Hello, and happy new year!  As we ease into 2022, catch up with our latest affordable housing bulletin. This month’s edition includes interesting articles on the Levelling Up initiative from the Government and an insight on the right to rest due to the change to working from home.

Please also join us for my interview with Matthew Crucefix, Director of Development at Stonewater about the key issues and constraints impacting the affordable sector.

If you have any concerns about any of the developments outlined in this update, or if you require any advice on the effect of the developments or on how to respond appropriately, please contact Sarah Hale.

Quick links: 

Events and webinars

An insight into affordable housing, from a registered provider’s perspective TLT Webinars | 27 January 2022

Join us for a Developer Masterclass where housing and regeneration Partner Sarah Hale will be talking to Stonewater's Matthew Crucefix, Director of Development about the key issues and constraints impacting the affordable housing sector and how Stonewater are tackling these

Innovating funding to deliver affordable housing with Abundance Investment TLT Webinars | 24 November 2021

We hosted a live webinar in which Shazia Bashir, housing and regeneration partner and Louise Wilson from Abundance Investment discussed the role that innovative green and social funding can play in delivering affordable homes that also look after the planet.

Property

More leaseholders to own their own buildings under government proposals Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities | 11 January 2022

As part of a consultation Homeowners and the housing industry are being invited to give their views on proposals from the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to allow more leaseholders in mixed-use buildings to take control and ownership of their building.

CMA action frees leaseholders from costly contract terms Competition and Markets Authority | 22 December 2021

Following CMA action, leaseholders with Taylor Wimpey will no longer be subjected to ground rents that double every 10 years

Global Accounts show financially resilient social housing sector during 2020-21 despite pandemic Regulator of Social Housing | 14 December 2021

The Global Accounts is an annual summary of the financial status of social housing providers who own or manage at least 1,000 homes.

What do the Affordable Homes Programme 21-26 strategic partnership grant allocations tell us? National Housing Federation | 8 December 2021

At the start of September, Homes England announced that it had awarded £5.2bn of grant to 31 strategic partnerships to complete nearly 90,000 affordable homes by 2028. This works out at an average grant rate of approximately £57,600 per home.

Planning and environment

Protecting and enhancing the environment to be at the heart of new housing and infrastructure developments Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs | 11 January 2022

Plans to ensure wildlife can be better protected and enhanced in developments have been set out in a consultation launched by Environment Minister Rebecca Pow

December planning newsletter from Chief Planner Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities | 21 December 2021

This newsletter provides a short update on latest announcements relating to planning policy and practice

R. (on the application of Rights: Community: Action) v Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government Court of Appeal (Civil Division) | 20 December 2021

None of the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) (No. 2) Order 2020, the Town and Country Planning (General Permitted Development) (England) (Amendment) (No. 3) Order 2020 or the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes) (Amendment) (England) Regulations 2020 set the "framework for future development consent" within the meaning of Directive 2001/42 on the assessment of the effects of certain plans and programmes on the environment art.3(4). Therefore, the Secretary of State for Housing, Government and Local Communities had not acted unlawfully in making those statutory instruments in order to adjust "permitted development" rights and to remove certain changes of use from the scope of development control without undertaking a strategic environmental assessment under the Directive and the Environmental Assessment of Plans and Programmes Regulations 2004.

Guidance on planning propriety: planning casework decisions Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities | 16 December 2021

This document updates the 2012 guidance on planning propriety Issues. It principally sets out issues of relevance to planning ministers and outlines how to address propriety issues when taking planning casework decisions. It should also be referred to by those working closely with planning ministers.

New homes to be built as part of government drive to develop brownfield land and regenerate communities  Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities 30 November 2021

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) the allocation of a further £11 million from the Brownfield Land Release Fund (BLRF) to support 23 redevelopment schemes across 15 councils

Corporate

National Security and Investment Act: FAQs TLT Insights | 4 January 2022

The National Security and Investment Act came into force on 4 January 2022. The National Security and Investment Act 2021 (the Act) is a UK law which creates a new screening regime for transactions which might raise national security concerns in the UK.

