The Housing Minister, Brandon Lewis, has discussed government plans regarding a deregulation package for Housing Associations. Details of the proposed deregulation package were discussed at the Communities and Local Government committee on 15th December 2015.
The proposed deregulation package would mean that Housing Associations would no longer need permission from the regulator to make changes including mergers, restructuring, winding up and dissolution.
This would also mean that Associations would also no longer require the permission of the regulator for sales, charging for security and changes of ownership. Housing Associations will, however, still have to notify the regulator when they make changes so the register of social housing providers can be maintained.
The new plans would also mean that the proceeds disposal fund would be abolished and Associations could have complete discretion over how they use funds from sales, including through the Right to Buy scheme.
The proposal also means changes would be made to the ‘’Pay to Stay Scheme’’, this is currently compulsory but the proposed deregulation means that this will no longer be the case. Associations would not have to enforce Pay to Stay however they will have the opportunity to set higher rent levels for tenants with high income. To ensure fairness to tenants the government will encourage consistency between Housing associations and Local Authorities.
A special administration regime will be introduced for use in the unlikely event a housing association becomes insolvent. The special administration regime will protect service to tenants and the governments grant invested in the sector. It will also ensure creditors can recover their security.