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ARCH annual report

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The ARCH annual report for 2015-16 is now available to view.

 

Download it here.

Continuing to make the case for council housing 04/08/2016

ARCH is continuing to make the case for council housing, working in collaboration with our colleagues in other housing organisations.

 

ARCH Chair, Cllr Paul Ellis, has already written to the new Housing Minister to seek a meeting. ARCH Chief Executive John Bibby is due to meet senior officials from DCLG early in September to discuss the Department's plans for implementation of Part 4 of the Housing Act - the Right to Buy Levy, Sale of Higher Value Voids, Pay to Stay and Phasing out of Lifetime Tenancies.

 

Following a decision by the ARCH Executive Board to continue to develop closer working relationships with the NFA on housing policy and the successful first joint event on 21 July, John Bibby will be meeting NFA Managing Director, Eamon McGoldrick, on 8 August to discuss a joint policy and lobbying strategy:

 

  • We know on the RTB Levy and sale of higher value stock that much more detail has yet to emerge and that the government has yet to:
    • Publish Regulations on pay to stay
    • Publish Regulations to define higher value stock
    • Publish Regulations to set out exclusions of higher value stock 
    • Set out the process for making agreements between councils and Secretary of State on replacements of higher value stock sales
    • Consult councils before issuing a determination on the RTB levy
    • Put in place processes for councils payments of the RTB levy

 

  • The Regulations on Pay to Stay and definition of higher value stock are subject to the "Affirmative Procedure" which requires approval by both Houses of Parliament and the requirement to consult on Determinations on the RTB levy give opportunity for ARCH and the NFA to influence the final shape of legislation. Furthermore the outcome of the EU Referendum and decision to leave the EU is forcing the new government under Theresa May to review and potentially "re-set" government economic and social policy and there may be opportunities to influence any new policy direction as it affects the stock retained sector.
  • The recent CIH/CIPFA Report "Investing in Council Housing" called on councils (through the LGA, ARCH and the NFA) to consider what commitments could be made to the government to improve housing supply in return for commitments that would provide more stable HRA Business Plans.
  • Through our work on our joint ARCH/NFA Welfare Reform survey, we've had a series of meetings with Welfare Reform Minister, Lord Freud, and who has subsequently announced a review of the impact of Universal Credit on tenant rent arrears.

 

All of these issues and more will be the subject of further discussions with the NFA to see how we can continue to work together to make the case for council housing and the tenants and prospective tenants of those homes.


In addition, ARCH will continue to work with other interested organisations to promote the interests of stock retained councils. Over the coming weeks, John Bibby will be addressing the Annual General Meeting of the Councils With ALMOs Group (CWAG) and will be meeting with a range of organisations in the sector campaigning for investment in social rented housing to explore:


  • What is driving government attitudes to social housing? Might this change with the new Prime Minister or would we expect it to stay the same?
  • What is the nature of public attitudes to social housing? What is driving positive and negative public attitudes?
  • What are the ways, if any, we might be able to better build broad political and public support for social housing? What trade-offs do they present? 

 

If you'd like to share your views and comments on the key issues that we should be raising in these discussions with Ministers, DCLG and DWP officials and with other organisations working in the sector, please email John: john.bibby@arch-housing.org.uk.

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