FRC report on corporate culture Financial Reporting Council | 9 December 2021

The FRC has published a report on corporate culture, intended to build on its 2016 report, Corporate Culture and the Role of Boards, revised UK Corporate Governance Code and Guidance on Board Effectiveness.

National Security and Investment Act: FAQs TLT Insights | 3 December 2021

The National Security and Investment Act 2021 (the Act) is a UK law which creates a new screening regime for transactions which might raise national security concerns in the UK.

We have prepared answers to some of your key questions and will update these FAQs as more details emerge, to help ensure you have the most up-to-date information to support your business.

Data, privacy and cyber security

ICO consultation on the draft Regulatory Action Policy; statutory guidance on our regulatory action; and statutory guidance on PECR powers Information Commissioner’s Office | 20 December 2021

The Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has launched a consultation on its Regulatory action policy, statutory guidance on regulatory action and statutory guidance on PECR powers.

Employment

Vexatious grievances and unfair dismissal TLT Insights | 11 January 2022

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has held that a dismissal on the grounds of gross misconduct relating to the bringing of multiple vexatious grievances, which were not subsequently withdrawn or pursued, was fair.

Five new challenges with returns to work TLT Podcasts | 20 December 2021

Whether employees are returning after a long period of absence, returning to the physical workplace after a period of working remotely, or starting a new job, HR and legal teams need to understand both the employment law and health and safety risks and what’s changed.

Coronavirus: return to home working TLT Insights | 10 December 2021

On Wednesday 8 December 2021, Boris Johnson announced that people in England should now return to working from home, if they can, from Monday 13 December 2021. This latest guidance is the government’s attempt to tackle a recent spike in cases and the emergence of the new Omicron variant

Do ‘right to rest’ laws conflict with flexible working? TLT Insights | 7 December 2021

The recent news that Portugal has banned managers from contacting staff out of hours through its ‘right to rest’ laws is a significant step in the right direction. But with debates continuing over whether similar models could be applied in the UK, we need to consider whether these might conflict with the flexible working model we’ve come to enjoy.

Commons Library publish briefing on remote and hybrid working policy House of Commons Library | 30 November 2021

The House of Commons Library has published a briefing paper, Flexible working: Remote and hybrid work, which highlights existing government policies on flexible working, the changes to working patterns caused by the pandemic and what this might mean for the future of working

Energy

New homes to produce nearly a third less carbon Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities | 15 December 2021

New homes and buildings in England will have to produce significantly less CO2 under new rules announced by the government to help the country move towards net zero.

Amending Building Regulations and new approved document require electric vehicle charge points in new buildings  Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities | 15 December 2021

The Building Regulations etc (Amendment) (England) (No 2) Regulations 2021 (SI 2021/1392) were laid before Parliament and Approved Document S: infrastructure for charging electric vehicles was published, both on 15 December 2021

Government publishes draft Boiler Upgrade Scheme Regulations 2022 Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy | 14 December 2021

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) published draft Boiler Upgrade Scheme (England and Wales) Regulations 2022.

Levelling the playing field for green finance TLT insights | 9 December 2021

Many firms have already made significant progress in establishing green finance strategies, collecting data, measuring performance and developing green financial products, our latest research finds.

Governance

Regulator of Social Housing consults on tenant satisfaction measures Regulator of Social Housing | 9 December 2021

The Regulator of Social Housing has launched a consultation on tenant satisfaction measures. The proposed TSMs would provide data about social housing landlords’ performance and the quality of their services.

