Last week, the NHF published its final version of its new Code of Governance and made some important changes from the previous draft that will impact on those housing associations looking to adopt it.
As state funding reduces, and communities look to take responsibility themselves, there are places in many communities that are of particular importance to the local people. They may be facing closure or sale or may be being considered by the council for alternative uses or being run in alternative ways.
Community asset transfers look to put ownership and/or management back into the hands of the community and the organisations and charities that represent them.
We are holding a seminar jointly with the Ethical Property Foundation for small charities and other organisations to consider how they can become involved in community asset transfer.
This is an area of particular interest as town halls, parks, libraries and other buildings are considered for transfer of ownership or management from a statutory body, such as the council, to a community group or charity at less than the market value provided they are used for social, economic or environmental benefit.
There is clearly a myriad of issues to consider, from: understanding exactly what asset transfer involves; understanding the liabilities that can be taken on; financial management and risk management; as well as looking at the relevant legal structure to enable community bodies and groups of individuals to succeed.
We have been lucky to be involved with a number of community asset transfers which have seen, amongst other things, the following:
- a transfer of a town hall to a community charity to run as a community centre;
- transfer of a town hall to a charity to run for the purposes of its community;
- the transfer of an environmentally relevant outdoor areas to a wildlife charitable trust for their preservation and the future running of them; and
- the transfer of dilapidated buildings to community groups from the council for running nurseries and for the use of other community organisations.
This seminar will look to uncover some of the issues involved and give real life examples of successes and failures to enable those attending to better understand the opportunities for them.
If you are interested in attending this event please sign up here.
For more information
For further advice or information on community asset transfers please contact Dominic Curran.
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