Providers still adjusting to HRA reform
Housing associations have not got to grips with the changes local authority self financing will bring to the sector, a legal expert has warned.
Ian Doolittle, partner at Trowers and Hamlins, said although larger associations are now beginning to come to terms with the impact of the reforms that were introduced in April, some smaller landlords have yet to understand the implications of the end of the housing revenue account subsidy system.
Speaking during a think tank session at the Chartered Institute of Housing’s annual conference in Manchester today, Mr Doolittle said putting councils in charge of their housing finances ‘is going to introduce a new relationship between local authorities and registered providers’.
Self financing allows councils to keep all their receipts from rents and a greater proportion of income from right to buy sales. Under the previous system sums were returned to the Treasury and then redistributed.
Mr Doolittle said: ‘For so long housing associations have assumed that if there is new build to be done then they are likely to be the first port of call.’
He said there were questions to consider in terms of development, and sharing of expertise, and also housing management issues. Stock rationalisation is another area where work is likely to be required. ‘Lots of stock in lots of areas is not the way forward,’ he said.