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 reasons given included that:
- Provision of care by the charity over time involves “multi-dimensional decisions involving a range of agencies and authorities”. The court should be alert to the fact there is a great deal to grapple with.
- It is “obvious now it's unrealistic to examine the shared living issue in isolation” from the other issues.
- The Article 8 right to private and home life is not achievable in one way alone. How flexible the coworkers are is not in the control of the charity. If they are not flexible, “that does not mean the charity must then reduce their options only to what the co-workers would agree to”.
- There was “ample correspondence and evidence of dialogue to show a process of continual evaluation and transparency about the options” by the charity. “The court cannot sit in judgment over each stage of the journey [of change] as manager or micromanager”.
Anthony Collins Solicitors and counsel Christopher Baker of Arden Chambers represented the charity.
Helen Tucker, Partner of Anthony Collins Solicitors, stated “The Charity are relieved that the court has recognised the long, careful process they have worked through to present various options to co-workers before seeking to introduce the current changes. The Judge emphasised his hope that previous tensions will not stop the practical progression of the matter going forward. The Charity shares that hope”.
The Botton village co-workers had already agreed, in related charity proceedings on 31 March 15, to taking on employed status and gave undertakings not to block access to homes etc until the conclusion of those court proceedings. That court case is presently stayed, pending full permission from the Charity Commission to proceed, which has not yet been granted. (Click here for details)
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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