We hosted a breakfast roundtable with Insider Midlands magazine that had attendees from a range of organisations addressing housing needs in the Midlands. The discussion explored JVs in more detail.
"Twelve pilot schemes have been taking place across the UK in order to judge the effectiveness of the Government's proposed Universal Credit scheme. Whereas previously benefits have been paid directly to social landlords, housing benefit payments will now be paid directly to the tenant as part of universal credit.
The intention behind the new system is to give claimants responsibility for their own income. Whilst in theory this is a positive move, local authorities and housing associations need to ensure that tenants are appropriately equipped to manage their finances and are not thrown in at the deep end. The pilots do unfortunately seem to confirm the predictions that there will be a dramatic increase in the level of rent arrears for housing providers.
In the South Wales pilot 50 per cent of the people in rent arrears have never been in debt in this way before, which indicates that many tenants are simply not ready for the transition. With the shortfall estimated to be around £14 million in some areas, this change will have a serious impact, not only on individuals but also across whole communities.
Housing providers have been planning for these changes since the concept of universal credit was introduced and liaising with tenants to minimise the impact of the changes where possible. However the conclusions of the pilot scheme suggest that only once the changes are fully implemented, with the ‘bedroom tax’ taking effect on 1 April and universal credit starting from October, will tenants and housing providers start to see the real impact. Perhaps the challenge is greater than feared …”
The decision of the Court of Appeal in The Harpur Trust v Brazel & Unison has made clear that employers can no longer legally calculate part-time holiday based on 12.07% of hours worked over a year.
Social landlords are seeing a rising number of Equality Act defences to possession proceedings. A recent Court of Appeal decision helps shift the likelihood of such defences succeeding.
On 31 July, the consultation period ended on MHCLG’s proposals for reforming the building safety regulatory system set out in the 'Building a Safer Future' document. We have submitted our response.
For decades now, fewer and fewer services provided by local authorities have been delivered directly by them. However, over the last couple of years, there are signs that this tide is changing.
The Government commissioned an independent review of the Modern Slavery Act 2015 in July 2018. The outcome was published in May 2019 which highlighted areas for improvement.
In 2017, the NCVO commissioned a review of the tax reliefs available to charities. The brainchild of this review was published on 17 July 2019 in the form of the Charity Tax Commission report.
In 2014, the Charity Commission released its first guidance for charities on reporting serious incidents. The Commission has recently updated this guidance.
In the third part of our series on contract management pitfalls, we look at the risks and opportunities presented by instructing changes under construction contracts.
Our spotlight piece considers the role of a Senior Independent Director and sector best practice. We also explore recent developments in case law, regulatory and data protection updates, and more.
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