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From time to time the Scottish Federation of Housing Association (SFHA) updates its model rules. Our regulator, the Scottish Housing Regulator (SHR), expects us to keep our rules up to date. In order to keep our rules up to date the Association recently asked its members to vote on a changing its rules in line with the SFHA’s updated model rules.

This vote was conducted by postal ballot prior to the SGM on 17 September and all members were issued a summary of the main changes, together with a full copy of the new rules.  The vote was then conducted by postal ballot, as the Covid restrictions meant we could not hold a physical meeting.  Of the ballot papers returned on time, all were in favour of the rule change.

The most significant changes in the updated model rules (which all housing associations are expected to adopt) relate to:

• the creation of a discretionary power for the governing body to impose a leave of absence when there is a severe breach of the Code of Conduct being investigated

• the creation of a discretionary power for the governing body in rare circumstances to block a nomination to committee if it was not in the interest of the association or if there would be a conflict of interests in that person becoming a governing body member

In addition, the following optional amendments to the rules were included:

• An amendment to allow appointed committee members. This option allows committee to appoint people directly to committee. The main reason for doing is to strengthen committee’s skills, experience and knowledge.

• An amendment to prohibit related people becoming committee members

The new rules prohibit related people becoming committee members. Related people are defined as:
o Spouse
o Partner
o Child (including adopted child or step-child)
o Parent
o Parent in-law
o Grandparent
o Grandchild
o Sibling

• An amendment to allow Calvay to hold virtual GMs  (including AGMs) beyond September 2020

The Association is now making arrangements to register this change of rules with the appropriate authorities.

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