Skip to main content

Housing Associations

Volume 14: debated on Monday 30 November 1981

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will take steps to ensure that the employees of housing associations are compelled to declare an interest, similar to local borough councillors, when matters concerning their own housing arrangements with housing associations are discussed or decided.

Registered housing associations are prevented by the Housing Act 1974 as amended by the Housing Act 1980, from housing their own employees except where this is provided for by their contract of employment. I should therefore expect it to be extremely unusual for an employee also to be both a tenant and a committee member of the association. The National Federation of Housing Associations code of conduct does, however, require both staff and committee members to declare any interest which could lead, or appear to lead, to a conflict of interest and to withdraw from any discussion of related matters.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether there are any rules or procedures of housing associations which provide that the staffs of such associations do not use their full or part-time appointments as a means of obtaining housing accommodation with their own or other housing associations on preferential terms; and if he will give details of these rules.

Yes. Section 27 of the Housing Act 1974, inserted by schedule 16 of the Housing Act 1980, prevents registered housing associations which are also registered under the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts granting benefits to their employees other than under contract of employment. The grant of a tenancy counts as a benefit for this purpose: the exemption for tenancies granted under contract of employment is of limited scope and is intended to cover, for example, the warden of a hostel or sheltered accommodation. Similar restrictions are applied to housing associations which are registered charities under charity law.On the question of a housing association providing accommodation for an employee of another association, the Housing Corporation advises associations to treat applications from employees of associations other than their own on their merits and in strict accordance with the association's normal tenant selection criteria.

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment what representations on Government policy towards housing associations the Minister of State has received from the chairman of Manchester Methodist Housing Association Ltd.; what reply he is sending; whether he is taking any action as a result; and if he will make a statement.

I refer the hon. Member to the reply which he has today received from my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister on this matter.