Housing Association (Rights and Representation) Bill

This bill is going through its second reading in the House of Commons today. http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200607/cmbills/035/2007035.pdf
I
‘m in a shared ownership property, which means that the biggest financial commitment I have ever made is with an organisation that I find curious and baffling and to which I am intimately bound. The mysterious place they call ‘Head Office’ in which decisions about my domestic circumstances are made is completely unknown to me and yet every inch of my carpet is known to them. They are certainly autocratic and whimsical, often quiet and obscure, and may be relatively benevolent, but after four years of sharing a flat our hearts are still strangers to one another.

This bill appears to rebalance the situation towards the tenant. My reading of the bill is that it would require housing associations to produce a service agreement which would be approved by either the Housing Corporation or a tenants’ jury. An inspection of the housing association and whether or not it is living up to its service promise can be requested by the tenants association. If the housing association continually fails to deliver on its service, the Housing Corporation may ballot the tenants on whether the management should be transferred to another housing association.

I have encouraged the residents in my block to write to our MP to recommend she support this bill, but it belatedly occurred to me that I have no idea whether this would be a good thing or not. How can I find out? And how can I find a website that decodes parliamentary bills into plain English?

If you are also a tenant of a housing association these links might be useful:

The website of the housing association regulator:
http://www.housingcorp.gov.uk/index.php

If you want to contact your MP about the bill you can look them up on http://www.theyworkforyou.com/

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One thought on “Housing Association (Rights and Representation) Bill”

  1. A bloke I met at a MySociety meeting tried breaking the European Constitution into manageable chunks (http://talkeuro.com/uk/), but I don’t know if any other work is going on in that area.(MySociety is responsible for sites such as WriteToThem, TheyWorkForYou, NotApathetic, PledgeBank, etc)

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