There is a very small number of customers who have the statutory right to buy. When the Transfer of Engagement completes the statutory right will stop. We think this is unfair to those customers. So those customers will be given a contractual right to buy. This means those customers can buy on the same terms in the future as they can now. No customer will lose or gain a Right to Buy or Right to Acquire because of their landlord changing.
Your questions answered
The section on Right to Buy/Acquire says the legal basis of you being able to exercise that right may alter. Please explain.
Why merge the Housing Associations into the name of Places for People Living+ Limited?
Places for People Living+ Limited is a charitable housing association. Charities are subject to different tax rules than other types of companies. To make better use of these benefits the Group would like to increase the size of the charitable parts of the business. The transfer, will mean the Group in England will have two large housing associations in it: one charitable one non-charitable.
The Group is of the view that this approach will give the Group the most flexibility in the future in terms of future growth and development whilst maximising tax savings which be reused in the business for the benefit of customers. It will also be simpler to manage the structure of the Group.
Can you explain the + Limited in Places for People Living+ Limited and confirm it is a charity?
Places for People Homes Limited and Places for People Living+ Limited are both what are known as Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies, which are registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.
Both companies are not-for-profit organisations which operate to provide services to customers and to generate a “surplus” which then, under the rules of the societies, is reinvested to deliver services to customers. The societies have no owners or shareholders so do not pay dividends.
We can confirm that Places for People Living+ Limited is a charity for tax purposes as is confirmed in its annual accounts and submission to the Financial Conduct Authority.
Places for People Living+ Limited and Places for People Homes Limited. One has charitable status one is a limited company. There is concern that there could be a blurring of the status of the charitable situation.
The Group intends to have two registered Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies that are providers of affordable housing. We think that having the two types of providers in the Group will mean the Group can deliver a broader range of services than just being a single large charitable or non-charitable provider of affordable housing.
As part of the exercise, it is necessary for the Group to get a legal opinion that the type of assets and work that Living+ will do is charitable. This type of exercise and the submission of separate accounts for each company, as well as annual external auditing, make sure that the work each company does is in accordance with its status.
There are no details as to how all these housing associations will be managed.
The two housing associations will be managed by a single management team in the affordable part of the Group’s business. It will be managed in this way to avoid duplication in terms of the number of management roles and to take benefit from the scale of the business. Where Places for People Living+ Limited is delivering specialist services or support services to customers these elements of that business will be provided by special teams that are already in place.
Why has this merger happened now and not in previous years?
The merger and simplification of the Group structure have been a business aim for some years. Following the end of the pandemic and changes in internal structures, the business feels this is the right time to take these steps.
Why does the name have to be so long Places for People Living+ Limited?
This is the name of an existing landlord. We are aware that the length of the legal entity is long. The brand name for the company delivering specialist-supported living services is Places for People Living Plus and we will use Places for People for all our other services including managing your home.
Will we still have a local office?
The merger/Transfer of Engagement will not change the local offices. If there are changes to the offices in the future, we will let our customers know.
Will the services improve?
The aim is that by having a simplified structure with fewer companies in the Group and by making tax savings through increasing the size of the charitable part of the business, the Group will have more money to invest in properties and the efficient delivery of services to customers. We intend to continuously improve our service delivery to you in the future.