The Government first announced plans for a shared ownership right to buy in October 2019. At the time the sector raised concerns about the impact the plans would have on housing associations ability to borrow. An election and a pandemic later the Government announced, during the CIH Housing Festival last week, the return of the right to shared ownership as part of its Affordable Homes Programme (AHP).
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (“the MCA”) was described by the Lords as “a visionary piece of legislation”. Its aim was to keep any person who may lack capacity to make decisions for themselves (due to a brain injury, learning disability, dementia or otherwise) at the centre of decision-making.
The Report confirms the high regard in which the MCA is held, but finds shortcomings in the outworking of the legislation. The ethos of the MCA is about empowerment of the person, yet the Committee found that “risk aversion” and “paternalism” often still prevail within the health and social care sectors.
Lord Hardie, Chairman of the Committee said:
“The Committee believes that the Act is good and it needs to be implemented. What we want to see is a change in attitudes and practice which reflects the empowering ethos of the Act. To achieve this we recommend that overall responsibility for the Act be given to an independent body whose task will be to oversee, monitor and drive forward implementation.”
Particular criticism had been levelled at the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (“DOLS”). The intentions underpinning these provisions were noble – to provide protection in law for anyone being treated or cared for in circumstances that deprived them of their liberty. The evidence the Committee heard regarding the use (or more commonly, the lack of use) of the safeguards was alarming:
“The evidence suggests that tens of thousands of people are being deprived of their liberty without the protection of the law, and without the protection that Parliament intended. Worse still, in some cases the safeguards are being wilfully used to oppress individuals and to force decisions upon them.
In summary, the Committee felt there is no alternative but for the current provisions to be scrapped and for Parliament to start again.
If you have questions or concerns regarding the impact or implementation of the MCA, or the Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, please contact our specialist solicitors, Kate Jackson on email@example.com or Sheree Green on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0121 212 7404.
Two final pieces of the possession jigsaw have been published on 15 September 2020. Mr Justice Knowles’ working group on possession proceedings has issued its guidance on the “overall arrangements” for possession proceedings.
One change proposed by the Building Safety Bill is the introduction of a duty holder regime, which will see statutory responsibility for the safety of higher risk buildings placed on key individuals
Throughout this pandemic, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has been publishing various “Statements on Coronavirus” (Statements) which provide guidance on consumer rights during this time.
A recent increase in COVID-19 cases in the UK means new measures are being put in place in an effort to reduce the risk of a second wave. Whilst the impact of COVID-19 continues to be felt, it is important to remain focused on the sector’s road to recovery.
Sometimes half an hour at a conference gives you the reality that has been staring you in the face all along. That was my experience watching “Change is on the Horizon”
Following our recent e-briefing on Possession Notices, Helen Tucker and Emilie Pownall from our housing litigation team discuss the impact of the changes on social landlords.
Not only has the possession stay been extended until 20 September, the notice periods to be given to tenants has been extended in certain circumstances with some important exceptions.
The Court has confirmed that a party cannot withhold its consent in order to re-write the original bargain.
Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy, building safety continues to be a key concern for social housing providers and their residents.
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