Speaking at the NIFHA annual conference in the Slieve Russell Hotel, County Cavan, Cameron Watt, NIFHA Chief Executive, commended research undertaken by Housing and Communities Research Group with Ulster University on housing association corporate governance.
A summary of the Review of the Corporate Governance Arrangements of Housing Associations in Northern Ireland by Peter Shanks and David Mullins was provided to all conference delegates with 16 recommendations on board diversity and skills, recruitment and selection.
Peter Shanks, Ulster University, said: “Housing associations make a major contribution to the social and economic fabric of Northern Ireland. Since 2011, associations have delivered over 10,000 social and affordable homes, exceeding Programme for Government targets and they have contributed significantly ta wide range of community investment initiatives.
“Improvements in sector governance have underpinned recent progress made by the sector with the Department of Social Development in moving towards a proportionate, risk-based regulation of housing associations. This study highlights the importance of effective governance and board leadership in achieving high levels of organisational performance. It provides a baseline for future work on corporate governance in the sector.”
The two year study by the two universities is the first comprehensive study of sector governance since 2000. Three evidence papers on who governs, how they govern and what they govern provided the basis for three roundtables and a well-attended conference that shaped the recommendations, now endorsed by NIFHA.