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Sovereign’s response to governance upgrade

The Regulator of Social Housing has published a regulatory judgement upgrading Sovereign Housing’s governance rating from G2 to G1.
Noble Park Development_ Didcot_ April 23_ Martin Cleveland (1)

In June 2022 the Regulator downgraded Sovereign to G2, stating that while Sovereign’s governance remained compliant the housing association needed to improve some aspects of its governance arrangements.

As the regulatory judgement last June stated, issues with historic data meant that Sovereign breached the Home Standard by “failing to meet statutory health and safety requirements in relation to fire, electrical and asbestos safety in some communal areas” in its blocks. Sovereign remained fully compliant in relation to its customers’ homes.

In August 2021, as soon as Sovereign were aware of gaps in its data, it referred itself to the regulator and have been working closely with them ever since. Sovereign set up three parallel recovery programmes. The asbestos safety programme was completed by the end of December 2021, the electrical safety programme by the end of January 2022 and the fire risk assessment programme by the end of February 2022. The actions from those checks are being completed as part of Sovereign’s ongoing building safety programme. Alongside the recovery programme, Sovereign has established a new Building Safety Compliance Framework.

The judgement from the Regulator states that “Sovereign has now satisfactorily addressed those issues” and “validated its data, introduced new systems and processes, strengthened its internal controls and improved board reporting and oversight of its landlord health and safety risk.”

Mark Washer, Sovereign CEO said: “We are obviously very pleased that Sovereign has now regained it’s G1 rating, and while our governance ratings were always compliant, it is welcome news that the Regulator has recognised the hard work we have put in to addressing issues with historic data relating to building safety.”

He went on to say: “It is a huge credit to colleagues at Sovereign that we put this right so quickly in 2021 and early 2022 and that since then we have put in place a really robust building safety regime. We have been open and transparent with the Regulator throughout and I am pleased that as I share a platform today with Fiona MacGregor and can also share the news that we have our G1 rating back.”

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