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).
In Județul Neamț and Județul Bacău v Ministerul Dezvoltării Regionale și Administrației Publice, Cases C260 and 261/14 the ECJ upheld a 5% clawback of ERDF grants from two local authorities. The clawbacks were imposed by the central government ministry responsible for administering those ERDF grants.
Both of the contracts funded by the grants were subject to an open tendering procedure. However, conditions imposed by the local authorities in that tendering procedure were said not to comply with national procurement rules. The case does not say what was non-compliant about the tender process. In a UK context, though, it could include a failure to advertise a contract valued over £25,000 on Contracts Finder.
It is important to note that there was no suggestion of any breach of European procurement rules. It was the breach of purely national rules that led to the clawback.
This case is a further illustration of the care that is needed when procuring contracts funded by ERDF or ESF money. In these cases it is wise to adopt a very cautious approach to complying with both European and national procurement rules.
For more information
Please contact Andrew Millross.
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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