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Housing Associations: Property Transfer

Volume 464: debated on Tuesday 16 October 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what guidance her Department has issued on (a) mergers and (b) property exchanges between housing associations; and what recent (i) representations she has received and (ii) discussions she has had with (A) the Housing Corporation and (B) the Financial Services Authority on negotiations between the Riverside Group and English Churches Housing Group; and if she will make a statement. (157506)

My Department has not issued guidance on either of these subjects. The Housing Corporation's key document for mergers and group structures is “Making Groups Work—Good Practice Note 11 November 2006”. This guidance explains the Corporation's basic requirements for existing and new group structures. In addition:

“Registration with the Housing Corporation April 2004” sets out the Corporation's Registration Criteria listing specific registration requirements linked to the criteria and provides guidance to organisations seeking to become RSLs; and

“Regulatory Code and guidance August 2005”. The “Regulatory Code and guidance” sets out the fundamental obligations of housing associations within the Corporation's regulatory system.

The Housing Corporation's key document for property exchanges between housing associations is “Disposing of Land April 2003” and sets out the criteria for all disposals of land under Section 9 of the Housing Act 1996.

The Secretary of State has received no recent representations on the negotiations between the Riverside Group and English Churches Housing Group nor has she had discussions with the Financial Services Authority or the Housing Corporation.

In the run-up to the merger, the Housing Corporation held four meetings with the Riverside Group and English Churches Housing Group. Since the merger there have been two further meetings between the Corporation and both associations. No meetings were held between the Housing Corporation and the Financial Services Authority.