I fundamentally disagree with the statement above that "The situation throws up big questions about the sovereignty of housing association boards" and heres why.
The statement is based upon the fact that local authorities can prevent HAs from setting rent levels and the only change here is that it is a local government decision under AR whereas before it was a anational one that prevented the 63% rent increases that would take the so-called "affordable rent" up to 80% of gross market rent.
The Old HC formula of (RPI+0.5%) and then plus or minus £2 has been around for decades and acted as a limiter on such huge rent increases.
As such the 'sovereignty' of HA boards was always held in check by government and by governments of all political persuasions.
To now say this 'sovereignty' has been checked and claim this to be new is patently false. In fact central government through the Affordable Homes Programme has given wider and much increased 'sovereignty' to set their own rent levels.
The fact that central governments "affordable" (sic) homes programme gives HAs as a national average the right to increase rent levels by 63% from £80.11 to £131.64 bears this out.
The "sovereignty" question is therefore a non-issue and the problem remains that the so-called 'affordable' rent regime is not affordable to tenants or to the public purse and is fundamentally flawed in those terms.