Charging housing associations for government regulation

The Homes and Communities Agency is consulting on a proposal to charge a fee to housing associations for its regulatory activities. The charges to be introduced from April 2017 are as follows:

  • £5 per home for registered providers with 1000 or more units of social housing (yes, homes are still referred to as ‘units’)
  • A fixed fee of £300 for providers with fewer than 1000 social housing units
  • A one off fixed rate fee of £2,500 for successful new registrations with the regulator.

For large associations such as Clarion, recently formed from the merger of Affinity Homes and Circle, with 125,000 homes, this will cost £625,000 a year, money that otherwise could have been spent on the development of new homes.

For BHT, we will have to pay the £300 fixed fee.

I was interested in the comment from David Orr, Chief Executive of the National Housing Federation regarding the short consultation period. The deadline for submissions was Monday (9th January). AT the time the consultation was launched he said: “We will not have the opportunity of holding events across the country. However, we will hold open meetings to discuss the proposals in Manchester and London.”

This consultation period contrasted favourably to the seven day notice given for housing associations to respond to the proposal that the Right to Buy be extended to housing associations. The National Housing Federation was complicit in this travesty of a consultation period which made it extremely difficult to get an agreement from our boards (which BHT did manage to do – we objected to the proposal) but impossible to consult with tenants.

We have seen the shambles that the extension of the Right to Buy has become and it is the National Housing Federation’s on-going shame that it was so complicit in this shocking policy and the way it was foisted upon us.

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