risk, according to new report

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A new report has detailed “serious weaknesses” surrounding organisation and financial failings at a north-east housing association.

Kincardine Housing Co-operative (KHC), which owned 72 homes for social rent across Stonehaven, Portlethen and Fordoun, registered as a social landlord in 1991.

But in April, the association was removed from the register and the properties on the books were transferred to Grampian Housing Association.

The report explains why the Regulator intervened and sets out the action it took to address the serious weaknesses at Kincardine.

The Regulator ended its intervention in April 2019.

Now the Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR) has released a detailed report explaining their reasoning behind the decision.

The report says that KHC failed to comply with regulatory standards and made a number of “inappropriate” payments to members of its committee.

It also found that bosses ignored the views of its tenants when making decisions.

The watchdog felt these failings threatened the KHC’s future financial viability and put its tenants’ homes in jeopardy.

SHR became involved in the case after the Aberdeenshire association was unable to find a new managing agent in 2017, and said the situation “put tenants at risk.”

In November of that year, the regulator restricted the committee’s powers and suspended KHC’s chairman.

Despite these actions, the new report states that KHC was “neither willing or able to rectify the weaknesses identified in its governance and financial management arrangements”.

This situation eventually led to the regulator transferring KHC’s homes to Grampian Housing Association and removing the co-operative from the register of social landlords.

The report states that 70% of tenants supported the move, which took place in January 2019.

Margaret Sharkey, SHR assistant director of regulation, said: “We intervened to protect tenants’ interests at Kincardine because there were serious weaknesses across almost all aspects of its governance and financial management.

“Kincardine did not have the capacity to address its problems so we consulted tenants about a transfer to another social landlord.

“The majority of tenants who responded to the consultation were in favour of a transfer.

“We directed a transfer to Grampian Housing Association to make sure tenants’ homes were secure and they continued to receive good services.”

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