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FRESH APPROACH FOR HOUSING INSPECTIONS

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The Audit Commission will renew its approach to performance assessment across the housing sector following its resp...
The Audit Commission will renew its approach to performance assessment across the housing sector following its response to the Elton Review*.

The commission is planning changes to its housing inspection framework, introducing a broader range of inspection options. It will consult on proposed changes to the way it inspects housing bodies but changes would not come into effect until April 2007, taking into consideration the period of notice given prior to housing service inspections.

Audit Commission chief executive Steve Bundred said: 'The commission plans to further develop its approach to risk-assessing the performance of housing organisations, and, in the context of the Elton review, specifically housing associations. There should be more focus on which services should be assessed through inspection, as well as determining which bodies should be assessed.'

The commission intends to establish an inspection sounding board. This would have representation from across the housing sector, reflecting its wide remit in the housing sector, and could also include inspected bodies.

There is a commitment from the commission to explore how best to incorporate service users' views and how other inputs might best be used in future, and it will also consider options such as tenant led and tenant triggered inspections.

The commission has also indicated its support for the prospective introduction of short notice inspections, although next steps will depend on the outcome of the government's consultation on the local services inspectorate.

* The Elton Review was independently chaired by Les Elton and was commissioned by the Housing Corporation to consider the Regulatory and Compliance requirements for RSLs (housing associations).

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