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Blog 24th May 2018

May 24th 2018, 13:30

Blog 24th May 2018

In this week’s blog, I refer to: Local Housing Companies; Service Charges; Local Authority Housing Finance; Registration of new Registered Providers; the General Data Protection Regulation; seminars; and training.

Our seminar on ‘Local Housing Companies and Development’ was held in London a couple of weeks ago. This seminar explained and examined why and how local authorities are setting up local housing companies and other delivery vehicles.

Local housing companies are independent arms-length commercial organisations wholly or partly owned by councils. They can develop, buy and manage properties within and outside of a local authority area. The homes they provide sit outside of the local government housing financing system and are not subject to the Housing Act and most of the social / affordable housing regulations. Over the past few years the number of companies has increased among councils across the whole of England. It is estimated that there are over 150 local authorities that have set up local authority housing companies However, they are not the only housing delivery vehicles that are available to Councils and this is still an emerging area in terms of policy and best practice.

Delegates said that the information provided was very relevant, the quality of the presentation was good and that the training met their needs fully. They described the seminar as: Useful, Clear, Interesting, Thorough Comprehensive, Practical, Thought-Provoking and Valuable. Specific feedback received included:

  • Really enjoyed the training seminar.
  • I really enjoyed the course and the venue and catering were also of a high standard.

I presented this seminar as an in-house session for a London Borough Council that is considering setting up a local housing company. Delegates there said that the information provided was very relevant, the quality of the presentation was excellent and that the training met their needs fully. They described the seminar as: Interesting, Useful, Thought-Provoking, Clear, Comprehensive and Practical. Specific feedback received included:

  • Very useful and thought-provoking session. Thank you very much.
  • Everyone who attended thought the seminar was really useful for us and well delivered so thank you!

And I have recently completed an options appraisal for a local authority in Southwest England for a potential housing scheme where establishing a Local Housing Company is one of the options.

For more information on in-house training on Local Housing Companies, please click here.

For more information on management advice or assistance with Local Housing Companies, please contact me at Adrian.waite@awics.co.uk

Earlier this week I was in Manchester to present our seminar ‘All You Want to Know about Service Charges in Social Housing’. Delegates said that the information provided was relevant to very relevant, the quality of the presentation was good to excellent and the training met their needs fully. They described the seminar as interesting, practical and useful. Specific comments included:

  • Very thorough and informative information and provision of service charges book an additonal bonus.

After the session a delegate wrote to say:

"Thank you for yesterday. I found it very informative and have already been telling some colleagues about some things that they may find beneficial."

Our next session will be held in London on 11th September 2018. For further information or to make a booking, please click here.

Our next seminars will be on ‘Developments in Local Authority Housing Finance’ and will be held in Leeds on 10th July and London on 17th July.

These seminars look in depth at current developments in local authority housing finance in England – especially the implications of the policies of the government, the public finances, rent policy, welfare reform including universal credit, issues around the reinvigorated ‘right to buy’, changes to the funding of supported housing including the proposed sheltered housing rent and locally administered budgets for short-term accommodation, the implementation of the homelessness reduction act, the flexible homelessness reduction grant, the affordable housing programme, local housing companies (what they can offer, how to establish them and how to set one up) and new development.

For more information or to make a booking, please click here

An increasing number of organisations are becoming interested in registering with the Social Housing Regulator as registered providers. This process involves making an initial application followed by a final application supported with a lot of detailed information including business plans, financial forecasts, risk analysis, sensitivity analysis and stress testing. I have recently assisted two applicant registered providers with their applications.

For more information about management advice and assistance that we provide to housing associations, please click here

I also continue to support the Local Government Association’s peer review programme by providing briefings on local authority finances for peer review teams. For further information about this work, please click here

Data protection rules are changing tomorrow with the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) on 25th May 2018. This gives people more control over how their personal information is used and makes it quicker and easier for them to check and update the information that is held about them. It is a change that I welcome.

We maintain an e-mailing list for updates from our information service. This keeps people up to date with information about our newsletters, briefing papers, training opportunities, publications and much more. Being a member of our information service is free of charge and places users under no obligation. The information that we hold includes names and email addresses. It is used only to provide the information service. We would never pass an email address to a third party without permission.

For further details about our information service please click here

If you would like to join or leave our information service, please contact me at Adrian.waite@awics.co.uk

We have updated our Privacy Policy that describes how we handle personal data. A copy can be viewed or downloaded from here

If you have any questions about GDPR or how we use personal data, you can contact me at Adrian.waite@awics.co.uk

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