Charity Commission
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Charity Commission welcomes amendments to housing bill

Charity Commission welcomes amendments to housing bill

CHARITY COMMISSION News Release (13/08) issued by The Government News Network on 28 March 2008

The Charity Commission, the independent regulator for charities in England and Wales, has welcomed amendments to the Housing and Regeneration Bill.

In February, the Commission raised concerns relating to proposals in the Bill to establish a new regulator with the power to set compulsory standards for providers of social housing - specifically that this could undermine the independence of some charities and force them into activities that could ultimately lead to the loss of their charitable status.

The new amendments were tabled by the Government earlier this week in advance of further debate on the Bill due to take place next Monday (31 March) in the House of Commons. Taken together, the amendments would mean that the new regulator would now need to consult the Charity Commission on the implications of any new standards for charitable housing associations, giving the Commission an opportunity to identify any proposals that were incompatible with charity law.

Rosie Chapman, Director for Policy and Effectiveness for the Charity Commission, said:
"We very much welcome these amendments, and appreciate the helpful discussions with the Department for Communities and Local Government that have led to them. The proposed amendments would have no impact on the effectiveness of the new regulator, but would ensure that the independence of charitable housing associations is not undermined."

Notes to editors:
1. There are 1400 charitable Registered Social Landlords (housing associations) which make up two thirds of the social landlords registered with the Housing Corporation.
2. The Charity Commission is the independent regulator for charitable activity in England and Wales. For more information see our website at http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk

For more information please call Chris Kiggell on 020 7673 2332