The oversight of Approved Housing Bodies (AHBs) is currently conducted through the Voluntary Regulation Code (the Code), "Building for the Future, A Voluntary Regulation Code for Approved Housing Bodies in Ireland" underpinned by three standards - Financial, Governance and Performance. AHBs signed up to the Code must demonstrate commitment to and engagement with the Code and the Standards. The Code is overseen by an Interim Regulatory Committee supported by a Regulation Office based in the Housing Agency. Residents who may have concerns regarding the corporate governance at an AHB should, in the first instance, contact the Regulation Office.
The transition from voluntary to statutory regulation for AHBs is well underway. The Approved Housing Bodies Regulatory Authority (AHBRA) was formally established on 1 February 2021. This new, independent body will oversee the effective governance, financial management and performance of all AHBs.
The Regulator will have responsibility for, inter alia , establishing and maintaining a register of AHBs; preparing standards by which AHBs will be monitored and assessed; encouraging and facilitating the better governance, administration and management, including corporate governance and financial management, of AHBs. The Regulator will also have powers to carry out investigations and cancel the registration of AHBs.
It is anticipated that the AHBRA will become fully operational in 2022. This is to allow the Regulator sufficient time to determine its strategy and adopt the standards by which AHBs will be assessed. This process will involve consultation with relevant stakeholders.