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10 April 2013

New Model Rules for housing associations in Wales

A bespoke set of Model Rules for Housing Associations in Wales that were recently accepted by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) have now been published.

There was strong support from the sector, the Welsh Government, the CHC Group, and other key stakeholders for the development of this bespoke set of rules for Wales, designed to reflect:

  • the specific regulatory framework in Wales and associated legislation & guidance;
  • the accompanying greater emphasis being placed on Boards’ duties to uphold the best standards of governance and to effectively monitor the financial health of their Association;
  • the move to a less prescribed framework and greater flexibility for HAs to develop governance arrangements that support their individual cultures and circumstance; and
  • more modern accepted business practices for the sector and beyond.

They have been written with the intention of being sufficiently generic to allow for use by all Housing Associations and include sets of options to support the core model rules to meet a range of different needs, split deliberately into five distinct sections to reflect:

  • Generic options to the base model for all Housing Associations;
  • Group, parent and subsidiary options;
  • Options specifically relating to LSVTs & Community Mutuals (where they are similar);
  • Any additional options specifically relating only to Community Mutuals; and
  • Co-optee options.

The Model Rules are not mandatory. They have been designed simply to be a model set to help support consideration locally if and when Associations review their own rules and arrangements, and hopefully to reduce the internal resource and legal cost burden on individual Associations if/when they come to review their own rules.

Please see here to download the Model Rules. You can also find a short guidance note for Associations on rule amendments and approval routes that includes an aide memoire, and a checklist for submission to the Financial Conduct Authority, the successor body to the FSA (wef 1st April 2013).This guidance note has been agreed with both the FSA and the Housing Regulator.