ARCH members attending our Regional Event yesterday (Thursday 21
July) and heard from officials at the DCLG that publication of the
Higher Value and Pay to Stay Regulations are likely to be
Over 70 delegates from 49 stock retained councils and ALMOs
attended our event in London. This was the first event held in
conjunction with the NFA (National Federation of ALMOs).
We had timed the event in the expectation that the Regulations,
Determinations and Guidance on the RTB Levy, Sale of higher value
voids, Pay to Stay and phasing out of lifetime tenancies would have
been published following granting of Royal Assent to the Housing
and Planning Bill on 12 May 2016. DCLG officials had previously
indicated that the Regulations and Guidance were expected to have
been available this month (July 2016) but could give no firm
indication of when local authorities could expect to see them.
DCLG officials indicated that a decision on the Regulations and
Determinations on the definition of higher value voids and RTB levy
was unlikely to be made until September 2016. Although there
was a possibility that some information on the draft Determination
may potentially be available for informal consultation before
September. The Regulations on higher value voids will be subject to
scrutiny by both Houses of Parliament and timing will be crucial.
At this stage there is a possibility that the first payments from
local authorities may not be levied until 2017/18 or later if
Parliamentary time cannot be found to debate the draft Regulations
prior to 31 March 2017.
On Pay to Stay, DCLG officials understood that the proposed
implementation date of April 2017 was extremely tight and
appreciated that without sight of the draft Regulations and
Guidance local authorities could do very little by way of planning
for implementation. They also understood the call by ARCH and the
NFA to consider delaying implementation.
Officials will be discussing the timetable with the new
Ministerial Team at DCLG. They asked for any evidence from local
authorities of difficulties in implementation by the April 2017
deadline together with evidence of implementation costs and
forecasts of additional rental income expected as a result of the
agreed income thresholds and tapers.
DCLG officials committed to continue on going dialogue with ARCH
and the NFA. We have already asked our members to
provide such information and evidence in preparation for a
meeting with DCLG officials in September.
Delegates discussed the role that local housing companies can
play in delivering new homes to meet the government's aspiration of
providing an additional 1 million homes by 2020. They heard first
hand from Ian Doolittle, Partner at Trowers & Hamlin LLP, on
some of the legal issues to consider in setting up local housing
companies. City of Lincoln & Oxford City Councils also
delivered a presentation on their practical experiences in setting
up a local housing company. Delegates also heard from NFA Managing
Director, Eamon McGoldrick, and Nottingham City Homes' Chief
Executive on how ALMOs are helping their local authorities to
deliver more homes of various tenures.
Steve Partridge, Executive Director at Octopus QSH, provided an
overview on the prospects of securing new sources of finance for
housing investment and financing routes from institutions, pension
funds and others.
All presentations are available in the members'