About the Regulatory Standards

This section provides an overview of the four Standards including the timelines for their introduction. It will also cover the process of drafting, consultation, ministerial approval and publication.

The Standards: Commencement of Draft Standards process

The powers and functions of AHBRA will be commenced on a phased basis. On July 1 2021 the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, signed the commencement order to ‘prepare draft standards’. In line with the Act, AHBRA is required to submit the draft Standards to the Minister for approval within six months of the commencement date.

Standards for AHBs

Section 37 of the Housing (Regulation of Approved Housing Bodies) Act 2019 provides for the drafting of standards for registered AHBs. It requires that the Regulator submit to the Minister draft standards covering matters relating to:

  • the governance of AHBs
  • the financial management of and financial reporting by AHBs
  • property and asset management by AHBs
  • tenancy management by AHBs

Proportionality

The legislation provides that the standards may make different provisions for different categories of registered AHBs taking into account:

  • the nature, scale and complexity of the activities
  • the number of dwellings provided or managed by each category of AHB
  • the level of borrowings of each category of AHB
  • the level of financial risk associated with each category of AHB

Overview of the draft Standards

The legislation provides high level requirements that the AHBRA may provide for in each standard. An overview is captured below:

Governance of AHBs

  • the membership and governance structure and the roles and responsibilities of the board, committee of management or the trustees, as the case may be, of an AHB
  • the procedures for decision-making to ensure control and oversight of an AHB
  • the management of conflicts of interest including a register of interests of the members of the board or committee of management, or of the trustees, as the case may be, of an AHB, and
  • a code of conduct for the board, committee of management or trustees, as the case may be, of an AHB

Financial Management of & Financial Reporting by AHBs

  • the requirements for financial and risk control
  • the procedures for monitoring and assuring the financial viability of the AHB
  • the keeping of proper books of account that —
    • correctly record and explain the transactions of the AHB
    • enable the financial position of an AHB to be determined with reasonable accuracy at any time, and
    • enable the accounts of the AHB to be readily and properly audited,
  • the requirements for internal control and audit
  • the requirements for strategic planning, including the preparation of financial and business plans
  • the procedures for monitoring performance, and
  • the requirements for the confirmation and verification of compliance with statutory obligations including, in particular, obligations arising under the Charities Act 2009 and the Companies Act 2014

Property and Asset Management by AHBs

Policies and procedures relating to

  • the management of dwellings by AHBs

Tenancy Management by AHBs

Policies and procedures relating to

  • nominations to dwellings of tenants and allocations of dwellings to tenants by AHBs
  • communication by AHBs with their tenants

Consultation with Stakeholders

In line with the legislation the AHBRA shall publish on its website the draft standards and ‘shall allow persons to make representations, in writing’. Key stakeholders can make representations to the AHBRA over a 28-day period.

AHBRA began the drafting of the new standards for AHBs from July 1 2021 based on the requirements of the Act. We will engage with key stakeholders as part of this process, before publishing the draft standards on this website. We will then invite stakeholders to make representations in writing to us over the course of the following 28-day period. Following consideration of any representations made we may amend the proposed draft standards accordingly before submitting them to the Minister.

Timelines for the introduction of the Standards

The powers and functions of AHBRA will be commenced on a phased basis. On July 1 2021 the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, signed the commencement order to ‘prepare draft standards’.

In line with the Act, AHBRA is required to submit the draft Standards to the Minister for approval within six months of the commencement date.

It is anticipated the following steps will be taken as part of the process to prepare the Standards[1]:

[1] Commencement is at the discretion of the Minister

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