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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.

Welfare Reform and Work Bill: drafting of Regulations 04/03/2016

Officials at the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) are currently drafting the various Regulations to accompany the Welfare Reform and Work Bill.

 

Officials have asked ARCH for assistance in clarifying a couple of issues:

 

1. Use of Intermediate Rent by local authorities:

 

The DCLG is working to define 'Intermediate Rent' which, it is understood, will not be subject to rent policy but doesn't have any information on whether any local authorities let homes within their Housing Revenue Account stock on Intermediate Rent terms or not.

 

ARCH has advised DCLG that, in accordance with DCLG Guidance on Rents for Social Housing, stock retained councils generally let homes within the HRA on either Social Rent (Formula Rent) or Affordable Rent - the latter usually applicable to new build or accommodation refurbished as part of a wider regeneration programme.

 

However, ARCH would be keen to know if any of our members currently let stock (either within the HRA or outside the HRA) on intermediate rents and if so under what circumstances/ conditions.

 

2. Temporary social housing within HRA stock

 

The DCLG is keen to know if local authorities have housing stock leased from the private sector for this purpose and if so, is the stock held within the HRA.

 

ARCH has advised DCLG that some local authorities do lease homes in the private rented sector for provision of temporary accommodation for homeless families but, where they do, such accommodation is usually held and accounted for in the General Fund under the homelessness budget as a cost of providing temporary accommodation rather than in the HRA.

 

ARCH would be keen to know if any members currently lease accommodation from the private rented sector and if so:

 

  • Whether such accommodation is provided for social housing or for the provision of temporary accommodation for homeless households and
  • Whether such accommodation is accounted for within the HRA or the General Fund.

 

It is essential that the drafting of Regulations to be published under the Welfare Reform and Work Act do not have any unintended consequences.

 

ARCH would be grateful for members' responses to these questions raised by DCLG. Please email john.bibby@arch-housing.org.uk by no later than close of play, Wednesday 9 March 2016

 

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