Tenant Services Authority makes list of take over partners for bankrupt associations

A “cab rank” of housing associations willing to take over those facing financial collapse is being put together by regulators.

Peter Marsh, chief executive designate of the new housing watchdog, the Tenant Services Authority, said the organisation was looking at ways to speed up bail-outs of landlords in difficulties after Ujima became the first housing association to go bust .

Speaking to the Communities and Local Government select committee, Marsh said the regulator was also considering ways to help large housing associations facing serious financial problems.

He said: “We have begun to develop a ‘cab rank’ of organisations that would be willing and able to step in if a similar situation took place. We are also testing scenarios if a larger organisation faced difficulties and there wasn’t a single organisation able to step in and help out in that situation. So being able to respond to the variety of events that may or may not take place in the 12 months is what we need the TSA to do.”

The Housing Corporation was criticised for taking too long to act on reports that Ujima was in trouble. The association was the first to become insolvent and was eventually taken over by London and Quadrant.

He added that a number of associations were facing tighter cashflows than they had forecast a year ago although he said the number was not large.