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For Framework, appreciation and endorsement take many forms – from the words of a former rough sleeper who declares that without the intervention of caring front line staff they would now be dead, to the Judgements of the Regulator of Social Housing (RSH).
Readers of small print will know that Framework is a company limited by guarantee, a registered charity, and a registered provider of social housing. The font size does not reflect how significant the last of these is. It sustains the ‘Housing’ pillar of our work, which means that of the 18,000 or so people who come to us for help in the course of a year, we are able to accommodate about 20%. Since these individuals are actually homeless, they tend to be the most vulnerable of the people we serve.
As a registered provider with more than 1,000 units in management, we are subject to enhanced scrutiny by the RSH. In July 2019 we had our first ‘In Depth Assessment’ which lived up to its name – a close look at the way Framework is run.
The outcome is expressed in terms of two gradings – one for Governance and the other for Viability. Our 2019 assessment delivered a G2 / V2 judgement (I’ll leave you to guess which letter refers to which). Now, it’s clear that due to our tight operating margins (because our work is primarily contract-based) we won’t be able to improve on the V2. In case you’re still wondering, this bit was for viability. However, the Board felt we had a decent shout at reaching the highest grade for Governance, and so it has proved.
Taking into account the Recommendations and other advice given by the regulator alongside the initial judgement in 2019, we implemented a plan to achieve G1 status as soon as possible. The Board, Senior Leadership Team and other managers were involved in this. An added dimension was that it took place during a period of extraordinary challenge for external reasons that I don’t need to mention.
In January of this year, drawing on evidence from a stability check, a document review, a visit to one of our Board Meetings and detailed discussions with the Chair, Chief Executive and other senior leaders, the Social Housing Regulator re-considered our grading. I am delighted to confirm that they have formally upgraded us to G1 / V2. This gives assurance to those we house that their landlord is of good quality, and to members of the public that Framework is worthy of their support. It is also a tremendous boost to everyone’s morale – what a pity we can’t celebrate it together in person!
The Chair of our Board Rebecca Rance commented:
“This top rating has been achieved through teamwork between the Board, Senior Leaders and others involved the running of Framework. It is very heartening that all this effort has borne fruit. We can look forward to the future with confidence, prioritising the needs of the many people who need our help more than ever at the current time.”
The full Regulatory Judgement can be read here .