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Arm's Length Management Organisations

Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 21st January 2008.

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Photo of Clive Betts Clive Betts Labour, Sheffield, Attercliffe

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether under Clause 225, sub section (2) of the Housing and Regeneration Bill a specified person to whom management functions of a registered provider may be transferred could be an arm's length management organisation.

Photo of Iain Wright Iain Wright Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Department for Communities and Local Government)

I can confirm that the new management transfer power proposed for the social housing regulator OFTENANT at clause 225 of the Housing and Regeneration Bill permits the regulator to transfer management functions of social housing owned by a registered provider to any other specified person (that is, any organisation). This includes arm's length management organisations.

Clause 225 is a new power recommended by the Cave Review of social housing regulation. It gives OFTENANT the power to address systematically poor management without transferring ownership of the assets. The power could be used in respect of all a provider's homes or a proportion of them, so it could be used to address issues on a specific estate. The owner of the homes would be subject to the regulatory regime and would ensure the managing agent met any relevant standards. This power could only be exercised following an inquiry under clauses 183 to 186 and is subject to appeal to the High Court.

Similarly, if OFTENANT directed the registered provider to put social housing management functions out to competitive tender, under clause 223, an arm's length management organisation could tender for the work and be selected as manager.

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