Plans to deregulate social housing sector.
Speaking at the Communities and Local Government Committee meeting about the housing association sector and the Right to Buy, Brandon Lewis has announced a deregulation package for the social housing sector.
A change to the approach on high income social tenants, this will now be voluntary for housing associations and this is to make the approach consistent as part of the deregulation of the sector. Associations will be able to set their own rents for higher-income tenants, Mr Lewis expected a majority to raise them. Higher rents will, however, remain mandatory for local authority tenants.
Removal of the constitutional consensus regime; housing associations will therefore no longer need permission from the regulator before they undertake certain changes to their organisations such as mergers, change of status, restructuring, winding up or dissolution, they will still however need to notify the regulator when they make these changes rather than seeking consent, an important distinction there.
Abolish the disposals proceeds fund, which means housing associations will no longer need to spend receipts from sales from Right to Buy and Right to Acquire according to rules set by the regulator. Brandon reportedly said “This will give them more flexibility to manage their funds, to build more affordable homes and help more people into home ownership, whilst ensuring that the historic grant is reinvested in housing as it was intended”.
A special administration regime for the sector, to be used in the unlikely event of a housing association becomes insolvent.