Clark vows not to impose financial controls on housing associations

2 Nov 15

Communities secretary Greg Clark has insisted that the classification of housing associations as public bodies will not lead to the imposition of financial constraints on the sector. He said he had no plans to impose spending or borrowing controls.

In a written ministerial statement issued in response to the change, which was due to latest European accounting guidance and the impact of the Housing and Regeneration Act 2008, Clark said it would make no material changes to the operation of housing associations.

They would continue to be able to access government funding programmes that have been open to them, while ministers remained committed to delivering 275,000 affordable new homes.

However, he said the government would work to return the classification to the private sector through “a package of deregulatory measures”.

Clark said he strongly believed that housing associations should continue to be independent of government, which was reflected in the government’s decision to agree its controversial Right to Buy extension through a voluntary deal with the sector.

“As set out in our agreement with the housing association sector on Right to Buy, the government is committed to developing deregulatory measures to help housing associations build more homes and help more people into home ownership,” he stated.
“I now intend to bring forward a package of deregulatory measures that will deliver this commitment while also aiming to return housing associations to the private sector in the future. I will work with the housing association sector, the Social Housing Regulator and other stakeholders to finalise the deregulatory measures, with a view to delivering them through the Housing and Planning Bill.”

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