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.
In announcing the Government’s new housing association Right to Buy (RTB) policy on the Today programme this morning, Greg Clark left an obvious gap in the Government’s proposals that was left unchallenged in the interview. This needs to be fully tested to see whether there is yet another reason for why extending the RTB to housing associations could be such a disastrous policy.
The justification Greg Clark gave for extending the RTB to housing association tenants was to enable them to meet their aspirations to own their homes. He considered that housing associations should not object to these proposals because of the Government promise that the homes sold would be replaced on a one-for-one basis – and this is an important part of the proposed policy. Who is to provide this compensation? The answer he gave is that local authorities are to repay housing associations for the loss by them selling their own, higher valued properties.
Putting aside the results of the research that only 1 in 19 RTB properties have previously been replaced under the current RTB arrangements and only 39% of housing association tenants themselves think they should get a discount, the simple maths does not work. In order for a housing association to be compensated for the sale of one of its properties, local authorities must themselves sell one of their higher valued properties. This means the RTB property is now in private ownership and a local authority property has to be sold in order to build a replacement one for the housing association - one minus two still equals minus one.
There could also be a perverse incentive on local authorities to review their direct ownership of social housing if, for example, Westminster Council is required to sell one of its properties to compensate Peabody for the sale of one of its own properties under the housing association RTB. How this compensation will practically work across the country when so many local authorities have transferred all their housing stock and the national HRA has been disbanded is another headache. This may even result in some local authorities dusting off their old stock options appraisals and pursuing a whole stock transfer simply to halt the enforced sale of their housing stock.
These arguments need to be properly and comprehensively aired beyond political and philosophical positioning in order to balance the equation.
As the end of 2020 beckons, we take a look at what progress the Sterling market has made in its preparations for the end of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) on 31 December 2021.
Finally, there is a glimmer of hope that perhaps the Covid-19 pandemic could be reaching its end.
For part 2 in this series of short podcasts, Chris Lloyd-Smith interviews senior associate Lisa Whitehouse on how she has been coping during these unprecedented times.
Delayed since Spring 2020 as the Government tackled the Covid-19 crisis, Tuesday 17 November saw the publication of the Social Housing White Paper, setting out the future regulation of the sector
In this ebriefing, we examine how the duty holder regime will apply to social housing providers with existing HRRBs in their housing stock.
Following Katherine's "heads up" last week, the Government has now confirmed that for claim periods post 1 December, employers will not be able to claim for employees who are serving their notice
For part 1 in this series of short podcasts, Chris Lloyd-Smith interviews solicitor Puja Desai on how she has been coping during these unprecedented times.
Over 100 trainees and future trainees from Birmingham joined the BTSS for a webinar to address concerns around training remotely and qualifying during a possible recession.
Anthony Collins Solicitors has supported Birmingham-based Complete Care Holdings in its acquisition of Amegreen Complex Homecare Ltd.
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