READING Lesley Riddoch’s article on housing, I was reminded of the disbelief in some quarters of parliament earlier this year when Andy Wightman pointed out that housing associations are landlords (The disputes that threaten to shake the foundations of social housing, July 30). The story highlighted in the article is important, however it could have included more of a tenant’s perspective.

The story is about a conflict between housing associations and the regulator that has been going on since 2008. Five senior housing managers are given their say on how the regulator’s actions are detrimental to tenants. Yet the only input from a tenant perspective is a reference to a tenant blog.

I am familiar with this conflict. I am a tenant of a “community-led” housing association that has been through the process and is now the subsidiary of a big remote housing association.

READ MORE: Lesley Riddoch: These are the disputes that threaten to shake foundations of social housing

One thing that remained the same when our landlord changed was the way tenants are kept in the dark. That’s not to say that we don’t receive information. On the contrary we are informed and consulted to a fault. Unfortunately, such engagements accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative, to the benefit of the landlord. A practice that is permitted by the regulator.

For example: Lesley’s article quotes a director defending his record by pointing to 96% tenant satisfaction. This figure comes from an annual list of performance indicators, overseen by the regulator, that housing associations must give to tenants. 96% sounds brilliant until you know that Ferguslie Park were scoring 90% at the time they were experiencing the problems mentioned in the article. How can such inflated percentages be of use to tenants?

I happen to agree with the general view expressed in the article that the Scottish Government’s housing regulator believes big is beautiful, to the detriment of us all. However, it is telling that housing associations’ main way of fighting back is to commission surveys and consultations that are then used to generate favourable publicity – a tactic that doesn’t seem to have impacted much on government.

If these organisations were as community-led as they claim, the fight against government would have taken to the streets in the same way Living Rent has encouraged tenants to mobilise.

Tommy Lusk

WESTMINSTER appears to have decided to relax its rules for approval of domestic housing permissions, citing need for urgency for new construction for the benefit and relief of the present unhoused.

Clearly the responsibility for the latter totally unacceptable condition must lie with the successive Conservative Westminster governments since the departure of Labour.

No matter the skills of the spin men available, there is no escape from that assertion. The English minister for housing – ordered, of course, by Boris Johnson, who we are told authoritatively by Mr Hancock “makes all the decisions” – has pressed his own particular panic button in an effort to meet his party’s absolute promise of many hundreds of thousands of new-build affordable homes, anything from 300,000 to 500,000 IN ENGLAND. This will be manna from heaven to the friends of the minister. In due and habitual course that English decision will be touted by a Tory at Holyrood.

For any new construction in Scotland, each local authority must, within statutory regulations, give planning consent and building control approval, safeguarding both the environment and the building standards of the proposed development. The absence of either of these two approvals will prevent a blow being struck on site.

It is glaringly obvious that the Scottish model is superior to that of England and the latter’s future building owners will pay the inevitable heavy price for the abuses resulting from the housing minister’s most recent proxy act of irresponsibility. The old adage is worth the recall – “When money talks, integrity walks.”

John Hamilton

IN the crucial article “Former MEP urges Scots to have say on UK internal market” (July 30), former MEP Heather Anderson referred to the “UK” Internal Market Bill’s white paper consultation process, which began on July 16 and ends on August 13.

Before urging readers to participate in the consultation, she asserts: “This paper continues the work of dismantling the devolution settlement. At its heart is the key principle of ‘mutual recognition’. This means anything the UK decides is acceptable must be accepted in Scotland”.

READ MORE: Ex-SNP MEP Heather Anderson urges Scots to have say on UK internal market

The link provided to the consultation document in the article was, however, faulty.

You’ll find the consultation document under the title “UK internal market white paper: policy option proposals” here:

Please try to participate before the August 13 deadline.

James Dippie