Health and safety

Government sets out new plan to protect leaseholders and make industry pay for the cladding crisis Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities | 10 January 2022

The government has reset its approach to building safety with a bold new plan to protect leaseholders and make wealthy developers and companies pay to fix the cladding crisis

Letter from Housing Minister on ventilation guidance for landlords and residents | Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities | 16 December 2021

Letter to all local authorities in England to summarise ventilation guidance and encourage behaviours by landlords and residents to help reduce the transmission of COVID-19 in residential settings

Building safety remedial works and funding: Michael Gove’s review | National Housing Federation| 8 December 2021

There is nothing more important to housing associations than the safety of their residents, and necessary building safety remedial works are priority for housing associations affected by the cladding crisis. Housing associations across the country have been assessing their buildings for safety risks and take urgent action where required

Human rights

£316 million government funding boost to tackle homelessness Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities | 21 December 2021

The Homelessness Prevention Grant will support households in England who are homeless or at risk of losing their home

Reform of the Human Rights Act 1998 Ministry of Justice | 14 December 2021

In December 2021, the Government published a consultation on its proposals to replace the Human Rights Act with a Bill of Rights. The consultation will run for three months, closing on 8 March 2022.

Family of disabled boy left without housing adaptations because of council delay Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman | 9 December 2021

Haringey council took so long to complete adaptations to a disabled boy’s home that he had outgrown the proposals, a Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman investigation has heard. The boy, who has severe disabilities, was initially assessed as needing the adaptations in 2015 which included a through floor lift, a ceiling track hoist system and changing benches in the bathroom and downstairs toilet.

Insolvency

Crackdown on directors who dissolve companies to evade debts | Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities | 20 December 2021

Rogue directors who dissolve their companies and avoid paying liabilities to staff, creditors and the taxpayer can now be disqualified from being a director.

Procurement

Procurement Policy Note 09/21: Requirements to publish on Contracts Finder Cabinet Office | 20 December 2021

Guidance for in-scope organisations on how to publish procurement information on Contracts Finder.

Procurement Policy Note 10/21: Thresholds and Inclusion of VAT Cabinet Office | 6 December 2021

This note provides the new threshold values for the Public Contracts Regulations and sets out a change for estimating contract values to be inclusive of VAT.

An Independent Review of Public Sector Construction Frameworks Cabinet Office | 16 December 2021

Review commissioned by Lord Agnew and led by Professor Mosey with a brief to create a new ‘Gold Standard’ for public sector frameworks and framework controls.

Government publishes response to consultation on proposals for transforming public procurement Cabinet Office | 6 December 2021

The government published Transforming Public Procurement: Government response to consultation which summarises the feedback received to the consultation and sets out the government’s response.

Regulatory

Financial viability for housing-led projects Homes England | 10 December 2021

A beginner's guide on assessing whether a proposed housing project is financially viable.

Regulation of private renting: Report National Audit Office | 10 December 2021

A report by the National Audit Office has found that the way private renting is regulated is not effective in ensuring the sector is consistently fair for renters or that housing is safe and secure. The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities does not yet have a detailed plan to address the problems that renters face.

Tax

HMRC updates guidance on reporting Capital Gain Tax on UK property disposals online HM Revenue & Customs | 21 December 2021

HMRC has published updated guidance on reporting and paying capital gains tax on UK property disposals, which includes practice points from a set of FAQs it published in July 2021. The guidance is contained in Appendix 18 (CG-APP18)

Consultation on amended Stamp Duty Land Tax rules for mixed-use property and multiple dwellings relief HM Revenue & Customs | 30 November 2021

HMRC published a consultation on amending the SDLT rules that apply to acquisitions of mixed-use property and Multiple Dwellings Relief

Call for Evidence: Simplifying the VAT Land Exemption HM Revenue & Customs| 30 November 2021

HMRC published a summary of responses to its call for evidence on potential options for simplifying the VAT rules relating to land and property

Welfare reform

Billions more for councils to build back better | Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities | 16 December 2021

Councils in England will receive £53.9 billion in funding for the coming financial year, including more than £1 billion of additional funding for social care.

This publication is intended for general guidance and represents our understanding of the relevant law and practice as at January 2022. Specific advice should be sought for specific cases. For more information see our terms & conditions.

Date published

18 January 2022

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