A private equity-linked housing association has “inherent conflicts of interest” and is not compliant with the Regulator of Social Housing’s standards, according to RSH. Westmoreland Supported Housing Association is the third such association to be declared non-compliant, after First Priority and Trinity were each slammed for a “fundamental failure of governance”.
The regulator gave the 1,379-home association a G3 rating for governance and a V3 rating for financial viability, both non-compliant ratings.
Westmoreland operates in 107 local authorities, is reliant on financial support from “a third party”.
“There are inherent conflicts of interest at board level. The chair of Westmoreland is employed in a senior role by the same third party that is providing the cash support, management services and sourcing properties as part of Westmoreland’s growth strategy.
“The board has yet to provide compelling evidence that appropriate probity policies and arrangements were in place to effectively manage these conflicts.
“In the absence of evidence, it is reasonable to assume that these arrangements, while giving a level of financial support, could be inappropriately advancing the interests of a third party.”
CIH have reported that the chair of Westmoreland is John Russell, who is also the chair and founder of Fairhome, the “third party” referenced in the judgement.